Since 1993, James Merritt, philosopher of education and professor in the college of education and Helen Merritt, artist and professor of art history in the college of visual and performing arts have sponsored a series of presentations and colloquia featuring premier scholars whose works have deeply influenced educational thought and practice at local, national and international levels. As the first professor of philosophy of education at NIU, it has been Dr. Merritt's conviction that philosophy has a strong, positive role to play in teacher education. His enduring hope is that this series will continue to bring philosophical thought to a wider audience in order to enhance both our educational commitments and our participation as democratic citizens.
2011, Dr. Harry Brighouse, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Address: "How Should We Judge School Reforms?: The Place of Values in Evaluation."
2010, Dr. Deron R. Boyles, Georgia State University
Address: "Considering Philosophy For Education: A Curmudgeonly Challenge to Commercialism, Reductionism, and the The Quest for Certainty"
2009, Dr. Barbara S. Stengel, Millersville University
Address: "Beyond the Comfort Zone, or Sallying Forth with Don Quixote: Facing Fear with a Philosopher of Education"
2008, Dr. Lewis Gordon, Temple University
Address: "A Pedagogical Imperative of Pedagogical Imperatives"
2007, Dr. Wilma Miranda, Northern Illinois University
Address: "Classrooms as Dangerous Educational Outposts? Arendt and Dewey on the Crisis in Teacher Authority"
2006, Dr. David Hansen, Teacher's College
Address: "John Dewey and the Education of Public Interest"
2005, Dr. James Garrison, Virginia Tech University
Address: "Compassionate, Spiritual, and Creative Listening in Teaching and Learning"
2004-05, Dr. Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago
Address: "Liberal Education and Global Responsibility"
2003-04, Dr. Nicholas C. Burbules, University of Illinois
Address: "Philosophy of Education as a Form of Inquiry"
2003, Dr. Deborah Britzman, York University
2002, Dr. James Palermo, Buffalo State University
Address: "Post Structuralist Readings of the Pedagogical Encounter"
1999, Dr. Clint Collins, University of Kentucky
Address: "A Philosopher's Concern: Regarding the Young as Equals"
1998, Dr. Richard Brosio, Ball State University
Address: "In the Spirit of Our Public Intellectuals: Problems and Possibilities for School and Society"
1996, Dr. Betty Sichel
Address: "Moral Stories and Moral Education"
1994, Dr. Richard Angelo, University of Kentucky
Address: "Scenes of Instruction In School and Out: Notes on Educational Worldmaking"
1993, Dr. Hugh Sockett, George Mason University
Address: "The Moral Base for Teacher Professionalism"