Participants looking forward

The following list of participants looking forward to the symposium by answering five questions. Click on their name and you will read more.

Wouter Pols
Corina van Doodewaard
Anne Jan van den Dool
Dr. Linda Sontag
Helma Brouwers
Marion Stenneke
Dr. Joop Berding
Peter A. Lourens
Michael Fielding
Lisette Bastiaansens
Simon Verwer
Monique Leijgraaf
José Hofman
Aziza Mayo
Hester IJsseling
Mihaela Ionescu
Hannah Grainger Clemson
Colleen McLaughlin
Marije van den Steenhoven
Jasja van den Brink
Tone Saeve

Beside there were some thoughts of participants and followers before the symposium, people who wrote an article or blog.

The writing is on the wall… on all walls!

Article by Rolf Winters, director of film ‘Down to Earth’

Education is a gift to share

By Indra Tulling-Weeda – teacher of new foundations.

Unfolding consciousness with new words

By Jasja van den Brink – Educator (Pedagoog), educational coach and trainer. Member of the @school team of Down to Earth and edublogger at Hetkind.

 

Wouter Pols

Teacher educator, educational researcher, Hogeschool Rotterdam (Research Center Urban Talent), e-mail: w.pols@hr.nl

What made me decide to accept the invitation to partake the symposium? To share not only notions, ideas and theories, but also experiences on education, especially on education ‘between the lines’ of formal education.

What appeals to me in the symposium’s themes, especially the themes 1, 2 and 4? Within theme 1 I perceive a searching for a value-laden anthropological basis for educational theory and practice, a search for an educational anthropology. I am convinced that educational practice is in need for such an anthropology (instead of the current psychology). Within theme 2 I notice a search for an ethical way in which educators and teachers create relationships and communicate with children and young people. I am convinced that the ethos of the educator or teacher is the basis of his or her practice and not things such as abstract knowledge, tools, techniques and formats. The latter are important, but only if they rest upon the ethos of the educator or teacher. With regard to theme 4: I am interested in research that uncovers the ‘lived’ meaning of educators and teachers. By uncovering the ‘lived’ meaning we really enter the heart of the practice of education.

The principal questions and issues that guide me in my work are: uncovering the ‘lived’ meaning of educators and teachers within their everyday practice.

What is at stake for me personally? To find a way out of the limited theoretical systems by which education is conceptualized nowadays. I am looking for a practice-theory which could have the function of a map that educators or teachers could help to orientate themselves in their practice (a map to uncover the meaning(s) of practice). I presume that teacher education would be fully changed if at the core of teacher education there would be creating, working and acting with maps!

Corina van Doodewaard

PhD researcher. Institute: Calo- Hogeschool Windesheim. Bachelor: Physical Education Teacher Education. Master: Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy. Function: Senior lecturer Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium?

  1. The list of academic experts and the opportunity to participate in such an inspiring network. The language that was chosen in the invitation woke my curiosity.
  2. The invitation was “warmly recommended” by one of the organizers who knows my “drive” of practice and research.
  3. I would like to deepen the curriculum of the Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) with inspiration for good education (I am highly involved on both bachelor as masters level)

4. It could contribute to my PhD process which focusses on the links among physical educators’ constructions of the body, identity and inequality issues from a social justice perspective.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? The urgency of changing educational institutes into institutes for good education. That will include education in all areas of life – and will require a reflective and critical perspective of all (teacher) educators (and the teacher education institutes)

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? How can I work positively with difference, celebrate difference and promote good educational environments that enable all students and young people to learn, to develop skills and (be) move(d) together.

What is at stake, for you personally? A social justice agenda: every live matters

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? What is our next step, when leaving this symposium?

Anne Jan van den Dool

Founder and Consultant at MijnID.nu

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? The subject, the manifesto and the people involved made me realize that this was an important symposium.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? In my work with schools I always look for the contribution and responsibility of the school towards society. I strongly belief that education is much more than the provider of new laborers that it nowadays tends to be.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? I very much belief that it is importnat to have a firm notion of your own identity and the willingness to related to your environment and the people around you. That is what I try to practice every day, what my company aims to practice every day an what I believe education ought to bring to its participants, especially during their younger years.

