Keynote Speakers

Professor Sohail Inayatullah, Ph. D., UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies, Sejahtera Centre for Sustainability and Humanity, IIUM. Tamkang University, Futurist-in residence, Government of Abu Dhabi, Department of Culture and Tourism

EDUCATIONAL FUTURES IN DISRUPTIVE TIMES

Previous pandemics led to numerous changes in public health including advancements in sanitation, vaccinations, and antibiotics. Education however remained based on the factory narrative with students compliant and teachers as wardens. COVID-19 will likely not just change health policy in the next fifty years, but it might also shift how we teach and learn: where, when, and how.

In the past two years, I have run nearly 100 futures thinking workshops assisting individuals, communities, businesses, nation-states, and international organizations to develop transformative educational strategies for a post-COVID world. For the purposes of this speech, I focus on four projects and use the other as insights to reflect on the futures of education in disruptive times.

The first is an intervention with a private high school in Brisbane where after exploring scenarios of education, we developed a new preferred future for 2030. The second is a project for East China Normal University where we conducted online workshops to help the PRC move from the current zoo model of education (as participants described it) to a model based on play, what they called the Disney playground. The third is a project for a medical research centre where we focused on rethinking not just funding models for science but the nature of the "laboratory". The final case study is an educational intervention for a progressive Catholic educational system where we first focused on moving the discourse from the view of the student from the generic suit to the tailored-made suit and then developed the responses from teachers and principals.

All case studies conclude that we are moving away from the factory model to a new framework wherein by 2050 we will learn anywhere, anytime, from anyone.

Keywords: Futures studies, narrative transformation, educational paradigms.

Professor Milena Ivanuš Grmek, Ph. D. Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Maribor, Slovenia

HOW TO REALIZE STUDENT- AND TEACHER-CENTRED LEARNING AND TEACHING IN HIGHER EDUCATION?

The Bologna reform processes in higher education in Europe and in the development documents of universities have increasingly started to use the term "student-centered learning and teaching", and today it is used as a synonym for quality educational activity at universities. Student-centered learning and teaching enables students to actively participate and influence the study process, as well as control their own learning. It is evident in the meaningful use of teaching methods and forms, teachers' attitudes towards students, emphasis on formative assessment with a greater role of feedback and, certainly, when using various interrelated elements that contribute to effective student-centered learning and teaching: e.g. support for higher education teachers and associates with the help of training, technology-based learning and teaching, a stimulating teaching environment, wide access to academic libraries...

The paper will present how students perceive student-centered learning and teaching. The results of the research in which students from the University of Maribor participated warn us that higher education teachers use different methods and techniques in the implementation of the study process, among which lectures and frontal teaching forms predominate, as well as group work and work in pairs.Lectures are undoubtedly needed for higher education learning and teaching, especially in the case of processing demanding teaching content. However, it should be borne in mind that student-centered teaching and learning approaches can be introduced into frontal teaching. These are interactive lectures that enable students to be actively involved and to participate.

Keywords: Higher education, higher education didactics, student-centered learning and teaching, teaching methods and forms.

Associate Professor Tomislav Topolovčan, Ph. D., Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Zagreb, Croatia

THE UNKNOWN ABOUT THE KNOWN: MYTHS ABOUT TEACHING, SCHOOL, LEARNING, INSTRUCTION AND EDUCATION

Education, teaching and schooling are dynamic phenomena. It is evident that what is important for achieving the desired educational goals of teaching in one class, school, group of students and individuals is not important in other classes, schools, groups and individuals. It is therefore reasonable to say that education is a multivariate process and the result of that process is affected by a number of more or less interrelated factors. It is an immanent feature of every science, including the science of education, development and variability. 

The research methodology that enables the formation of scientific knowledge, but also their refutation, significantly contributes to this. However, due to certain historical, value, social and cultural characteristics of the age in which we live, certain myths about education, learning, schooling, teaching and instruction have emerged. These are myths because they have never been significantly proved or verified, just as they have no practical or methodological basis. Because of their exoticism and appeal, myths about education exist in part of the social public. In this regard, it is necessary to point out and question the real significance and existence of phenomena/myths in education such as quantification of the dale cone of experiences, learning styles, use of 10% of the brain in learning and individual learning strategies. 

It is also followed by an examination of teaching communication, the role of human intelligence in learning, the importance of digital technology in teaching and the effects of education on society. Questioning and recognizing the myths about education is not a relativization or denial of all previous knowledge about education, schooling, learning and teaching, but a call for the future as persistent, detailed and critical research of these phenomena.

Keywords: Didactics, education research methodology, myths, teaching, education, instruction, school, learning.

Associate Professor Renata Jukić, Ph. D., Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia

WHAT AWAITS TEACHERS IN THE FUTURE?

We are designing the future; it is not out there yet! Teaching and learning is changing with the varying characteristics of the generations. It goes far beyond classrooms and official curricula, and as the needs of future children change, so do teachers grow and change. Education must be focused on the future because its primary role is to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to participate effectively in the present and future.

Recently, Generation Alpha students have also started sitting at the school desks. These are children born between 2010 and 2025 who live in the digital world and prefer the virtual environment to the physical one. They are used to rapid change and content sharing, constant availability, and immediacy, which makes them impatient with the linear system that prevails in traditional education. They have no patience for frontal teaching and graded logic. We need to predict the future of teaching. We can expect changes in digitalization, virtualization, gamification of teaching, but also at the level of content. Teachers will have to be digitally "competitive" with the future children and be equipped with knowledge and skills related to contents that are more interesting for the new generations (Prensky calls it "future content" - digital and technological content, nanotechnology, sustainable development, genomes, ethical content, politics, sociology, languages...). They must also apply methods and ways of working adapted to a multimodal environment and master the means of communication of future generations. Many authors warn about the possible dangers of the dominance of the digital environment in the lives of children and adolescents, especially possible memory and concentration disorders, loss of empathy and social competencies, problems in the socialization process, and the development of addictions. It is extremely important to prepare for these challenges and to strengthen teachers in their social competencies. Therefore, various forward-looking researches in didactics direct the teachers of the future to the pedagogy of relationships, the development of relationships with students, collaborative learning, the design of the teaching process, flipped classrooms, case studies, learning in different environments, the individualization of teaching, research and experiential learning, etc.

Right now, we are already late in designing the education system of the future! Since teachers are the key to the success of the teaching process, it is important to think about how they prepare for the communication style and language of future children, provide the knowledge and skills that these children need, and create an educational process that supports them in their cognitive, affective, and psychomotor development and maturation.

Keywords: Future, teacher, competencies, alpha generation.

DIDACTIC CHALLENGES IV                                                                                                                                                                                   Osijek, 26-27 May 2022                                                                                                                                                                                       Cara Hadrijana 10, 31000 Osijek                                                                                                                            didacticchallenges@gmail.com
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