• 1. Intersectionality in Education and Educational Research

    Educational institutions and research are faced with the difficult task of recognizing and analyzing inequalities: 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 identity formation, and the multidimensionality of human experience, has its origins in feminism studies. Intersectionality emerged specifically as a critique of classical "white" feminism in the western world, which was considered discriminatory with regard to women of other origins. Although the theory had its origins in the interconnection between gender, identity, and ethnicity, in recent years intersectionality has had considerable resonance in a range of disciplines, highlighting oppression, social discrimination and transversal multi-perspectivity. In the last decade, educational science has also seen growing international interest in the intertwining of power relations and inequalities relating to migration, ethnicity, gender, language, socio-economic class, capital structure, disability, and political and religious orientation; these issues merit special attention in educational research and practice. Although it is not a decisive factor, individuals with direct experience of migration are at risk of multiple disadvantages in educational institutions; for example, the impact of lack of 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. However, education systems can make a difference here and this conference theme aims to foster international debate on intersectionality with a view to promoting diversity, a sense of belonging, inclusion, and equity in education. Educational researchers and practitioners are invited to propose and discuss related theoretical, methodological, and empirical papers. 

  • 2. Epistemic Violence, Postcolonial Education and Critical Participation

    Epistemic violence constructs a connection between knowledge, domination, and violence in the colonial reality of modernity. Socially marginalized groups are most severely affected by epistemic violence as a result of the intertwining of knowledge production and hegemony. Discourses are generated through racialized knowledge about, and the racialized representation of, the “other”. Educational institutions are permeated by epistemic violence, especially when it comes to whose knowledge and which knowledge is defined as legitimate, worthy of recognition, objective and universally valid. Knowledge and the power to define what it consists in lie at the epistemic core of colonialism. Educational institutions continue to lack effective postcolonial approaches and participation strategies that disrupt practices of hierarchy and authority and encourage the decoupling, delinking, and unlearning of colonial power structures. The classroom and other educational spaces may be used to foster equality by increasing the effort to include everyone (and all voices). In this strand we will deal with questions of how educational institutions can develop postcolonial and critical participatory approaches. Is it even possible for educators and/or researchers to give others a voice? How can power be critically questioned within participatory approaches? How do we deconstruct dominant ideologies that create power imbalances? Educational stakeholders are invited to propose and discuss related theoretical, methodological, and empirical papers. 

  • 3. Peace Education and Transformative Pedagogies

    How can education change to 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 by education; on the assumption that peace can in fact 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 at the individual, societal and global level. A big concern is the transformation of inequitable and exploitative structures and the challenging of violence towards structures of solidarity and care. Transformation involves a deep 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 outlooks and transformative pedagogies and practices that promote social change and peace? What transformative strategies and practices are already in existence? This theme aims to encourage international debate on educational approaches to promote peace, and invites researchers to propose and discuss related theoretical, methodological, and empirical papers. 

  • 4. Towards Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development – Critical, Postcolonial, Contextual, and Intercultural Approaches

    The growing global ecological and social crisis, and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19-pandemic, have made critical transformative pedagogies in the context of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) even more relevant. These critical and transformative approaches promote reflection on ecological and social problems in regional and social contexts and aim to change attitudes and behaviors as a basis for individual and collective courses of action. Moreover, an intercultural and postcolonial perspective also implies critical discussion of economy-based approaches to development and calls for alternative ideas of sustainability and critical, postcolonial approaches. Regional differences in the interpretation of these concepts raise questions about social and ecological objectives and how to deliver them in pedagogical settings. We ask, for instance, how such critical, postcolonial, contextual and intercultural approaches are contributing to social transformation and to (reshaping) the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030? To what extent do educational policies, practices, and research encourage individuals and social groups to participate in transformative educational processes? This strand invites educational researchers and practitioners to present theoretical and empirical papers that consider the tensions between ESD / SDG and critical, postcolonial, contextual, and intercultural approaches. 

