2019 45th Annual Conference Roundtable
East Coast Colleges Social Science Association
From Knowledge to Wisdom--Equipping Individuals with Sustenance for Life: The Role of Academia
--Defining Roles for the Behavioral, Social and Natural Sciences, Humanities and Administrative Leadership--
April 5-6, 2019
Center for Innovative Technology, Briefing Room
2214 Rock Hill Road
Herndon, VA 20170
(Washington DC Metropolitan Area, Adjacent to Washington-Dulles International Airport)
Conference Background and Overview
The ECCSSA 2019 conference theme is devoted to an exploration of the call to the academy of science and institutions of higher learning to change or redirect its focus to merging knowledge with wisdom. There is a growing belief that wisdom as the sustenance for life should be the central core of education in the development of human potential. Some leading proponents are calling for a more balanced and practical approach to developing human potential with a focus not only on building knowledge and technology, but also addressing the problems of living (e.g. poverty, ill health, injustice, deprivation, and more) and how to solve those problems. In addition, there is a need to emphasize the importance of civic responsibility and acting wisely for self, family, society, nation and world. Two central questions leading to the development of this conference theme are: 1) how and why did we get to valuing knowledge over wisdom? and 2) how and why did science and the academy shift in valuing knowledge over wisdom?
It has been noted that a shift back to a focus on wisdom as the aim might lead to a more enlightened and wise society. Such a shift could have a dramatic impact on institutions of higher learning and change the relationships of and between academic disciplines. Most importantly, a shift to include a wisdom-focused aim would lead to a more holistic approach to education and development that many have been calling for over the decades.
According to one of the leading proponents of this movement, Nicholas Maxwell, he points to the need for a revolution in science and education for intellectual and humanitarian reasons. He believes that focusing primarily on the pursuit of knowledge is not the best ideal for helping humanity realize what is of value in life. The current focus on knowledge-inquiry versus wisdom-inquiry has resulted in the creation of current global problems and the incapacity to deal with them effectively and humanely. We can add to this delineation of problems evidence of human behaviors, worldwide, in terms of suffering, aggression, rising conflicts, violence, mental illness, wars, racial hatred, divisiveness, lack of civic engagement, and more. A new kind of inquiry is needed—inquiry that is rationally devoted to improving the quality of human development and human life and the personal, social and global problems of living. Per Maxwell, this would mean helping humanity make progress towards creating “as good a world as possible” (Maxwell, 2013).
Moving Toward Wisdom--Creating an Enlightened, Wiser
and More Civilized World
Wisdom, or sapience is the ability to think and act using knowledge,
experience, understanding, common sense and insight. Merriam-Webster
In the 2017 conference, ECCSSA’s dialogue was centered on education for holistic development, ethical leadership and sustainability. It was concluded from research and discussion that if the world is to be sustained, we should be educating and preparing individuals holistically, so that they understand the meaning of character, relationships, responsibility and stewardship. These are important qualities for sustaining a nation of people and the world. Current educational models are inadequate in developing the whole person not to mention cultivating or laying the groundwork for the ability to become wise. Much of education seems factory-laden with a one model fits all motto and is work-driven. As a result, we are producing masses of programmed individuals with standards of learning and other mechanized techniques. This is not adequate or enough to help people move toward becoming wise. As a result, many individuals are ill-equipped with sufficient or adequate skills to become effective citizens, parents, professionals and leaders of tomorrow, with care and responsibility. Some researchers and policy analysts share this view and are calling for reforms in our philosophy and approach in higher education toward a more balanced approach of acquiring knowledge and technology literacy combined with the acquisition of understanding and wisdom.
As cited in the 2018 ECCSSA commentary, a stimulus paper developed by the Oxford Learning Institute at the University of Oxford outlined the importance of the kind of learning and development deemed important in higher education:
The idea of education for holistic development encompasses not only learning academic knowledge and skills, but also developing other aspects of individuals who strive to become productive citizens and good human beings. This means going beyond knowledge and skills to include growing and maturing, emotionally, spiritually and morally, as well as developing well-rounded individuals with good skills and good character. These characteristics should become a priority. Hence, the goals of education should be rooted in a larger vision according to Maxwell (2013)—promoting human welfare by intellectual means. We should be helping individuals who come through the halls of academia become wiser, enlightened and more civilized beings. This is an evolutionary process that could begin at the start of education and development. Therefore, the critical questions to be addressed toward these goals are:
What kind of inquiry can best help us make progress toward a more civilized world? And,
What are the models currently being implemented, discussed or planned, globally, as steps toward transforming institutions to include wisdom-inquiry into education and development? (Maxwell, 2013, p. 101).
