2nd International Conference on Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education

Toward 2030: The Significance of Value-Creating Pedagogy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

August 5-7, 2020
DePaul University / Chicago, Illinois (USA)

The DePaul University Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education is pleased to host the 2nd International Conference on Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education. The conference theme, Toward 2030: The Significance of Value-Creating Pedagogy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, signals the importance of the next decade in marking both the 100th anniversary of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi’s Sōka kyōikugaku taikei (The System of Value-Creating Pedagogy) and the date by which all UN Member States have agreed to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. These two are not unrelated. Daisaku Ikeda (2014, 2018, 2019), the foremost proponent of Makiguchi’s ideals, has written that value-creating approaches—in both ethos and practice—are key to meeting the SDGs, and multiple institutions and educators inspired by Ikeda’s thought have marshaled their efforts to integrate the SDGs into various aspects of K-adult schooling and human education. Increasingly, education researchers are engaging Ikeda’s and Makiguchi’s educational ideas within the context of the SDGs, especially as these relate to climate change, human rights and happiness, disarmament, global citizenship, youth activism, transborder migration, and education.

As research and praxis in the field of Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education has grown rapidly worldwide, this international forum is increasingly necessary for established and emerging scholars to gather, substantively discuss the current state of, and actively and collaboratively unite, characterize, define, and advance scholarship in, the field. Concerned with such topics as value-creating pedagogy, valuecreating education, human(istic) education, “Soka Education,” global citizenship education, communities studies, human geography, human rights and peace education, value(s) and value creation, dialogue, creativity, sustainability, interdependence and creative coexistence, people movements, youth activism and youth empowerment, intersections of religion/Buddhism and education, deductive reasoning, language and literacies education, academic achievement, knowledge and wisdom, and profound student-teacher relationships for social self-actualization and meaningful and contributive living, the field of Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education coheres around historical, conceptual and empirical scholarship on the philosophies and practices of Japanese educators Daisaku Ikeda, Josei Toda, and Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, and the Soka/sōka, or “value-creating,” approaches they have enacted and inspired worldwide.

These philosophies and practices undergird the Soka kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, women’s college, and universities in seven countries across Asia and the Americas; inform non-Soka public and private schools and universities in various countries; and shape the practices and perspectives of thousands of educators and school leaders in diverse multicultural and multilingual contexts. Concomitantly, the past decade in particular has witnessed rapid developments in the field of Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education, including: the establishment of numerous university-affiliated research initiatives and institutes, courses and degree programs, and local symposia and conferences; the publication of award-winning books, chapters, journal articles and special issues, doctoral dissertations, and new translations; and juried presentations, panels, and pre-conference sessions at annual meetings of (inter)national professional organizations, such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), the American Educational Studies Association (AESA), and others.

This 2nd international conference is thus envisioned as an opportunity to examine both the intrinsic and extrinsic dimensions of Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education. By “intrinsic” we mean the historical and primary texts by Makiguchi, Toda, and Ikeda in Japanese and in the contexts in which they were written; by “extrinsic” we mean these texts and their ideas in translation and application in various contexts and disciplines. As the field emerges as a foundation for teacher preparation and practice, and as a means of ameliorating increasingly complex and intersecting crises at local and global levels, Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education must recognize and articulate its nuanced and comparative particularities and uniqueness and reckon with conceptual and terminological assumptions, generalizations, and gaps that predispose it to critiques of “being everything and thus nothing.” It must maintain fidelity to its intrinsic dimensions while exploring extrinsic possibilities that are relevant to current and future demands and needs in education and human becoming worldwide. This demands both clear attention to the primary texts by Makiguchi, Toda, and Ikeda and critical engagement with the expansive secondary scholarship on their ideas.

In short, this conference provides a space for international scholars and professionals involved in Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education to present their work and engage in dialogue with others in the field. The conference will feature invited keynote presentations by leading scholars as well as submitted individual paper and panel presentations. We seek scholarly submissions on theory and theorizing; empirical, conceptual, and applied research; bilingual and critical discourse analysis; and text-based praxis of Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education in various contexts. These may include, but are not limited to, the conference theme and the above-mentioned topics.

Proposal Guidelines

We invite two types of proposals: Individual Papers and Panels (3-4 individual presentations thematically grouped together). Each presentation, whether individual or included in a panel, will be limited to 18 minutes.

For Individual Papers, please include:

  • Title of the presentation (13-word limit)
  • Name and institutional affiliation of the presenter(s)
  • 400-600-word Summary of the presentation (addressing key aspects of theoretical frames and/or arguments, primary/secondary literature used, research design and methods, findings and implications)
  • Full references [APA or Chicago Manual Style]

For Panels, please include:

  • Title (13-word limit) and 75-100-word Abstract of the Panel
  • Title (13-word limit) and 300-500 word Summary of each presentation in the panel (addressing key aspects of theoretical frames and/or arguments, primary/secondary literature used, research design and methods, findings and implications)
  • Name and institutional affiliation of respective presenters
  • Full references [APA or Chicago Manual Style] Submission

Process and Timeline

  • Submit your proposal electronically to
  • Submission deadline is March 1, 2020
  • Proposals are blind reviewed; notification of acceptance/rejection will be sent by mid-April.
  • Please send questions to

You can find the PDF version of the Call for Proposals here.

Past Events