  • 5. Critical Intercultural Competence and Practice

    Intercultural competence is now practically taken as read in many fields. "Being" interculturally competent or "having" intercultural competence(s) is included as a requirement in job advertisements, and many academic and training curricula expect participants to acquire intercultural competences. Critical perspectives on the subject of intercultural communication and intercultural competences have already highlighted the persistence of closed and essentialist understandings of culture and the inability to transcend methodological nationalism, Westernized, economistic views of intercultural competences, ignorance of dominant power structures and the lack of a critical postcolonial viewpoint. 
    The aim of this strand is to critically discuss the status and relevance of intercultural competences with a view to rethinking intercultural practice and its links to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in formal and informal education and in everyday life more generally. 
    What is the current state of discussion on intercultural competences and intercultural practice? How relevant is this topic? Which perspectives and understandings are brought to the topic of intercultural competences today? How can intercultural practice be rethought from more critical, inclusive, and postcolonial perspectives? What kind of research is currently being carried out? How can we rethink intercultural competences and intercultural practice in the context of the postdigital era and the discontinuities between "online" and "offline" life? How are methods for training intercultural competences developing? 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 increasingly diverse, (future) teachers need to be trained to teach heterogenous groups of learners and promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the classroom. This strand discusses the potential of a variety of learning strategies such as cooperative learning to support learners with different needs. Different strategies, practices, and approaches to fostering inclusive classrooms and schools will thus be discussed. We will ask whether cooperative learning techniques and similar approaches can promote mutual respect and reduce prejudice within heterogeneous student groups, and we will consider the challenges faced by teachers and educators in their day-to-day work. Researchers are also invited to present work on how cooperative and other forms of learning involving active participation by students are taught in teacher education. 

  • 7. Populist Discourses, Civic and Community Education

    This strand focuses on ways in which civic and community education can provide alternative contexts for non-formal learning that engages critically with populist discourses and narratives. Populism is a ubiquitous phenomenon stretching beyond conventional, discursive channels of communication, and this is reflected in the increasing atomization of contemporary collective life, with societal complexities frequently being reduced to soundbites, slogans, and emotive narratives. This poses challenges for civil society at local level but also presents opportunities to develop intercultural, inter-sectional and inter-generational discourse and action. Contributions are accordingly invited from those involved in policy, practice, research and theory with regard to the role of local institutions (such as neighborhood projects, religious institutions, and youth and community bodies) in the production of knowledge and understanding. In addition, contributions will be welcome on research methodologies relating to the strand and the design and delivery of associated educational projects. 

  • 8. Multilingualism and Language Education for DEIB+

    Educational settings are shaped by the multilingualism of learners, teachers, institutions and the wider sociocultural environment. Moreover, due to migration, travel and digitalization, multilingual approaches to language education are likely to become increasingly relevant in the future. So far, research has shown that learners can benefit from getting an early start in multilingual and intercultural education. However, the advantages of multilingualism decline unless they are explicitly and continuously fostered by teachers and educators. It is therefore crucial to develop pedagogical approaches to promote multilingually-sensitive teaching at all levels including in higher education. In that regard, learners’ proficiency in their heritage language(s), the language(s) of instruction and other languages can be influential. These include language variants and dialects as well as nonverbal and multimodal semiotic resources. Teachers’ multilingual awareness and use of their own multilingual resources is crucial, as it can support students’ language awareness and help them achieve. Multilingual approaches should therefore be considered a key element of pedagogical practice and of teachers’ professional development. An appreciation of diversity enables them to foster greater educational equity, facilitate inclusion, and increase individuals’ sense of belonging within educational institutions. This strand invites researchers and practitioners to present theoretical, methodological, and empirical work on language education and multilingualism that aims to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging. 

  • 9. Gender Theory and Practice in Teaching and Education

    If gender-related imbalances in various areas of life are to be evened out, gender stereotypes and prejudices must be tackled and dismantled at all levels, from early childhood education to lifelong learning. Queer pedagogy analyses societal fluidity and mobility with the aim of contributing to educational practices and of counteracting the exclusion and marginalization of those who do not live up to a predefined, trivially heteronormative standard. Therefore, it is essential to consider how education can support gender identity, sense of belonging and inclusion in institutions and society, and the impact of such measures on educational outcomes. Educators and researchers may want to consider how their teaching methods and philosophies perpetuate social norms such as heteronormativity. This conference theme thus invites educational researchers to propose and discuss 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 be achieved in and through education? How can queer theory be sustainably embedded in education, helping it to become more diversity-sensitive, equal, and inclusive? 

  • 10. DEIB+ and New Technologies

    How can new technologies help to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in formal and informal education? And what are the challenges and threats of new technologies – including AI – for DEIB+? Advanced technologies such as VR, VW and AI could change educational environments and offer new opportunities for cross-cultural and cross-national collaboration. Although research on multimedia learning increasingly considers affective, motivational, social, and cultural issues as well as cognitive processes, besides learners’ prior knowledge, only a limited number of factors are taken into account. However, consideration of other moderating variables is likely to be essential to taking a more DEIB+-focused approach to multimedia learning research in future. At the same time, the question arises as to whether moderator variables will be sufficient to achieve the shift to DEIB+, or whether a completely new approach to multimedia learning research is necessary, along with a rethinking of new technologies and further reflection on their use.