Nationl and International educationists recommended resetting educational goals for transformative education by bridging gap between latest research with practices, revisiting curricula, adopting latest teaching skills and approaches, instill commitment and inculcate values among teachers and students for establishing a sustainable society.
A consensus on this was developed during the international online conference on “Educational Sciences and Research” concluded at Sargodha University on Friday. The conference hosted by the university’s Department of Education under the theme of “Education for Sustainable Society” brought together leading academic scientists, professors, researchers, students and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences.
Scholars and faculty have also suggested that a values-based education system should be developed to bring about a positive change in society.
The conference was aimed at highlighting global innovations and trends in education for transforming a society into a sustainable one. It also highlighted the existing practices and future challenges in the field of academic research.
In addition to an inaugural and concluding session, ten concurrent academic sessions were arranged in which scholars presented about 90 research papers with an attempt to generate a scholarly debate and a productive deliberation on revamping education for sustainable future.
In total, over 100 participants took part in this conference from across Pakistan and abroad, including Dr Paul A. Asunda from US, Dr Peter Charles Taylor from Australia, Former Vice Rector FC College Lahore Dr Cusrow J. Dubash, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences NUML Dr Shahid Siddiqui, Director Institute of Education and Research Punjab University Dr Rafaqat Ali Akbar, and Dean Faculty of Education AIOU Pakistan Dr Nasir Mehmood were among the keynote speakers.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Dr Paul shared his findings on “Computational Thinking: An Impetus for Sustainable Education through Integrated STEM.” “To create learning experiences, in which students build knowledge and skills that are beneficial for Education for Sustainability and the 21st century economy, we as educators need to provide our students with iSTEM learning opportunities that enhance focus on computational thinking while incorporating relevant science, and engineering design thinking as the impetus of iSTEM” he said.
Dr Taylor presented his research titled “Transformative Education for Sustainable Future.” He said that knowledge is not necessary to achieve goals but we also need moral and ethical values to reach where we want to. “Transformative learning promotes objective knowledge of the world and subjective knowledge of inner self while these two in combine could form holistic knowledge, he said.
Sharing his findings on “Education for Sustainable Development” Dr Dubash said that teachers are the agent of transformation and sustainable education should see a significant reduction in dropout rates. “We need to put emphasis on the fact that one size does not fit all. There is no perfect pedagogy for sustainability education, but there is a board consensus that it requires a shift towards active, participative, and experiential learning methods that engage the learner and make a real difference to their ability to act” he added.
Dr Shahid Siddiqui talked about “Revisiting Teacher Education for 21st Century.” He said that the major educational challenge of the 21st century is the acquisition of new sets of skills required by students and teachers alike. “To cope with this challenge, we need to take stock of the prevailing paradigms of learning in Pakistan. There has always been a difference of opinion about the goals, dynamics and assessment of education. This difference has its roots in competing philosophical positions that construct, justify and rationalize particular educational approaches” he emphasized.
Dr Rafaqat Ali and Dr Nasir Mehmood shared their research titled “Decolonizing of Education” and “Pakistan’s Journey towards SDGs Targets in Education” respectively.
Concluding the conference, the Chairman, Department of Education, Dr Uzair-ul-Hassan highlighted the need for transforming the education leading to a sustainable society. In this regard, the Chair praised the continuation of sustained efforts of Sargodha University for knowledge dissemination in times of pandemic.