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The Future for Education and Learning

A poster for Friday and Saturday's conference from the Comparative and International Education Society.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 25, 2018) — The goals of education continue to be re-imagined and contested by local, national and global actors. Some believe in, others take issue with, the power of education to affect the well-being of people and the planet. Either way, they are influential voices toward the future course of education.

“Statements about the purposes of education influence policy priorities, system reforms and school realities and are critical signposts for the future evolution of education and lifelong learning,” said Aaron Benavot, professor of Educational Policy and Leadership (EPL) and a conference organizer of “Rethinking the Purposes of Education and Lifelong Learning in the 21st Century.” The two-day event, hosted this year by UAlbany and Teachers College on Friday and Saturday on the Downtown Campus, is the 2018 northeast regional conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES).

More than 150 scholars, graduate students and practitioners in the field of comparative and international education — from around the northeast region and beyond — will convene to critically explore the purposes of education and lifelong learning. Among the topics to be raised in sessions includes

  • How globalization and marketization are impacting education trends and policies worldwide
  • Whether we are at watershed moment for U.S. leadership of international higher education
  • Whether we should strive for and measure happiness as an end of education
University at Albany Professor Aaron Benavot

Professor Aaron Benavot of Educational Policy and Leadership 

More than 20 faculty and graduate students from EPL are scheduled to contribute insights from their on-going scholarship. Among them are:

  • Heinz Dieter Meyer: the “Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Ends of Education”
  • Gilbert Valverde: “Validity and educational testing in Latin America.”
  • Nahide Gelgec: the impact of financial aid on “college persistence.”
  • Rachel Sullivan: an interview study categorizing and comparing community college enrollment.
  • Catherine Kramer, Aaron Leo and Hal A. Lawson: deriving promising practices from odds-beating secondary schools in New York State.
  • Quang Chau: “Who governs American nonprofit private universities?”
  • Chengyan Meng: the bibliometrics of written publications in the field of international education.
  • David Epstein HaLevi: whether educational policy centered around eco-literacy can give birth to a society filled with love for humanity and nature.

“The critical issues raised by the conference theme have generated widespread interest among comparative and international education scholars and students in the region,” Benavot said. “We expect lively discussions and debates about how education leaders, both here and abroad, are reconsidering the future roles of education and lifelong learning, especially in the shadow of impactful social, political, economic and environmental trends.”       

CIES is a scholarly association dedicated to increasing the understanding of educational issues, trends and policies through comparative, cross-cultural and international perspectives. Founded in 1956 as the first comparative education society in the world, its nearly 3,500 individual members — researchers, analysts, practitioners and students — use a multitude of conceptual frameworks to explore topics related to education.

For further information, visit the conference website.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.