UB Bringing International Conference to Buffalo

Release Date: March 10, 1998

BUFFALO, NY -- More than 400 scholars of international and comparative education from 30 nations will convene in Buffalo this month for the 1998 World Education Conference sponsored by the Comparative and International Education Society.

The conference, "Bringing Culture Back In: Education in Context," will take place from March 18-22 in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.

Hosted by the Center for Comparative and Global Studies in Education in the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education, it will feature presentations by noted scholars and scores of workshops and panels by comparative education researchers. For information, call 716-845-2487 or e-mail program director William Cummings at .

Cummings, a UB professor of comparative education and director of the center who is one of the most highly regarded scholars in his field, said conference speakers, workshops and debates will explore ways in which culture and education interact to define and change the nature of a country's domestic and international struggles in many realms.

"They will discuss, for instance, the degree of multiethnic and multiracial integration among international education systems," he said, "and examine approaches to colonialism, post-colonialism, postmodernism and human rights taken by educators in various nations.

"Another area of research to be discussed," he said, "is general educational development in countries that now face worldwide economic competition, and at the same time confront increasing economic cultural colonialism by more technologically adept nations."

In addition to the featured presentations, the conference will offer more than 50 research presentations on topics ranging from changes in girls' education in rural China to social cartography and cyberspace. Educational decentralization in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico will be considered, along with discussions of education and national identity, gender and empowerment, and Islamic educational leaders.

Workshops will consider the relationship between education, social change and gender differences, long a concern of researchers in comparative education; issues and practice in multicultural education; international and civic education and teaching; teacher education, and curriculum development.

• Mary Catherine Bateson, a noted anthropologist and author who is the daughter of anthropologists Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead, two of the most important social scientists of the 20th century. Her presentation, "Living With Strangers," will take place at 3:30 p.m. on March 21.

• Emily Vargas-Baron, director for human capacity development, United States Agency for International Development, who will discuss "New Goals for Human Capacity Development" at noon on March 18.

• Keith Geiger, former president of the National Education Association and head of academic exchanges for the United States Information Agency, who will discuss "Education and Mutual Understanding," at noon on March 20.

• Fay Chun, director of education, United Nations International Children's Education Fund (UNICEF), who will present a talk titled "Education and Culture" at 5 p.m. on March 19.

• Michael Frisch, UB professor of American studies and history and noted oral historian, will present a discussion of international issues in education at the turn of the last century, also a period of great industrial expansion, change and international exchange. His talk at noon on March 19 will be entitled "Linking Local and Global at the Fin de siecle: Recalling Buffalo's 1901 Pan-American Exposition from the Threshold of the 21st Century."

• Carlos Torres, director of program in Latin American studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, will present "Education, Power and the State: Dilemmas of Citizenship in Multicultural Societies," at 5 p.m. on March 20.

A panel discussion of another controversial topic in many cultures, "Religious and Secular Principles in the Modernization of Education," will be presented at noon on March 21. The panelists will be noted scholar of comparative religion Professor Abe Yoshya, Shinto Kokugakuin University, Tokyo; Ibrahim Ahmad Rajunid, director of the Institut Ami Nneuden Baktt and one of Malaysia's most important educators, and Sister Denise Roche, president of D'Youville College, Buffalo.

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