This article is by the theme convenors of one of six 2023 UKFIET conference themes, ‘Education systems including workforce and curricula’: Claire Hedges, Senior Programmes Manager, International Development Office of The Open University, and Purna Shrestha, Global Technical Lead for Resilient and Inclusive Education Practice Area at VSO International. This is published in the lead up to the September 2023 conference to help participants decide which sessions to attend.

What excites you about your theme?

We are delighted to have received an overwhelming number of submissions to our sub-theme, from early career researchers to more established researchers and practitioners from the global majority. The programme of our sub-theme will provide conference participants with plenty of opportunities to reflect, critique, share and debate key issues raised at last September’s Transforming Education Summit in New York. We are excited that the programme will highlight insights, evidence and learnings that speak to the Summit’s call to translate the vision of transforming education into action on the ground. 

How does this link to the overall 2023 conference theme?

Diverse and progressive education workforces, professional development opportunities and curricula are needed to enable teachers to explore social and environmental justice with their learners. Our subtheme – Education Systems including Workforce and Curricula – will therefore directly contribute to the overall debate on the conference theme. 

What kinds of sessions / papers can we expect to find under your theme?

You will see a diversity of sessions and papers looking across the learning cycle from learning through play in early childhood development contexts, to school leadership and support for teacher professional development within and beyond schools, to exploring skills development in vocational tertiary contexts.

We have given prominence to papers which explore inclusion within new curricula and how the process of curriculum reform can itself be more inclusive. These include sessions on creating and re-imagining curricula for justice and climate change education.

Another focus is examining different approaches to reaching the most marginalised learners with quality learning opportunities across countries and contexts, in ways that can help practitioners and researchers reflect on their own initiatives, and stimulate debate on how approaches can be informed or driven by youth voices.

A further strand of discourse is on how evidence and lessons learned are informing education programming and investment and thinking about what this might mean for adaptations to new contexts or increased scale.

In conclusion, we invite researchers and practitioners who are presenting, to proactively share their ideas with others. We hope that conversations will be generated that last well beyond the conference. We look forward to seeing you in September, either online or in person in Oxford.

Find out more about the theme