What is at stake, for you personally? For me personally there is at stake that education, the field that I work in and the field that provides the new generation to our society, is preparing children and with that society, for a life that is dominated by economic factors. I see that I personally get tempted regularly to think along economic lines rather than along human lines. I live in a society that thinks that well being can be measured in economic terms and that thinks that succes is equal to a high income. I prefer to think in other terms, prefer to teach my own children that happiness and succes are primarily non-economic terms and ask for non-economic measures.

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? I would love to find a way to ‘defeat’ education in its own field: prove scientifically that economic succes follows humane succes and not the other way around. That academic performance follows well-being. That doing well in school is the result of your well-being and your self-consciousness.

Dr. Linda Sontag

NRO (Netherlands Initiative for Education Research). Senior policy officer.

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? My interest in the theme and ambition to improve education and stimulate evidence informed education.
What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? Especially the fourth question: How relevant and valid is the knowledge from social and educational sciences. This matches with the ambition of NRO and practice based research within NRO.
What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? How can we improve education making use of existing and new knowledge? How can we stimulate a research culture in schools?
What is at stake, for you personally? The interaction with educational experts and researchers
What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? Can research play a role in realizing a shift in education and what characterizes this role?

Helma Brouwers

Specialist/publicist teaching early childhood education.

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? Interesting to meet people from different countries and in different situations, to exchange  ideas and experiences.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? My special interest is always, taking the child’s perspective. Knowing how – specially in school-situations- the child’s perspective is neglected more and more, in favor of education’s economical value.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? Mainly early childhood education and care, knowing at this early years the important blueprint is made for the rest of people’s lives.

What is at stake, for you personally? I hope we can make children’s lives better by appealing to their motivating to know about the world. In schools we should encourage this curiosity in stead of believing in testing and accountibility.

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? Alternatives in the educational system; how to definbe quality education differently from accountability.

Marion Stenneke

Adviseur Kennisbenutting at NRO (onderdeel NWO) en Lid Raad voor de Journalistiek

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? Het symposium is een mooie kans om met een groep deskundige en betrokken professionals eens wat langer stil te staan bij de grote opdracht van het onderwijs. In onze dagelijkse volle werkdagen denderen we vooral door en nemen we niet vaak de gelegenheid om stil te staan en te bezinnen.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? ‘Ieder mens verantwoordelijk en verbonden in de samenleving’. De term verbonden spreekt me in het bijzonder aan. Nu er sprake lijkt te zijn van een groeiende kloof tussen bevolkingsgroepen en tussen generaties, is verbinding een van de belangrijkste maatschappelijk thema’s geworden.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? Lever ik daadwerkelijk een bijdrage aan de vernieuwing en verbetering van het onderwijs? Hoe houd ik verbinding met degenen voor wie ik mijn werk doe (de onderwijsprofessionals in praktijk en beleid)?

What is at stake, for you personally? Ik verlies mijn intrinsieke motivatie voor mijn werk als ik niet meer weet voor wie en waartoe ik mijn werk doe. Conferenties als deze helpen mij om weer eens stil te staan bij deze vraag en nieuwe inspiratie en ideeën op te doen.

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? Hoe gaan we verder met de mooie ideeën die ongetwijfeld aan de orde zullen komen? Hoe komen we van waardevolle bezinning tot eventuele concrete acties? Dat laatste hoeft en kan niet altijd, maar zou in elk geval wel besproken moeten worden.

