The IAFOR North American Conference on Education, September 25-28 2014

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The International Academic Forum
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NACE Conference Theme 2014: “Transforming and Changing Education: Power, In/equalities and Social Justice”

IAFOR promotes and facilitates new multifaceted approaches to one of the core issues of our time, namely globalization 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 and transformation. As IAFOR’s previous education conferences have shown, education has the power to transform and change whilst it is also continuously transformed and changed. The theme of transforming and changing education continues into 2014 in the European, North American and Asian Conferences on Education.

Globalized 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.

In this conference – one of a series of three to be held in 2014 on transforming and changing education – participants are invited to explore the ways in which learning and teaching can be challenged and re/created through change and transformation. This conference will explore the transformative effects of education through critiques of power, in/equalities and social justice, including:


how constructs of learner identities as ‘self’ and ‘other’ are defined and acted out through spaces of marginalisation
how constructions of learner identities shape possibilities for social justice and transformation

Constructions of knowledge:

how understandings of ‘knowledge’ are constructed for learners and teachers through challenging and transforming educational inequalities
how hierarchies of ‘knowledge’ are determined and played out through constructs of power

Transformative pedagogies:

how transformative pedagogies can challenge educational inequalities
how learners and teachers can transform and change education through challenging social injustices

The role of educational institutions:

how educational institutions endorse and/or challenge educational inequalities
how hidden differences and inequalities are played out in education, and the pedagogical challenges this raises

We hope to see you at NACE2014!

Professor Sue Jackson

NACE 2014 Conference Co-Chair
Pro-Vice-Master, Learning and Teaching,
Professor of Lifelong Learning and Gender,
Birkbeck, University of London, UK

Professor Barbara Lockee

NACE 2014 Conference Co-Chair
Professor of Instructional Design and Technology
Associate Director of Educational Research and Outreach in the School of Education
Virginia Tech, USA

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