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Comparative and International Education Society | 59th Annual Conference

“Ubuntu! Imagining a Humanist Education Globally”
March 8 –13, 2015
Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D.C.

"Ubuntu! Imagining a Humanist Education Globally" is the theme of the 59th CIES conference in Washington, D.C, March 8-13, 2015. The substance of collective ethos captured in Ubuntu is shared across the African continent and beyond. The specific term was popularized by various authors including the novelist, scholar, and journalist Jordan Kush Ngubane in the 1950s and more recently by public figures such as Nelson Mandela articulating a society and world of inclusiveness and equality.

This conference theme explores an imagined future where education is a moral enterprise that develops and shapes minds to embrace humanism that is inseparable from socio-economic equality, which defines the world as a complex whole, an interconnected and interdependent ecosystem of diverse humans, nature and the planet. This vision of humanist education is in harmony with Ubuntu, which inspires a multiplicity of worldviews, indigenous epistemologies and ideological schools of thought in a world that is inclusive while fostering autonomy and humanity. It is conceived to guide academics, policymakers and practitioners and learners in different locations.

To imagine an education fostering a future that reflects Ubuntu is to engage in a process of deconstruction of the prevailing modernist epistemologies that tend to separate the heart and mind.

The re-imagined vision of education will be the regenerative space for positive social change. The 2015 conference offers an opportunity to reflect on and contribute to the exciting possibilities of an Ubuntu-inspired education, embodying a philosophical, pedagogical and curricula framework that is emancipatory, cultured, transformative, localized and empowering for all humanity and the globe.

As a professional society on education in its comparative and international dimensions CIES invites all participants including educators in general with a special call to researchers, policymakers, practitioners, representatives of international organizations, local and global non-governmental organizations and members of civil society to share their insights and experiences and offer forward-looking collective deliberations.

We also urge participants to contribute to tackling theoretical, empirical, and practical questions in the critical examination of existing systems of learning and testing at the local and global levels, the limits as well as the possibilities of established quantitative and qualitative methods with careful consideration of indigenous epistemologies. Let Washington, D.C. in 2015 become the site where we reflect and rededicate ourselves to the search for new directions in education by engaging Ubuntu-inspired education for humanity across the world.