Open Spaces for Interaction and Learning Diversities
27-30 August 2014 – Padova, Italy
Special Interest Groups 10, 21, and the new SIG on Education Theory of the European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction (EARLI) are jointly sponsoring the Conference ‘Open Spaces for Interaction and Learning Diversities’.
What are the challenges that global movements and cross-cultural communication continue to pose to many areas of teaching, learning and education? SIG 10 and 21 have devoted their efforts to studying social and cultural interactions and cultural diversity in teaching and learning settings. With increasing dynamics and diversity in most societies (i.e., offline and online mobility, inter-institutional collaborations, migrations and intercultural encounters, individual transitions) this area of research becomes even more important in learning research. Over time, the changes in social, cultural and political contexts result into cultural diversity being ignored or rejected across many countries in Europe. It is the denial or hidden nature of diversity in educational settings and learning processes, reflected in the marginalisation of this topic, that we would like to address. Therefore, we would like to open up spaces to talk, promote and fight for the relevance of addressing learning diversities. This may include current and new directions for theoretical and methodological discussions. These may be spaces of interaction and diversity research across single or multiple moments, different contexts and various time scales.
The focus of this meeting is to examine the dynamics by which practices of learning and their associated institutions evolve. Learners and educators move through different social spaces, meet and interact; whilst bringing with them their languages, bodies of knowledge, values and cultural references. This theme provides ample space for discussion both for the separate SIGs – social interaction in learning and instruction, as well as cultural diversity – and for the SIGs jointly. In addition, special attention will be given to the educational realities and challenges in Italy today. The meeting is continuing the reflection started in Belgrade in 2012 at the Patchwork: Learning Diversities and in Utrecht 2010, at the Moving through cultures of learning meeting.