Dr. Joop Berding

Assistent professor at the School of Social Work, researcher at the Research Center Urban Talent, both at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands, and author. Email: jwa.berding@ziggo.nl Web: www.joopberding.nl

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? The invitation came from Luc Stevens and his NIVOZ-Institute, both of which I have a high regard for. The symposium gives me opportunities to meet with colleagues from a broad range of disciplines and to have a dialogue about our mutual interest: education.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? Especially themes 1, 2 and 4. In my current research, publications and lecturing I am trying to get pedagogical anthropology – once a flourishing branch of general educational theory – back on the agenda, both on a professional and a (teacher) training level.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? I pursue different questions, and by a diversity of methods. One principal question I already mentioned in the above: what would an up-to-date pedagogical anthropology look like, what needs to be done to get it developed and ‘used’? A second question or issue concerns the dessimination of practical knowledge on education within the educational community – i.e. in what way can we learn from practice, without bothering (to) much about ‘hard’ empirical ‘evidence’? A third line of questions/issues concerns the education of young professionals, especially the issue of social and educative professionalism in a world that more and more wants to get rid of professionals and their ‘ethos’.

What is at stake, for you personally? Everything … I have devoted a great deal of my working life, and a large part of my life outside of (paid) work to the study of educational practices, ideas and theories. It’s what keeps me going…! My sources of inspiration are among others Janusz Korczak, John Dewey, and Hannah Arendt on whose ideas I have published extensively both in my home country as well as abroad. So I am looking for connections to these authors/inspirators and their ideas.

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? In addition tot he questions above, I am very curious in what way so called ‘old’ ideas may take their due place in contemporary debates, some of which seem to take place without a grain of historical sensitivity.

Peter A. Lourens

I work as a policy officer in the VET directorate of the Ministry of Education and Science in The Hague. I have experience in all sectors of education, but VET stole my heart many years ago as a sector which can make a real difference for people and the society they help to establish. Beside that I chair the Board of Trustees of the Nuovo-scholengroep: public secondary education in Utrecht.
What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium?
I know NIVOZ and its reputation and am proud to be personally invited. I expect to meet with peopel, new insights and angles, some powerful surprises.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? T
he stress on doing rather than theory appeals to me.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why?
I work in vocational education an am very interested in how to to train young people in being interested and entrepreneurial in what challenges them. I think they are being undervalued in our present system.

What is at stake, for you personally? 
There is a lot of research with regard to general education, but litlle and few and far between when it comes to vocational education. We should do more there, as vocational training and education provides the backbone of our future society. 40-60 % of young people go through VET in our country. It is important that they act value-based in a civil society. This not only concernsour country, of course.

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium?
How to address and conquer the current divide between general education and VET?

Michael Fielding

Emeritus Professor of Education, UCL Institute of Education at London, England, UK.

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? (1) My respect and admiration for the work of NIVOZ, Luc Stevens and Nickel van der Vorm and the friendship that has developed between us in the last 5 years. (2) The opportunity to learn with and from colleagues from Europe.

What in the symposium’s themes is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? The emphasis on the relational nature of human being and becoming in the first chapter. The emphasis on the necessity of vocation in chapter two. The need to understand the nature of community (and its organisational expression) in chapter three. Here it is particularly important to understand the interrelation between community and organisation and to understand that the latter must be an expression of the former. A key question here is how, in a practical, everyday sense, a school enables and encourages its teachers to retain and further develop their vocational integrity. It is also important to explore ways in which democratic values and practices can express and develop these aspirations on a day-to-day basis. In chapter four the need to confront reductionist forms of research and develop a reciprocity of endeavour that expresses and further develops the aspirations that underpin this symposium. Research, in its broad and more specific senses, must be at the heart of the work of the school and should include young people, staff and community taking the lead and sharing responsibility as time and circumstance allow.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? (1) Bringing together and developing a synergy between philosophical and historical understandings of the world and applying them to the challenges that face education at a difficult time in our shared histories. (2) How can schools retain and express their commitments to education in its fullest sense at a time when narrow forms of schooling are dominant? (3) How might we take inspiration from our radical progressive traditions of education in and for democracy?

What is at stake for you personally? I am not sure … I shall just be pleased to be amongst people with a profoundly creative concern for education in its most profound and enduring senses at a time of national and international crises.

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium(1) What does education in and for participatory democracy mean at a time when populism is on the rise? (2) How might we best learn from the past to create a better future?

