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The Potential of Education for Integration
22 – 26 June 2020 in Berlin, Germany
The Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI) is pleased to announce the Georg Arnhold International Summer Conference, which will take place in Berlin, Germany, from 22 to 26 June 2020. The Summer Conference will explore the Potential of Education for Integration.
This year’s conference will examine the interaction between education and the social integration of migrants, refugees and displaced persons, (national) minorities and indigenous societies. Delegates will discuss integration concepts that accommodate regional differences in education systems, resources and social conditions.
The right of every person to education is laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948, Article 26). Fulfilling this right in circumstances of migration, expulsion and displacement has been a concern for many states that have experienced an upsurge in migrants, refugees and displaced people and communities within their populations in the last few years. The subsequent demographic changes require a perspective shift in terms of education planning and coordinated measures at both regional and global levels. Flexibility in school and education systems, qualified teaching staff, innovative education resources and a generally open learning environment that encourages diversity facilitate equal access to high quality education. Integrative education is the key to active participation, non-discrimination and the promotion of peace and prevention of violence within an inclusive and cohesive society.
In 2016 all 193 members of the UN signed the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which confronted the challenges presented by the increasing global flow of migration and refugees. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was subsequently also adopted to address the education dimension and its potential within a comprehensive cooperative framework aimed at finding ways to organize and improve the global situation for migrants. Additionally, The Global Compact on Refugees, agreed in 2018, focusses on the protection of refugees. The agreement reinforces the guidelines on Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 4 on quality education, and contains a support strategy to guarantee access to education for refugees as well as their integration into national education systems. In contrast to earlier approaches using parallel education models for refugees, there is now a general consensus that integrative models for refugee education are preferable.
A best-practice scenario for integrative education envisages refugee and local children being taught together in intercultural classrooms – from pre-school to higher education. This would guarantee that pupils and students learn relevant content from qualified teachers and enable them to gain formal qualifications themselves. Many education projects and products around the world address regional differences in political, economic and social situations and the associated requirements and opportunities for education. In view of the variety in refugees’ backgrounds and current circumstances around the world this best practice example is, however, a long way from being achieved. A range of national and international studies have also demonstrated that the potential and limitations of integrative education should be considered in conjunction with familial, social and national backgrounds. In addition to the psychological state of refugees in particular, integration into the host community plays just as important a role in access to education and its success as the linguistic and political discourse of the host society.
The GEI invites original contributions to its summer conference that are based in different contexts, current theories and innovative methodologies, in order to explore the potential of integrative education for wider integration but also to examine the associated challenges. We are principally, but not exclusively, interested in papers that address the following questions and topics:
- Theories and methods
How are integration and integration concepts defined? How are integrative and non-discriminatory educative practices specified?
- Curricula and educational media
How should national and international curricula and educational media be designed, linguistically and in terms of content, in order to avoid exclusion and to maintain and promote peace within societies?
- Lessons and teaching staff
What challenges are faced by teaching staff in relation to integrative teaching? How can teachers be sufficiently prepared for these new challenges? What kind of teaching and lesson content is required, in order to ensure suitable conditions in which refugees can integrate and continue to develop?
What kind of challenges and problems are refugees confronted with in regards to education around the world? Are there best-practice solutions to overcoming difficulties that can be applied globally?
Applicants are requested to explain how their proposal addresses the theme of the Summer Conference as outlined above.
The five-day long Summer Conference will bring together early-career scholars, senior researchers, and practitioners from around the world who work on refugee issues, migration and integration in relation to education. It will provide an interdisciplinary and international forum that will allow participants to debate and critically reflect upon key research questions, methods, findings, and their implications. The academic program will offer participants the opportunity to widen their research perspectives and improve their methodological competencies.
Workshop – The IRC Incubator
Part of the Summer Conference is an incubator session organized and facilitated by the Airbel Impact Lab, which is the research and innovation arm of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). This day-long session will take place as part of the conference in order to explore connections between the IRC’s work and the academic efforts of researchers selected to attend. The Symposium participants will use design methods and mindsets to think through practical ways of improving the impact of their work and/or increasing its application. It will also help identify synergies between researchers’ work, and IRC programming.
All attendees of the summer conference will be welcome to join the incubator and will be eligible for selection to participate in a fellowship with the IRC. Up to 5 individuals will be selected to undertake fellowships with the IRC. These individuals will travel to one of IRC’s field locations for about 2 weeks, and work closely with IRC staff to undertake work which furthers both the IRC’s and the fellows’ interests.
You can find more detailed information about the incubator and the fellowship with the IRC at our website. There you will also find a catalogue of questions that will help us evaluate your specific interest in the fellowship and how your work relates to IRC projects.
HOW TO APPLY
The Summer Conference primarily welcomes applications from doctoral candidates and post-doctoral scholars from the humanities and social sciences, particularly education, history, political sciences, sociology, law, anthropology, and psychology. Practitioners working for international organizations and NGOs in the relevant fields are also welcome to apply. Applications from students enrolled in a master’s program and recent graduates with a master’s degree will be considered in exceptional cases.
The GEI invites suitable applicants to complete and submit an application form, which can be downloaded at our website:
The deadline for completed applications is February 23, 2020. Successful applicants will be notified by mid-April.
The working language of the Summer Conference will be English. No registration fees apply. Accommodation and meals will be provided for all participants, and economy-class travel expenses will be reimbursed.The GEI plans to publish the proceedings of the Summer Conferenceand will ask participants and experts to submit articles for publication based on their presentations. A first draft of your presentation, not yet for publication, shall be sent to the organizers by June 15, 2020.