Spotlight Sessions

Africa Spotlight Session

Crossing the African boundaries and building bridges with the rest of the world

Africa is now the fastest growing continent in the world. The new possibilities of growth also come with growing pains among educators who straddle the demands of digitally literate youth and antiquated, often inequitable, and crisis-ridden educational systems.

The ICSEI 2021 Africa Spotlight Session builds on the connections first established in the 33rd edition of ICSEI 2020, held for the first time in Africa. In 2020, the ICSEI African spotlight showcased Africa’s educational improvement as lived by African education leaders, disruptors, and innovators.  In 2021, we will take stock of the ICSEI 2020 network to co-construct strategies for spanning the institutional boundaries within/between nation states in Africa, and build mutually rewarding bridges with the rest of the world.

Africa is often dichotomized into French vs. English, North vs. South; Muslim vs. Christian; black vs. white, democratic vs authoritarian, poor vs. rich, tribal vs national, and the list continues. The dichotomies are part of the diversity of the continent. They should not, however, preclude a shared vision of improvement that serves the educational aspirations of African youth.

As a community of international educators with the resources to connect science, advocacy, and networks to promote quality education for all students, the African Spotlight session presents a unique opportunity to highlight African colleagues’ disposition to reach within their continents for collaborative networks, as well as build bridges with the rest of the world. The challenges of access, equity, quality, efficiency, governance, and sustainability pose compelling issues that almost every country struggles with, albeit at different levels. By seeking to identify ways to cross boundaries within and outside the continent, we recognize the finiteness of our individual resources and the infiniteness of what we can achieve together.

We will therefore sustain the innovation of the 2020 African spotlight by inviting panelists to propose strategies to put in place to promote collaboration between education individual and institutional actors within and outside Africa. In this vein, we would like to seize the opportunity of ICSEI’s commitment to collaboration with Africa to identify areas of intersection where the African education actors and ICSEI could collaborate for the benefit of educational improvement in Africa and beyond. 

New Zealand Spotlight Session

Innovation through diversity  

Innovation happens at the intersection of industries, disciplines and cultures when ideas and concepts from diverse fields are integrated in creative ways (Johansson, 2004).  The NZ spotlight session focuses on how diverse groups of stakeholders have combined their knowledge to innovate practice and improve teaching and learning.

Johansson, F. (2006). The Medici effect: What elephants and epidemics can teach us about innovation. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press.