OCIES members might want to save the date for the 3rd WCCES Symposium, which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal from 6-8 July! For more details check out WCCES main website: www.wcces-online.org

The advent of Wikipedia, Google, and several online learning institutions is challenging the conventional role of a teacher, who hitherto acted as a “sage on the stage”. Information is literally at the fingertips of learners, nevertheless the challenge of converting it into actionable knowledge still remains. Even artificial intelligence systems today are not advanced enough to replace the human teacher. It is highly likely that several components of teaching delivery may be taken over by technology in the times to come, however the role of a human teacher as a mentor, guide, and researcher is hard to be replaced. In the current global context, teachers at all levels of the education system face formidable challenges, such as the need to help future generations of citizens develop humanist values, dealing with rapid technological changes that affect their roles, identities and work, freeing themselves and their students from the grip of consumerism fueled by world markets. In the framework of comparative education, this symposium aims to attract views, experiences and insights from research on the teaching profession from different parts of the world, with an eye on these challenges. It would indeed help in understanding the multi-faceted role of a teacher today and tomorrow from varied cultural, linguistic, political and geographical perspectives.

Questions for Consideration

• How can the teaching profession rise to the call in the SDGs towards the promotion of the idea and requirements to nurture shared values caring for our local and global, social and physical environment in recognition of our common humanity?

• How can the teaching profession and teachers in the framework of comparative education promote and uphold common values recognizing our mutual dependence?

• What processes are taking place and/or can be envisioned to leverage the constructive impact of the education systems in different parts of the world?

• How can the technology be conceived as an effective tool that can help achieve the humanistic values and goals?

• What role can comparative education/educators/researchers play in protecting and fostering teachers’ freedoms when these are threatened?

• How can autonomous and critical thinking be applied in teaching and research to overcome the challenge of sustaining and promoting academic freedom?

• Can cross-national comparisons of values education be performed from the lower to higher levels of education systems?

• What are the implications for gender equity and values education as in many national contexts there is a gendered structure of the teaching profession characterized by a feminization of the lower levels while the upper levels, especially in the universities, are dominated by the male teachers and researchers?