2nd International Education Forum

“So much to understand.  Education for critical thinking”

2nd International Education Forum

Gamlitz, Austria, 8-10 July 2022

Working language: English

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Background

The International Education Forum is an initiative launched by three international education experts and supported by the town of Gamlitz (and the Land Steiermark). It offers an annual space and opportunity for practitioners, education specialists, policy makers and the wider interested public to discuss and explore key concerns of education.  And it seeks to offer recommendations for action to all stakeholders in education, from learners to parents and teachers, policy makers, administrators and all those interested in the role education can and must play in creating a better world for all.

The association “International Forum for the Future of Education” (IFFE) responsible for the organisation of this forum has identified six essential levers which can make the necessary difference across all school types and educational contexts: 

  • critical thinking and thinking for oneself
  • responsible, autonomous action
  • constructive and honest communication
  • living together as equal human beings
  • sustainable production and value creation
  • learning as the central concern of education

Focus

While the first Forum in 2021 focussed on the discussion and exploration of all six levers, the 2nd International Education Forum from 8 – 10 July 2022 under the title “So much to understand. Education for critical thinking” wants to concentrate on a deeper understanding of the necessities and practicalities of developing the capacities for critical thinking across all educational contexts and ages.

When looking at what is happening around the world, and in particular in recent years and months, there can be no doubt that it looks more and more as if the capacity for critical thinking, thinking for oneself and questioning has almost disappeared from personal, public and publicised discourse.

What we are experiencing are the effects of decades of the erosion of authoritative sources of information. We do not any longer know who to turn to for a clear, rational and trustworthy picture of what is going on. Every bubble has its own experts and heroes, its own (partial) statistics, its own diction, using words that resemble each other but mean different things. Each bubble has its flock of followers and looking beyond the fence is becoming more and more difficult. Beliefs and convictions have always, to a certain extent, filtered the facts we are ready to perceive. But now we have added one more step and do not even care for facts any longer. Convictions and accounts of lived experience seem enough. Argumentation and the rules thereof have seemingly ceased to play an important role clearing the space for emotional reasoning and catchy titles.

We need to look at how this situation could come about, how it could develop. But even more so, we need to look at what we need to do to turn this tendency around. The faculty of and readiness for critical thinking is doubtlessly a central element in this endeavour. Making up one’s own mind, checking, comparing and interpreting resources, taking responsibility for what we say and checking the truth value of what we affirm are just some of the elements education needs to develop. Education needs not only to empower people to reproduce the existing but even more so to empower people to critique the existing and develop alternatives.

This is what the 2nd International Education Forum wants to explore in more depth.

The International Forum for the Future of Education is happy to provide a place, a moment in time and a structure for this exploration. We need your experience and expertise as well as  your readiness to invest time to explore these challenges together. We hope that, in this way and in the coming years, the Forum will provide regular inspiration for the way forward in education.

Practical information

The Forum takes place in Gamlitz, Austria in the centre of the wine growing region of Styria. A perfect place to combine reflection and exchange with well-being and relaxation. It starts on Friday, 8 July 2022 at 18:00 and ends on Sunday, 10 July at 14:00. The working language of the event is English. 

Venue: Haus der Vereine (to be confirmed)

More detailed information will be provided in the invitation letter.

Registration

Early bird registration until 15 May 2022

Registration closes on 15 June 2022

Late registrations are subject to available places

Registration fee

Regular fee: 90€

Early bird: 70€

PhD students: 65€

The registration fee includes 1 buffet dinner, coffee breaks and snacks throughout the event and 1 cultural event (wine tasting)

IFFE can provide support for travel arrangements, shuttle services and booking of accommodation through a local travel agency. More detailed information will be available on registration

Register HERE

The 2nd International Education Forum is sponsored by Raiffeisenbank

Draft Programme Forum

Friday, 8 July 2022

18:00 Registration, Schloss Gamlitz

19:00 Reception and buffet dinner, Schloss Gamlitz

Saturday, 9 July 2022, (venue tbc)

9:00 Opening and welcome

9:30 Introduction

10:00 Keynote 1 – on the necessity of critical thinking and questioning

10:30 Break

11:00 Keynote 2 – on education for critical thinking and questioning

  • Dr Daniela G. Camhy, Ph.D. Institute of Philosophy University of Graz

11:30 Introduction to Socratic Walks

12:00 Signing up and formation of small groups

12:30 Break

13:30 Socratic walks

17:30 Upload of interim group reports of Socratic Walks

19:30 Wine Tasting, cultural programme, venue to be decided

Sunday, 10 July 2022, (venue tbc)

9:00 Preparation of gallery tour

10:00 Gallery tour

11:30 Break

12:30 Putting things together, towards a declaration

13:30 Closing

14:00 End of 2nd International Education Forum