Lisette Bastiaansens

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium?
I’m a PhD student at the University of Humanistics in Utrecht. Gert Biesta is my promotor. He asked me whether I would be interested in taking part. I decided to participate because the entire conference seems interesting, but in particular because one of the subjects called ‘teacher – student interaction’ has my undivided attention. My research theme for my PhD is about the value and significance of attentive involvement for education and what role does it play in daily teaching.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event?
As answered above I am particularly interested in the theme relationship, connectedness: how does it work, what is needed, how can the ability to connect and/or be present be enhanced.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? For me my life and work are about ‘giving meaning’. Giving meaning to my own life and that of others. For myself I give meaning to my life by, first of all, developing as a better human, which means not just thinking about values as connectedness, openness, attentiveness, integrity etcetera, but practicing them in daily life too. Secondary I give meaning to my life by working in and for education. It is my personal belief that the best thing we can do for a better world is trying to raise our children as responsible humans who know who they are and want to be in connection with others.

What is at stake, for you personally? What is at stake for me, is that I really would like to make a contribution to a better understanding of attentive connectedness in the teacher-student relationship. Understanding what makes it work is complex and little empirical research in terms of ‘building relationships’, ‘connectedness’, ‘presence’ and ‘attentiveness’ has been done. Teaching takes place in the interaction between teacher and student. Now more than ever – looking at what happens in society right now – it seems important to understand what makes this interaction work, and how relationships are being built. By doing my PhD I hope to contribute my little part in deepening the understanding of this theme.

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? As is put down in the program I am hoping that the questions about the quality of interaction are explored from different perspectives. How do we observe, which qualities in the interpersonal connection are indispensable, how does connectedness arise etc.

Simon Verwer

Teacher/philosopher of education at Hyperion Lyceum, Amsterdam. Author.

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? I agree with the hypothesis that “The role of education in the development of our societies must urgently be reconsidered.” I think NIVOZ et al can and must add a necessary pedagogic outlook to the current debate. I feel that this perspective will enrich my worldview during the symposium.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event?
I can write a lot on this here but for now: the basic idea that there’s more to education than knowledge transfer alone.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? What is good education and how is it achieved?  What does it mean to ask this question? How and by whom should this question be asked?
Issues: Subjectivity, complexity, love

What is at stake, for you personally? My drive to work in education depends on the way in which I’m able to do my job. ‘Doing my job’ means working based on values which are present in the discourse of NIVOZ and this Symposium

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? How can we not only deepen but also scale and spread further the pedagogical perspective, e.g. among teachers? I’d like to encounter wise persons who can enrich me with good ideas on this topic.

Monique Leijgraaf

Teacher Educator and Researcher on Diversity & Critical Citizenship, University of Applied Sciences iPabo Amsterdam.

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? The possibility to meet colleagues and dialogue on issues related to (teacher) education.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? The theme in the second leading question appeals to me, especially with a focus on teacher education: what does it take from teacher educators to guide students in their transformation to educationally wise teachers?

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? Various issues and questions guide me in my day to day work: issues concerning social justice, power relations, conflict, education for democracy, equity and diversity. Related to this symposium, our academy’s struggle to decrease the hegemony of checklists and rubrics in order to take our first steps toward a judgment-focused teacher education is worth mentioning.

What is at stake, for you personally? Practical wisdom on educational issues and creating new educational discourse freed from financial, market-oriented, technical managerial vocabulary.

José Hofman

Policymaker at stichting BOOR (Rotterdam)

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium?  & What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event?
I believe that Human Capital is one the most important factors in improving education. A conference on this theme can only be interesting.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? Are we doing the right things? In the best way? How do we know that? What do others think about that? How can we improve what we’re doning?
 
What is at stake, for you personally? I would like tob rong new knowledge to my organisation (a large school board in the Netherlands)

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? What is the best way to support schoolleaders in their personal development?

Aziza Mayo

Lector Waarde(n) van Vrijeschoolonderwijs at Hogeschool Leiden.

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium?
There were several factors that made me accept: the fact that the invitation was addressed to me personally and came from the NIVOZ made me consider the initial invitation seriously. The topic, description of the event, content as well as the way it is designed and the speakers made me want to clear my calender in order to be able to attend.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event?
The topic of how to provide children with educational experiences that help them develop in all aspects of their humanity as participants and contributers to a sustainable society and worls, is at the centre of my own work as a researcher.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? How to provide educational experiences in which  pedagogical relations are the foundation for learning and education, lies at the hart of our research.

