Conceptual Education Fellowship


Program Overview

The Conceptual Education Fellowship is designated to advance educational reform by training new intellectuals who can articulate and advocate a rational approach to primary and secondary education, based on the principles of Objectivism.

The Fellowship is part of the Conceptual Education Program, a broader initiative created thanks to a generous gift from Ed Thompson. Read more about the Conceptual Education Program here.

Current Fellow

The Conceptual Education Fellowship currently supports the work of ARI associate fellow Sam Weaver, the inaugural recipient of the Fellowship.
Sam writes and speaks for ARI, focusing on issues in the field of education. He also teaches in the Ayn Rand University and develops other educational content for ARI. Sam holds a BA in English and graduated from ARI’s Objectivist Academic Center in 2019.
Speaking about the Fellowship, Sam says:
I’ve long been deeply interested in issues around pedagogy and curriculum, and passionate about advocating a rational, conceptual approach to education. I believe Ayn Rand’s philosophy, especially her epistemology, provides a wealth of unique insights to help us understand the destructive nature of the educational establishment and articulate a rational approach. Promoting educational reform based on her ideas is a crucial means of improving the lives of students and changing the culture for the better.
Thanks to the Conceptual Education Fellowship, I’ve been able to greatly advance my knowledge of Objectivism and develop as an intellectual applying Rand’s philosophy to educational issues. It also supports my work teaching in ARI’s academic programs, including the Ayn Rand University.
I’m immensely grateful for the support of ARI’s donors, most especially Mr. Thompson, that makes my work possible. In my time at ARI I’ve been encouraged by how many people have expressed their enthusiasm for education reform. I’m excited about what the Conceptual Education Program will enable ARI to accomplish in the battle for educational reform, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

Program at Work

Sam Weaver, the first recipient of the Conceptual Education Fellowship, has written and spoken on educational issues for ARI since 2021. His work has dealt with such issues as the schools’ failure to teach reading properly, the importance of opposing government control over education, and the rise of anti-reason egalitarian ideology in public schools.
Here are some highlights of work Sam has created or co-created:
OCON 2023 Talk
New Ideal Article
Systematic Phonics Offers the Path to Independence and Love of Reading
New Ideal Live Podcast
What’s Wrong with California’s Ethnic Studies Mandate?
New Ideal Article
The Real Cause of Indoctrination in Schools


To support intellectuals in the battle for educational reform, click below to visit the donation page for the Conceptual Education Program. All funds donated through this link go directly to this initiative.