enero 7, 2013

ICSEI 2013: A landmark in education that sets the course

After 4 days of intense activity held from the January 3rd to 6th at the Sheraton Hotel in Santiago, the 2013 26th version of ICSEI organized by Fundación Chile and the University of Toronto culminated successfully.

The event, where more than 200 research papers were presented, was characterizedby the high level of the exponents and main speakers, among whom were Michael Fullan, the most important school improvement expert in the world and emeritus professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto; Marlene Scardamalia, professor at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto and a researcher in cognitive development and educational uses of TIC; Emiliana Vegas, expert in education and senior economist at the Department of Human Development of the World Bank; Henry Levin, professor at Columbia University and expert on privatization of education; and Sara Ruto, regional responsible for the «Uwezo» initiative, that is dedicated to improving educational skills for children in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

As a way to dialogue about Chilean education and to allow foreign investigators to learn its characteristics and challenges, the congress also included the so-called «Chilean Showcase», that developed the topic «Subvención escolar preferencial: política educacional sobre calidad y equidad (Preferential school subsidy: educational policy on quality and equity)» through a  panel discussionthat was integrated by the Secretary of Education, Fernando Rojas; the Chairman of the National Council of Education, Ignacio Irarrázaval and José Weinstein, manager of the Center for Innovation in Education at Fundación Chile.

The closing ceremony featured the final speeches of José Weinstein; Lorna Earl, outgoing Chairman at ICSEI; Alma Harris the incoming Chairman at ICSEI; and Stephen Anderson, Head of the ICSEI 2013 Program Committee. There was also a special presentation made by the 2014 congress organizing delegation, to be held in Indonesia.

José Weinstein, Director at the Center for Innovation in Education from FCh, highlighted the event and its international relevance: «We are pleased with what has happened in these 4 days. On the one hand, we were able to access the best of global education research, which was a landmark in Latin America, and on the other hand, renowned international researchers and scholars could learn more about our school reality and network with national institutions and organizations. We hope that this event will also contribute so that national research goes further and reaches new horizons, with the ultimate purpose of improving our education policies and what is happening in the classroom, which is what is important«.

Meanwhile, Alma Harris, incoming chairman at ICSEI and director at Institute for Educational Leadership from the University of Malaya, in Malaysia, made reference to the organization of the event: «It was a very special Congress and one of the best to which I have attended, both for the quality of works and presentations, and for the level of the organizers. The rod is very high for the 27th version of this event«.