What is at stake, for you personally? Both personally and professionally I feel that the world is appealing to each of us to take a stand and action to help provide education that contributes to sustaining and the sustainability of the integrity of life. I would hope to personally develop my understanding of how to personally respond in a constructive way experiences that are rooted in amorality and immorality in everyday life.

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? I would hope that we will explore the question of how to develop a language regarding the pedagogical aspects of education that will contribute to placing these processes ot the centre of our dialogues and evaluation of what makes eduction good not just for continuing the status quo of our societies and world but in strengthening the sustainability of integrity of human and non human existance.

Hester IJsseling

Dr. Hester IJsseling, teacher/philosopher/educational researcher. Organisation: Primary School De Kleine Reus, Amsterdam.

The reason I happily accept your invitation to partake in the symposium? I happily accepted your invitation, because I look forward to meet with an international group of colleagues who are concerned with the issues that are at the centre of my mind. I am glad to see that the pedagogical approach to educational issues is gaining ground, and I think it is good and important that we gather forces for the good cause of unfolding human potential for world citizenship.

What appeals to me in the symposium’s theme? In the current discourse on education, too much emphasis is on the qualification aspects of education. Furthermore, the work on qualification as it is organized now, is a socialisation in disguise. A socialisation, moreover, that undermines the aspect that, in my opinion, is key to the unfolding of human potential for world citizenship: subjectivation. The symposium appears to be precisely about that issue.

The principle questions and issues that guide me in my everyday work? The principle question that guides me in my teaching as well as in my research, is the question: how is the desire awakened in the child, to be in the world as a free, responsible, conscientious subject? How do we draw that spark? And how do we, as teachers, schoolleaders and researchers, talk about this? How do we find the words? How do we investigate this

What is at stake? What is at stake, ultimately, is a society built by people who are aware that a society can only come into being through a dialogical relation to the other. This relation requires subjects that chose to act freely, responsibly, conscientiously. The desire to become a subject is – if at all – awakened very early on, in the relation between children and their parents and teachers.
To be able to work on this in our schools, we need to develop a language, a vocabulary of pedagogical interactions, to talk about the things that happen and the things we do in our classrooms – a language that is different from the current instrumentalist language of policymakers and empirical-analytical scientists.
Therefore, we need a different kind of educational research than the empirical-analytical education research that is currently dominant, at least in the Netherlands. We need to engage with the humanities (Geisteswissenschaften) and particularly with phenomenological research, to reclaim ground in education research.

Questions I hope to explore with the other participants during the symposium? What can we do in our classrooms to awaken the desire in our pupils, to be in the world as a free and responsible subject? Where do we witness the appearance of the subject, and what is the meaning of this phenomenon? What is at stake here? What does it require from the teacher? What does it require from the organisation of education in our schools? What does it require from education research? How can we revive the Dutch tradition of phenomenology of practice and push back the predominance of empirical-analytical education research? How can we gather forces? To what extent is there a difference between the current Dutch situation and other countries?

Mihaela Ionescu

ISSA-International Step by Step Association, Program Director.

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? The discourse about the need for a shift in education is not new, but the steps towards making this shift are still very small in many countries. The theme is intriguing, but more interesting will be the discussions about how we can make this shift happen and place ourselves as drivers in this change process, while keeping in mind the big diversity of country contexts.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? The humanistic perspective placing our perceptions and the quality of interactions at the core of the education process. The broader, deeper and reflective the understanding of actors and contexts, the closer to natural and sustained changes. Making such a shift in education implies a deep cultural change, a long term process which needs to be nurtured. How far are we?

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? How can we better convey our message about child’s incredible potential since conception and the dramatic role adults play in their (well)being and becoming? How can we strengthen more in this hyper-dynamic world the values that bring people together to co-create and support each other? How can we build more autonomy, initiative, critical thinking in children and adults so that they feel empowered to enact the changes needed in their lives and societies? How much difference we really make when working in contexts of poverty and inequity?  How can we avoid the superficial communication and preserve meaningful communication and connection among people?

