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Conference Theme: "Independence & Interdependence"
October 31 – November 03, 2019 | Toshi Center Hotel, Tokyo, Japan
The 2019 conference theme for The 11th Asian Conference on Education is “Independence & Interdependence”, and invites reflections on the desirability, extent and limits of our individual independence and autonomy, of that of our students, and of the institutions and structures within which we work, teach and learn. We do not educate, and are not educated in vacuums, but in such contexts and constraints as families, groups, and societies; of nations and cultures; of identities and religions; and of political and financial realities.
Ever changing technologies offer new ways for us to be independent and autonomous learners, encouraging students to be self-directed and confident in making choices, and enabling and empowering students and teachers to be proactive and tailor content. However, myriad technologies and services make us more dependent on the very things allowing autonomy. How do we help students and teachers alike navigate and curate the vast information available? How do we encourage individual growth while also underlining the importance of belonging and of the reciprocal responsibilities and privileges of education? How do we help students build the skills and attitudes necessary for positive engagement in distributed, globalised communities that so often lead to polarisation and alienation instead? How do we educate with independence and interdependence in mind?
This conference is organised by IAFOR in association with the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in Osaka University, Japan.
Tien-Hui Chiang, Zhengzhou University, China
Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Tzu-Bin Lin, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan
Yvonne Masters, Independent Researcher, Australia
José McClanahan, Creighton University, USA
Justin Sanders, Temple University, Japan Campus
Zachary Walker, University College London (UCL), UK
IAFOR Journal of Education (Scopus Indexed Journal)
Over the years, the Asian Conference on Education (ACE) has brought together thousands of passionate scholars and educators from around the globe to discuss ideas critical to the development of education in Asia and beyond, making it one of the most respected, and longest running annual conferences focused on all levels of education in Asia.
ACE was the first conference organised by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) in Osaka in 2009, when the organisation was founded. By the time the eleventh Asian Conference on Education is held, some 22,000 academics will have presented at an IAFOR conference, whether in Asia, the Middle East, Europe or North America.
Founded in Japan at a time when academic conferences held in English did not exist (outside those organised by professional associations dedicated to English language teaching), IAFOR quickly found support for these among a growing number of scholars in Japan, Asia, and beyond. Participants came together to make friends, network, and, at a time of rapid globalisation and technological advances, explore the latest ideas. The conferences also encouraged the search for research synergies in the pursuit of addressing and finding solutions to many of the myriad and complex challenges presented by the modern world.
IAFOR now has university partners across the globe, counts some of the world’s foremost intellectuals as advisers, and boasts an interdisciplinary research centre in Osaka University’s School of International Public Policy. The organisation also has a conference program that spans three continents, and in a divided world, IAFOR’s founding principles of nurturing ideas, individuals and research projects across barriers of nation, culture, and discipline are more timely than ever.
About IAFOR’s Education Conferences
IAFOR promotes and facilitates new multifaceted approaches to one of the core issues of our time, namely globalisation and its many forms of growth and expansion. Awareness of how it cuts across the world of education, and its subsequent impact on societies, institutions and individuals, is a driving force in educational policies and practices across the globe. IAFOR’s conferences on education have these issues at their core. The conferences present those taking part with three unique dimensions of experience, encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating heightened intercultural awareness and they promoting international exchange. In short, IAFOR’s conferences on education are about change, transformation and social justice. As IAFOR’s previous conferences on education have shown, education has the power to transform and change whilst it is also continuously transformed and changed.
Globalised education systems are becoming increasing socially, ethnically and culturally diverse. However, education is often defined through discourses embedded in Western paradigms as globalised education systems become increasingly determined by dominant knowledge economies. Policies, practices and ideologies of education help define and determine ways in which social justice is perceived and acted out. What counts as "education" and as "knowledge" can appear uncontestable but is in fact both contestable and partial. Discourses of learning and teaching regulate and normalise gendered and classed, racialised and ethnicised understandings of what learning is and who counts as a learner.
In many educational settings and contexts throughout the world, there remains an assumption that teachers are the possessors of knowledge which is to be imparted to students, and that this happens in neutral, impartial and objective ways. However, learning is about making meaning, and learners can experience the same teaching in very different ways. Students (as well as teachers) are part of complex social, cultural, political, ideological and personal circumstances, and current experiences of learning will depend in part on previous ones, as well as on age, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, varying abilities and more.
IAFOR has several annual conferences on education across the world, exploring common themes in different ways to develop a shared research agenda which develops interdisciplinary discussion, heightens intercultural awareness and promotes international exchange.
Founded in 2009, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) is a politically independent non-partisan and non-profit interdisciplinary think tank, conference organiser and publisher. Based in Japan, its main administrative office is in Nagoya, and its research center is in The Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), a graduate school of Osaka University. IAFOR runs research programs and events in Asia, Europe and North America in partnership with universities and think tanks, and has also worked on a number of multi-sector cooperative programs and events, including collaborations with the United Nations and the Government of Japan.
Special Themes and Areas of Focus
Authors have the optional opportunity of identifying whether their paper addresses either the 2020 IAFOR Special Theme and/or one of the ongoing IAFOR Special Areas of Focus.
IAFOR 2020 Special Theme: “Embracing Difference”
At a time when nationalism and ethno-centrism have become ascendant ideologies and provide easy refuge from the anxieties generated by globalisation and economic uncertainty, it is far too easy to see “difference” as a problem rather than an opportunity. Yes, cultural, religious, linguistic, and social differences can make us uncomfortable. They can be frightening, unsettling, and intellectually challenging. At the same time, they are enormously generative. It is only through encountering cultures and belief systems unlike our own that we learn anything about the flaws and limitations inherent in our own perspectives.
“Difference” is the source of innovation and change. While negotiating the difficulties of seemingly incompatible belief systems may pose tremendous challenges to us all, the payoffs for actively seeking out, celebrating, and working to converse across profound differences are manifold. As we learn about others, we learn about ourselves. And through those encounters, we have the opportunity to chart a future in which difference does not lead to violence, intolerance, or retrenchment, but instead is celebrated as the source of our collective strength.
IAFOR Special Areas of Focus
In line with its organisational mission, IAFOR encourages, facilitates and nurtures interdisciplinary research, with an emphasis on international and intercultural perspectives. Current areas of focus of the organisation include the following ongoing collaborative programmes and initiatives.