A basic task of academia would be to help humanity learn how to become more civically engaged, have meaningful and constructive dialogue, resolve its conflicts and everyday problems with proposals for action and solutions, potential policies, as well as claims to knowledge in just, cooperative and rational ways. The ultimate goal is to create evolved human beings and a better world. ECCSSA hopes that the above major questions will be at the core of the discussions at the upcoming 2019 conference.
Role of the Academic Disciplines
Nicholas Maxwell has been in the forefront for more than 30 years espousing his philosophical theory of the importance of institutions of higher learning doing more and adding wisdom-inquiry to its knowledge and technological base. He has been instrumental in carefully examining the academic disciplines and recommending ways discipline groups can incorporate wisdom-based inquiry into their instructional programs. Such incorporation would change the way disciplines operate and allow for more interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and crossdisciplinary collaboration. Highlighted below is a brief summary of the role of the disciplines per Maxwell and others.
Economics, Political Science and Sociology: These disciplines are not sciences but have a fundamental role to improve knowledge about social phenomena. They should articulate the problems of living, propose and critically assess possible solutions, actions, policies and wiser ways of living. These disciplines can promote the rational and cooperative ways of tackling and resolving problems and enhancing empathic and personal understanding between peoples as something of value in its own right. Acquiring knowledge of social phenomena is subordinate to the above.
Politics: Cannot be taught by knowledge-inquiry and becomes central to wisdom-inquiry. Political creeds and actions should be subjected to imaginative and critical scrutiny.
National and Global Governance: Every university system needs to include a national shadow government, perhaps virtually, free of the constraints of power and to reflect what the actual government should be doing. The hope is that the virtual and actual government would learn from each other. This would include a virtual world government and what an actual elected world government should be doing, if it existed. This would include a plan for how the actual world government would be elected, democratically.
Natural Sciences: Should include three levels of discussion—evidence, theory and research aims. Discussion of aims should bring together scientific, metaphysical and evaluative data to discover the most realistic research aims. The natural sciences need to influence and be influenced by problems of living undertaken by social inquiry, the humanities and the public.
Science: Changes in science need to occur in the aims, priorities and character of pure science and scholarship. Science should reflect the curiosity, the seeing and searching, the knowing and understanding of individual persons that ultimately matters, with the more impersonal, esoteric and purely intellectual aspects of science being a means to this end. The social inquiry aspect of science should have as an intellectual priority the promotion of empathic understanding and enable people to flourish.
Mathematics: There need to be changes in the way mathematics is understood, pursued, conveyed and taught. Per Maxwell, mathematics is not a branch of knowledge. Mathematics is concerned with exploring problematic possibilities, and developing, systematizing and unifying problem-solving methods. Further, ECCSSA believes that the practical and real-world usefulness of some aspects of mathematics should be described.
Literature: This discipline should explore imaginatively some of the most profound problems of living and contribute to empathic and personal understanding of life and such problems by allowing the individual to enter imaginatively into the lives of others.
Philosophy: Should focus on those problems that cut across all disciplinary boundaries. Maxwell believes that philosophy should become again what it was initially during the time of Socrates—the attempt to devote reason to the growth of wisdom in life.
Education: There should be seminars devoted to the cooperative, imaginative and critical discussion and reflections of problems of living at all levels of education beginning at the kindergarten level. Moreover, ECCSSA believes that education should pay more attention to developing inner human qualities and inner values or education of the heart.
Disciplines that are not discussed by Maxwell are outlined by ECCSSA as delineated below.
The Behavioral and Psychological Sciences: Has always played a critical role in developing the wise person, correcting psychopathology and more, through cognitive and developmental science and behavioral therapy. The behavioral sciences and psychology have played a critical role in attempting to understand the complexity of the human psyche and the needs and flaws of individuals, singularly, in family units and collectively at all levels of development. As the field today becomes increasingly specialized, some of the interdisciplinary foci and thrusts emphasizing wisdom-inquiry have been lost, with largely mechanized and standardized strategies in some regions of the nation and world. Psychological Science should continue to unravel the complexities of the human psyche. There is a need to focus on the cognitive and psychosocial domains to include spiritual development, mindfulness, perception, compassion, empathy, and emotional hygiene and development.