And the list may well continue…

What is at stake, for you personally? Listening and learning from the others, while moving beyond the rhetoric.

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? If we ‘walk the talk’ in what regards children, families, professionals around them and the changes we want to see, where are we failing, what do we miss?

Hannah Grainger Clemson

Schools Policy Officer in the European Commission.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event?
The theme (unfolding potential) seems synonymous with curiosity and aspiration, two things I am passionate about in education.

Professor Colleen McLaughlin

Director of Innovation, Faculty of Education  at University of Cambridge, UK

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? I am attracted by the desire to reshape the educational purpose and by the title of unfolding human potential These have been my two main preoccupations in my educational life.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? The questions and issues that guide me are: How to decouple educational systems from the rather inhuman processes of measurement and accountability that we have hooked them up to in my and other countries? How to live my perspective in my interactions on a daily basis? How to reconnect education to its human purposes? How to avoid the fragmentation and compartmentalisation that is everywhere in our thinking now?

What is at stake, for you personally? My professional purpose and sense of meaning.

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? The ones above.

Marije van den Steenhoven

Teacher trainer at Leiden University for Applied Science.
 
What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? I accept the invitation because of the relevant topics we will talk about. It’s important to get a common language about what’s good education in the current time. How can we feel connected to the world we live in? What’s the role of a teacher in a child’s life? How can we prepare children best to become a member of a society (in transition)

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event?
Connecting to other people.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? In my everyday work I feel that relationship is most important. Am I in contact with my students? Only then, we can learn from each othe

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? I’m curious about what others do to feel connected to their pupils and how you can bring yourself (uniciteit) into the classroom and invite others to do so as well.

Jasja van den Brink

Educator (Pedagoog), educational coach and trainer at Raafels. Member of the @school team of Down to Earth and edublogger at Hetkind.

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? I am interested in the new input and dialogue around the theme ‘unfolding the human potential’. It seems the old system doesn’t work or fit anymore, and we are looking for ways to establish a new way of thinking and doing in and around education.

What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? I think the potential of the human being can be so much more than what is addressed and tested in most schools nowadays. To me this process of (re)discovering and implementing new ways of being and learning is something we are invited to do together. Everyone carries a pieces of the puzzle within him or her.

What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? I am interested in understanding what makes people do what they do. I see a lot of people in education work very hard to meet all kind of standards, without having (making) the time to reflect on the purpose of education itself. Why do we educate our children the way we educate them? Is educating the head without educating the heart (Aristotle) something we can still be satisfied with? To me current events in society point out that we really missed out on something somewhere.

What is at stake, for you personally? I would like to shift the main goal in education from ‘What can I personally achieve in this world today’ to ‘Who do I want to be in this world today’? To change education from within, by inviting people who work in and around schools to unfold their human potential layer by layer, day by day, so they can inspire their pupils by their living example. The film ‘Down to Earth’, which will be screened in the evening of the symposium, brings up some relevant questions about the challenges our society faces nowadays.

What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? In what ways can we unfold more wisdom, honesty, truth, courage, respect, humility and love in ourselves, our children and our society?


Tone Saeve

Toni Saevi is Professor of Education at NLA (School of Religion, Education and Intercultural Studies) University College in Bergen, Norway. Hermeneutic phenomenology and education are Dr Saevi’s main research interests.

What made you decide to accept our invitation to partake in the symposium? The gentle request and interesting and important conference!
What in the symposium’s theme is it that appeals to you, prior to the event? The importance of pedagogikk as a counter voice to the current educational situation.
What are the principle questions and issues that guide you in your everyday work, and why? Existential questions of care, responsibility, difference, democracy etc.
What is at stake, for you personally? To me existential pedagogikk is a way of living and thinking. I do believe in the mündigkeit of the human being.
What questions do you wish, hope or expect to be explored during the symposium? Pedagogical questions of relevance to humans in cultures.