1. Intersectionality in Education and Educational Research
Educational institutions and research face the difficulty of recognizing and analyzing inequalities in a monocausal way: not only must the different characteristics and dimensions of diversity be considered, but also their intersectionality. The study of intersectionality, understood as the nexus of multiple dimensions and modalities of social relations and subject formations and multidimensionality of human experiences, has its origins in feminism studies. Intersectionality emerged specifically as a critique of classical "white" feminism in the western world, considered discriminatory in comparison to women of other origins. Although the theory originates as an interconnection between gender, identity, and ethnicity, in recent years intersectionality has had a considerable resonance in various disciplines to bring out oppression, social discrimination and transversal multi-perspectivity. In the last decade, also in educational science there has been a growing international interest in the intertwining of power relations and inequalities in relation to migration, ethnicity, gender, language, socio-economic class, capital structure, disability, and political and religious orientation that deserves special attention in educational research and practice. Although it is not determining, individuals with direct migration experiences run the risk of multiple disadvantages in educational institutions; for example, the impact of low skills in the national language of the new country of residence and the losses in social, cultural, and economic capital that all too often accompany migration processes. However, education systems can make the difference and this conference theme aims at cultivating international debates on intersectionality with the aim to promote diversity, sense of belonging, inclusion and equity in education. It invites educational researchers and practitioners to propose and discuss related theoretical, methodological, and empirical papers.
2. Epistemic Violence, Postcolonial Education and Critical Participation
Epistemic violence constructs the connection between knowledge, domination, and violence in the colonial modernity of our present. Especially socially marginalized groups are mostly affected by epistemic violence as knowledge production and hegemonies are intertwined. Discourses are produced through practices of representation and racialized knowledge about the “other”. Educational institutions are permeated by epistemic violence, especially when it comes to whose and which knowledge is defined as legitimate, worthy of recognition, objective and universally valid. Knowledge and the power to define what counts as real knowledge lie at the epistemic core of colonialism. In educational institutions we are still lacking effective postcolonial educational approaches and pedagogical strategies for participation that disrupt practices of hierarchy and authority while encouraging processes of decoupling, delinking and unlearning colonial power structures. The classroom and other educational spaces may be used to foster equality by increasing the effort in including (the voice of) everyone. In this strand we will deal with questions on how we can develop postcolonial and critical participatory approaches in educational institutions. Is it even possible for educators or researchers to give voice to others? How can power be critically questioned within participatory approaches? How do we deconstruct dominant ideologies that create power differences? Educational actors are invited to propose and discuss related theoretical, methodological, and empirical papers.
3. Peace Education and Transformative Pedagogies
How can education change in ways that promote peace, diversity, inclusion, recognition and both globalized and localized justice and wellbeing? Peace Education builds on the assumption that attitudes and behavior can be positively influenced through education, in fact, that peace can be learned. Peace education addresses issues such as how to overcome violence and war, how to empower people to deal with conflict constructively, and how to promote a culture of peace on the individual, societal and collective level. A big concern is the transformation of structures of inequality, exploitation and violence towards structures of solidarity and care. Transformation involves a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thought, feelings and actions. It is a shift that dramatically alters our way of being in the world and our actions. How can we create peaceful visions of the future, new political imaginations and transformative pedagogies and practices that promote social change and peace? What transformative strategies and practices do already exist? This conference aims at encouraging international debates on educational approaches that promote peace, and invites educational researchers to propose and discuss related theoretical, methodological, and empirical papers.
4. Social, Health and Climate Crises Affecting Education
In the context of globally increasing ecological and social crisis and still under the impact of the Covid-19-pandemic, approaches of transformative pedagogy in the context of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) have gained increasing importance in the field of educational practice as well as in scientific research. A critical and transformatory approach promotes a reflection of ecological and sustainability-related problems in their respective regional and social contexts, and aims at changing attitudes and behaviors as a basis for individual and collective courses of action. Including an intercultural and postcolonial perspective, this also implies a critical discussion on economy-based concepts of development and calls for alternative concepts of sustainability and critical-emancipatory approaches. Regional differences in the interpretation of these concepts raise several questions on the objectives and the implementation in pedagogical settings, e.g., how can these approaches contribute to the transformation of societies and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the Agenda 2030? To which degree educational practices and research consider the participation of individuals and social groups in transformatory learning processes? The conference theme aims to inspire international debates and invites educational researchers and practitioners to propose and discuss related theoretical, methodological and empirical papers.
5. Critical Intercultural Competence and Practice
Intercultural competence has become almost self-evident in many fields. "Being" interculturally competent or "having" intercultural competence(s) is practically a requirement in job advertisements, as well as the expectation to learn intercultural competences is found in many curricula of academic and training offers. Critical perspectives on the subject of intercultural communication and intercultural competences have already pointed out the persistence of closed and essentialist understandings of culture and the inability to transcend methodological nationalism, the Westernised and economistic view of intercultural competences and the ignorance of dominant power structures as well as the lack of a critical postcolonial view.
The aim of this strand is to critically discuss the status and relevance of the topic of intercultural competences in order to rethink intercultural practice and its links to the fields of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in formal and informal education processes and in everyday life itself.
What is the current state of the discussion on intercultural competences and intercultural practice? How relevant is this topic still? From which perspectives and understandings is the topic of intercultural competences understood today? How can intercultural practice be rethought from more critical, inclusive and postcolonial perspectives? What kind of research is currently being carried out? How to rethink the issue of intercultural competences and intercultural practice in a context of action in postdigital times, that is in the continuity of "online" and "offline" life? What developments are there in methods for training intercultural competences? How does the topic relate to perspectives on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging?