Anthropology: Has run a close second to the field of psychology in understanding the origins, evolution and nature of human beings from every aspect to the current times. Anthropology should continue to work in partnership with psychology and across disciplines in understanding human behavior, culture and problems in living.
Civic Education: Civic development includes a range over all social spheres beyond the family, from neighborhoods and local communities to state, national, cross-national and global arenas. The effective operation of social systems and successful achievement of collective goals demand the time, attention, understanding, and action of all citizens. Institutions of higher education have both the opportunity and obligation to cultivate in their graduates an appreciation for the responsibilities and rewards of civic engagement, in addition to fostering the capacities necessary for thoughtful participation in public discourse and effective participation in social enterprises (Colby & Ehrlich, 2016).
History: The role of historians is to record the evolution, changes, trends, patterns, characteristics and rationale of the transformations occurring in education in general and higher education. There seems to be a dearth of attention to the historical accounting and analysis of the origin, shifts and transformations.
The delineation above begins to define the role of academia and the disciplines toward a model of academic inquiry that includes wisdom-inquiry. Such a model would demonstrate how academic inquiry is related to the rest of the human world and how it needs to change dramatically. Academic inquiry should be communicating with, sharing and learning from, teaching and arguing with their colleagues and the rest of society and the world to promote cooperative rationality and social wisdom. Interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and crossdisciplinary approaches should be encouraged.
Emerging Issues, Research and Revolutionary Models
ECCSSA calls for proposals, research, papers and models that are emerging, being envisioned or moving toward incorporating a wisdom-inquiry component in higher education and related programs and institutions. Many such emerging models have been identified in the UK and US and will be discussed and presented at the 2019 conference. We call for an exploration of other revolutionary and innovative models and thinking on the subject.
ECCSSA looks forward to dialogue on how institutions of higher learning can address the issue of the need for including a wisdom-inquiry component to the knowledge- and technology-based curricula and education model currently being practiced. Emerging and new models will require major transformations in academia at all levels and particularly in higher education.
The ECCSSA 2019 conference calls for dialogue toward this end and supports the call for educating citizens to become wise toward creating a more effective and civilized world. ECCSSA agrees with Maxwell and others on the urgent need to bring about a scientific revolution in education to promote the importance of incorporating wisdom-inquiry into academic and technological inquiry. Per Maxwell,
In summary, Maxwell and others believe that we do not have this at present, but rather institutions of learning devoted solely to the pursuit of knowledge and technological know-how, which leads to the root cause of the national and global problems that currently exist. Such a transformation in higher education, per Maxwell, will be similar to the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and a scientific revolution. The outcome will be institutions of learning that help us realize what is of value in life. This model would need the support and cooperation of all—scientists, scholars, students, research councils, university administrators, chancellors and vice chancellors, teachers, the media, the general public and the global community.
ECCSSA invites you to join us in dialogue at this conference roundtable. This is an open invitation to representatives from all disciplines and every aspect of higher education and related areas/ We encourage undergraduate and graduate student participation, joint faculty-student collaboration and team or group projects and presentations. Conference presentation formats include individual, collaborative projects, panel discussions and posters. Proposals will also be accepted for special pre- and post-conference sessions.
Colby, A., Ehrlich, T., Beaumont, E. and Stephens, J. (2003) Educating citizens: preparing America’s undergraduates for lives of moral and civic responsibility, San Francisco CA: Jossey-Bass.
Colby, A. and Ehrlich, T. (2016). Undergraduate education and the development of moral and civic responsibility. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Online: https://www.gwu.edu/~ccps/Colby.html.
King, R. M. (2018). The future of instruction, learning and leadership: Education for holistic development, ethical leadership
and sustainability. The ECCSSA Journal. 17(1), 1-38.
_____. (2017). Rethinking leadership in higher education: Vision, models, expansion, inclusion, development and
transformation. The ECCSSA Journal. 16(1), 1-33.
_____. (2016). Education for mobilization and action: Leading transformational change. The ECCSSA Journal, 15(1), 1-26.
_____. (2015). New frontiers: Models for redesign in the social and behavioral sciences. The ECCSSA Journal, 14(1), 1-55.
Maxwell, N. (1976). What’s wrong with science? Towards a people’s rational science of delight and compassion, UK: Bran’s
Head Books Ltd.
