In order to promote communication and dialogues among the members of the Global Education Deans Forum (GEDF) alliance, and give play to the positive role and key influence of the deans forum in the field of global education, the Faculty of Education at the East China Normal University (ECNU) and the School of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Kansas (KU) as the joint GEDF founders, invited the deans of the alliance to launch the “GEDF Deans’ Vision of Shared Education Futures Dialogue” series event.
Through interviews and dialogues, young students and teachers are invited to discuss the educational issues and challenges faced by their countries in the post-epidemic era with the deans, explore the value and mission of education in today’s society, and probe into shared educational issues to reach a consensus, with a view to playing an active role in global education policy and practice through bilateral or multilateral research collaborations.
On the morning of June 28, 2022, the first “Global Dean’s Looking Forward to the Future” series of activities with the theme of “The Current Situation and Prospects of Global Education in the Post-epidemic Era” was successfully held and well planed by the Faculty of Education at East China Normal University.
This event featured Professor Rick GINSBERG, Dean of the School of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Kansas, as the keynote speaker. The event also featured associate Professor ZHU Gang from the Institute of International and Comparative Education at ECNU, and WANY Yashu, a doctoral student from the Department of Educational Management at ECNU (also a member of the first doctoral training program at GEDF 2019) as the panelists. The dialogue was chaired and moderated by Professor CHEN Shuangye, Associate Dean of ECNU Faculty of Education, who led the speaker and panelists discuss two major issues of online education and teacher education in the post-epidemic era, and vision the developmental prospects of education in the future. Stanton Wortham, dean of the Lynch School of Education at Boston College (USA), and Mark Barrow, dean of the Faculty of Education and Social Work at University of Auckland (New Zealand), also joined the meeting online.
At the beginning of the event Professor CHEN Shuangye briefly reflected on the historical development of the Global Education Dean Forum.
She particularly mentioned that the series of communication activities continued the tradition of GEDF, valuing the voices of young scholars and the spirit of equal dialogue, and she planned and zealously invited young teachers and students from more education colleges around the world to have dialogues with the global deans.
With that being said, the “GEDF Deans’ Vision of Shared Education Futures Dialogue” is not only a platform where the deans share their thoughts as global education leaders, but also a place where sincere communication across different generations happens and a place to pass on ideas and experiences, encouraging more young education researchers and future education leaders to advance the development of global education together.
Professor CHEN Shuangye, Associate Dean of ECNU Faculty of Education, moderated the dialogue
By reviewing the principles and goals of GEDF, dean Rick GINSBERG expressed his hope that this series of activities can provide a platform to discuss common issues in global education, stimulate the spark of thinking, and promote the development of education in many countries.
Dean Ginsberg stated that the future would face multiple challenges such as the raging global epidemic, unstable political environment and economic factors, but what he concerns is not only people’s actions to change the future, but also people’s willing to change the future.
He described and analyzed different aspects and degrees of the impact of online teaching on teachers and students, using the current situation of education in the United States during the epidemic. For examples, there have been changes in teaching methods, the emergence of social-emotional problems, coupled with declining school enrollment and financial constraints caused by the economic recession under the epidemic, all of which have been causing more and more teachers to leave their teaching jobs.
Furthermore, he has believed that the severe shortage of teachers in the future would be a major challenge for teacher education, and social-emotional education for teachers and students needs to be strengthened.
Professor Rick Ginsberg, Dean, School of Education and Human Sciences, University of Kansas, USA
As a student representative who participated in the first global doctoral training program of the 2019 Global Education Dean’s Forum, WANG Yashu, now a third-year Ph.D. student, reflected on the original training process at GEDF and expressed that she benefited a lot from GEDF events.
She hopes that GEDF will continue to open up more exchange opportunities and training programs for students in education, so that education scholars around the world can participate in global education governance together. She also asked a question to dean Ginsberg on how the school of education can help teachers cope with the changes in online teaching technology during the epidemic.
Representative of doctoral students: Wang Yashu, doctoral student at the Department of Educational Management, ECNU Faculty of Education, China
As a researcher in the field of teacher education and a representative of young scholars, associate professor ZHU Gang regarded teachers as the most important factor affecting students’ academic achievement. With a background of researching and helping the construction of rural teachers, he asked Professor Ginsberg questions about the innovative methods of promoting teachers’ innovative online teaching and students’ social-emotional learning in the process of training pre-service teachers using cases from the University of Kansas, questions about the future trends of developing university faculty and alternative faculty training program in the United States, and questions on ways to improve the current work environment for teachers and enhance the attractiveness of the teaching profession.
Faculty Representative: Associate Professor Zhu Gang, Institute of International and Comparative Education, ECNU Faculty of Education, China
After answering those questions from student and faculty representatives, Dean Ginsberg emphasized that GEDF has always valued importance to the cultivation of international talents, and hopes that the students can discuss common education issues across national borders and initiate relevant project collaboration on possible solutions. He added that GEDF would continue to invite more students to participate in its online and offline communication activities and programs in the future.
Regarding the transformation of educational technology, Dean Ginsberg pointed out that the online teaching technology has made great progress globally. Teachers should not only learn how to use advanced teaching technology in actions, but also be aware of the existence of such technology in their mentality and not to be left behind when offline teaching resumes, which will truly bring technology to be used in classrooms.
Through the communication and dialogue, dean Ginsberg indicated that China, the United States and other countries in the world have confronted similar challenges in the application of educational technology and new educational issues. Therefore, GEDF would be a platform to help us tackle the problems and to search for solutions.
Professor Stanton Wortham, dean of Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College, USA
Having talked about the current situation of education in the post-epidemic period, this event focused on the two major themes of online teaching and teacher education. The audience actively participated in the interactive discussion. For example, professor Stanton Wortham, dean of Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College also joined this event. He said that this event enabled him to further understand the current situation and challenges of education in China and the United States, and hoped that the series of events could continue to provide more educational lessons for global education.
(Video link to the full conversation: http://www.ed.ecnu.edu.cn/en/?video=the-current-situation-and-the-prospect-of-global-education-in-the-post-pandemic-period）
Announcement for the next event:
The second “GEDF Deans’ Vision of Shared Education Futures Dialogue” series event is expected to be held online mid-September on the theme of Postgraduate Education and International Student Experience in a Post-Pandemic Period. Professor Richard Andrews, dean of the Moray House School of Education and Sport at the University of Edinburgh will serve as the keynote speaker, and a few young teachers and students from the University of Kansas will ask questions and communicate as panelists. Stay tuned!
Source: International Affairs Division of the Faculty of Education