6. Learning Strategies and Teacher Education for DEIB+
As schools have become more and more diverse, (future) teachers need to be prepared to teach heterogenous groups of learners and promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the classroom. This strand discusses different learning strategies such as cooperative forms of learning as a possibility to support learners with different needs. Thus, different strategies, practices and approaches that promote inclusive classrooms and schools are discussed. We question whether cooperative learning opportunities as well as other approaches promote mutual respect and reduce prejudices among heterogenous student groups and ask for the challenges teachers and educators face in their daily work. Researchers are also invited to present their works on how cooperative learning and other forms of learning in which students are actively involved is taught in teacher education.
7. Populist Discourses, Civic and Community Education
The strand seeks to focus on ways in which civic and community education can provide alternative contexts for non-formal learning which critically engage with the narratives of populist discourses. The strand is premised on the ubiquity of populism, a phenomenon stretching beyond conventional discursive channels of communication. This is reflected in the increasing atomization of contemporary collective life where societal complexities are frequently reduced to soundbites, slogans and emotive narratives. This poses challenges and opportunities for civil society at the local level whereby processes of intercultural, inter-sectional and inter-generational discourse and action can be developed. Accordingly, strand contributions are invited from those who are involved in policy and practice, research and theoretical discussion focused on the role of local institutions such as neighborhood projects, religious institutions, and youth and community bodies, in the production of effective knowledge and understanding. In addition, contributions on methodological questions of research on the strand topic and didactical questions on the conception and implementation of corresponding educational projects are welcome.
8. Multilingualism and Language Education for DEIB+
Educational settings are shaped by the multilingualism of the learners, the teachers, the institution and the wider sociocultural environment. Moreover, due to migration, travel and digitalization, the relevance of multilingual approaches to language education is likely to increase further in the future. So far, research has shown that learners can benefit from an early start in multilingual and intercultural education. However, multilingual advantages will decline unless they are explicitly and continuously fostered by teachers and educators. It is therefore crucial to develop pedagogical concepts for multilingually-sensitive teaching at all school levels as well as in higher education. In that regard, learners’ proficiency in the heritage language(s), in the instructional language(s) and in additionally known languages can be influential. This also includes different language varieties and dialects as well as the use of nonverbal and multimodal semiotic resources. Furthermore, teachers’ awareness and use of their own multilingual resources is crucial, as it can support the development of students’ language awareness and learning success. Multilingual approaches should therefore be considered as a key element of pedagogical practice and teachers’ professional development. Through an appreciation of diversity, they can contribute to greater educational equity, facilitate inclusion, and increase individual’s sense of belonging in educational institutions. This strand invites researchers and practitioners to present their theoretical, methodological, and empirical works on language education and multilingualism that aim at promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging.
9. Gender Theory and Practice in Teaching and Education
To decrease gender-related imbalances in various areas of life, the dismantling and tackling of gender stereotypes and prejudices is necessary from early childhood education to lifelong learning. Queer pedagogy analyzes societal fluidity and mobility with the aim of contributing to practices of education and of counteracting exclusion and marginalization of those who do not live up to a predefined standard, naturalized by trivial heteronormativity. Therefore, it is essentially needed to question how education can support gender identity, sense of belonging and inclusion in institutions and society as well as the impact of measures on educational outcomes. Educators and researchers may be prompted to consider how their teaching methods and philosophical foundations perpetuate social norms like heteronormativity by queer theory and pedagogy. Therefore, this conference theme invites educational researchers to propose and discuss related questions such as: How can educational professionals become more gender sensitive? What do we mean by gender equality in education, and how can we measure it? How can gender equality in and through education be achieved? How can queer theory be sustainably embedded in education to become more diversity-sensitive, equal and inclusive?
10. DEIB+ and New Technologies
How can new technologies help to establish diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in formal and informal education processes? And what are the challenges and threats of new technologies including AI for DEIB+? Advanced technologies such as VR, VW and AI might change the world of education and offer new opportunities for cross-cultural and cross-national collaboration. Although research on multimedia learning increasingly considers affective, motivational, social, and cultural processes and aspects in addition to cognitive processes, only a few moderating factors are taken into account besides prior (domain) knowledge of the learners. However, the consideration of further moderator variables might be essential to adopt a DEIB+ perspective more strongly in the research on multimedia learning in the future. At the same time, one can question whether moderator variables are sufficient to achieve a paradigm shift to a DEIB+ perspective, or whether a completely new approach to research on multimedia learning is needed to rethink and reflect on the use of new technologies.
- Jun.-Prof. Dr. Barbara Gross
- Prof. Dr. Mungai Njoroge
- Prof. Dr. Martha Montero-Sieburth
- M.A. Anja Bartl-Lassati
- Jun.-Prof. Dr. Yolanda López García
- Prof. Dr. Meike Breuer
- Prof. Dr. Birgit Glorius
- Prof. Dr. Leslie Bash
- Prof. Dr. Günter Daniel Rey
- Prof. Dr. Miri Shonfeld
- Jun.-Prof. Dr. Jennifer Schluer
- Ms. Hana Alhadi
- Prof. Dr. Agostino Portera
- Prof. Dr. Iidiko Lazar
- Prof. Dr. Nektaria Palaiologou
- Prof. Dr. Marija Bartulović
- Dr. Mattia Baiutti
- Prof. Dr. Barry Van Driel
- Prof. Dr. Barbara Kušević
- M.A. Domiziana Turcatti