_____. (1984). From knowledge to wisdom: A revolution in the aims and methods of science, Oxford: Blackwell.
_____. (2007). From knowledge to wisdom: A revolution for science and the humanities, London: Pentire Press.
_____. (2013). From knowledge to wisdom: Assessment and prospects after three decades. Integral Review, 9(2), 76-112.
_____. (2014). How universities can help create a wiser world--The urgent need for an academic revolution. Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic.
Quinlan, K. M. (2011). Developing the whole student: leading higher education initiatives that integrate mind and heart. University
of Oxford: Oxford Learning Institute, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.
Special Call for Student Posters and Papers
ECCSSA traditionally and historically has been an organization that supports student scholarship. We strongly recommend Association members and teaching faculty to encourage student participation in the conference. We encourage graduate and undergraduate student submission of poster presentations and papers. Poster presentations will remain on display throughout the duration of the conference. Those submitting posters are asked to be present at their poster during breakfast and lunch. Guidelines for student and faculty papers and poster presentations can be found on the ECCSSA website at: www.eccssa.org.
A Note on the Roundtable Format
A select group of presenters will gather for two days to present their work and to discuss the work of other presenters. All participants will gather in the same room to hear each presentation. Therefore, it is imperative that all presenters be in attendance for both days of the roundtable.
Conference Themes by Critical Questions and Potential Topics
Call for Papers-ECCSSA 2019 Conference Roundtable-April 5-6, 2019
For more information and to download proposal, registration and other forms or to pay online, please visit our website at:
Conference Registration Fees
Regular Registration: $270*
Walk-In Registration: $290 *
(-All Full-Time Employees-)
New Scholar/Adjunct Faculty who are not Employed FT /PT Graduate Student: $220 *
*(New Scholar=1-3 years of employment as young scholar)
*(Adjunct faculty and graduate students not working full-time)
Walk-In Registration: $235 *
Undergraduate Student: $90
Regular Membership: $75
Lifetime Membership: $625
Exhibitor Registration: $170
* Registration Fee includes a copy of the ECCSSA Journal and Membership Fee for Full-time Faculty, New Scholars, Adjuncts and Graduate Students.
Registration Fees Above are the same for paying by Check or Credit Card. We encourage you to use the online system and pay by credit card.
Courtyard Marriott - Dulles Town Center
Dulles Town Center
(A Smoke-Free Hotel)
45500 Majestic Drive
Dulles, VA 20166
Discounted Room Rate:
1 King Guest Room with Sofa Bed @ $97.00 plus tax, per night
For those who wish to request tax exemption, tax exempt forms have to be pre-approved
by hotel event manager. Contact Hotel Event Manager at the time of reservation.
Must Reserve on or before Friday, March 15, 2019 (Cutoff Date)
(After the cutoff date, the hotel will release any unreserved rooms for general sale and, in the hotel's discretion,
will accept reservations at ECCSSA Room Block's group rate, on a space and rate available basis.)
Please identify yourself as part of the ECCSSA Room Block Group.
++++Ask for the ECCSSA Room Block for April 5,-6, 2018 Conference Roundtable.
Courtyard Marriott Brochure in PDF:
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
Download Conference Forms Below:
**Note: Right click on any document to open in a new window.
Conference Overview and Call for Papers, Research and Proposals
2019 Conference Registration Form
Guidelines for Presenters
Guidelines for Poster Presentations
Information for Publishers, Organizations and Sponsors
Application Form for Publishers, Organizations and Sponsors
Loudoun County Attractions
This site has information on everything you want to know about Loudoun county,
including places to eat, heritage and culture, town and villages and horse country events.
Provides great information on the happenings in Northern Virginia.
Provides links to cultural and museum events.
(Washington Dulles Airport)
Dulles Taxi & Limousine
21100 Dulles Town Circle
241 Fort Evans Road, NE
Download Handout Below on
Restaurants at Dulles Town Center:
Other Restaurants in the Area:
A Taste of Vietnam
46005 Regal Plaza
20921 Davenport Drive
21018 S. Bank Street
11 N. King Street
2079 Great Falls Plaza, #110
Sterling, VA 20165
20789 Great Falls Plaza, Unit 176
Sterling, VA 20165
20921 Davenport Drive
45980 Waterview Plaza
45970 Waterview Plaza
204 Harrison Street, SE
5 Catoctin Circle
For more information on the 2018 ECCSSA conference, please contact:
Dr. Rosalyn M. King, Chair, ECCSSA Board of Directors at:
Send Inquiries to: