EDiTE Researchers at Freire Conference at the University of Gdansk
From April 26-28, 2017 six EDiTE researchers from the University of Lower Silesia made their way to Gdansk University (GU) in Poland where Prof. Maria Mendel hosted a unique conference on Freire Today: Educational Reconstructions in the Contemporary Social Context. Prof. Mendel, director of the Institute of Education at Gdansk University had invited a special guest for these days, Prof. Carmel Borg from the Department of Education Studies of the University of Malta, who has edited the only existing full-scale Freire Reader. His keynote lecture, in which he reflected on Freire’s renowned Pedagogy of the Oppressed, deeply impressed the researchers who commented that he combines experiences of an academic and in-school-practitioner perfectly. The conference days were a wonderful opportunity for each of the EDiTE researchers to present their own take on of Freire’s work and connect it with their area of expertise. Our presentations ranged from “The Grammar of Schooling as the Obstacle to Emancipation in Modern Schools” (Lucie Bucharova), to “Freire’s Solidarity and the Community of the Disabled” (Agnieszka Licznerska), “Growing the Polish Teacher Potato – The Case of Polish Teachers’ In Action on Facebook” (Beata Zwierzynska), “Two Natives and a Colorful Pile- Constituting the Norm in an Austrian Primary School” (Josefine Wagner), over “The Necessary Shift towards Democratic Practices”(Monika Rusnak), and “Anti-discrimination Education and Social Justice in Schools” (Ewa Stoecker). Furthermore, we benefitted from the very welcoming program that Prof. Mendel had planned for us. This included a walking tour through the Old Town of Gdansk and a guided visit to the European Solidarity Center which documents the Solidarnosc movement that started in the former Lenin dockyard of Gdansk in 1980 and eventually struggled successfully for the first free and democratic elections in Poland after World War II. Here, the poems “Nothing Twice” and “The Three Oddest Words” by Wislawa Szymborska, 1996 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, were recited to us and a truly inspiring trip thanks to Prof. Mendel and educational theorist at GU Prof. Tomasz Szkudlarek, came to an end. Please get in touch with the individual researchers if you are interested in their presentations (email@example.com). To read an interview with Prof. Mendel, please klick here, to find out more about Prof. Carmel Borg, please follow this link and if you are interested in some of the joint works of Prof. Mendel and Prof. Szkudlarek, check this out.
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