As ICSEI’s President, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the ICSEI community and to the Marrakesh conference in 2020 and to the Auckland conference in 2021. It is our mission to enhance quality and equity in education, related to educational and school effectiveness and improvement.
ICSEI is an unique organization, because we bring together policy makers, practitioners and researchers around the world to develop knowledge, policies, and practices focused on improving the quality and equity of education. Discussion and debate are crucial in improving education around the world. We need to critically engage with new and innovative ideas, if we want to make our educational organizations more effective. What policies need to be in place to support quality and equity? How does policy influence educational practice? What are urgent questions from educators that researchers need to address? How can educators learn from research?
Improving the quality and equity of education also means that networking is important. ICSEI is the home of several active networks: Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership, Data Use, 3P (policy makers, politicians, and practitioners), MoREI (Methods of Research in Effectiveness and Improvement), and the Professional Learning Network (PLN). These networks meet at our annual congresses, but they are also active in between congresses. For example, members publish books and papers together and the networks send out newsletters, organize twitter chats and deliver online sessions. Important resources, such as knowledge on how to make educational organizations more effective, travel through these networks and the relationships that people have formed throughout our congresses.
Making educational organizations places of high quality and equity also implies that evidence plays an important role. Therefore one of our purposes is also conducting and promoting research. At our annual congress, and also in between congresses, different ways of conducting research and different sources of evidence are discussed. We discuss and debate innovative ideas, the latest research evidence, practitioner-based evidence, practices and strategies. How we can use all these different sources of evidence to improve education is one of our central questions.
ICSEI is also a global organization. We would like to disseminate our knowledge worldwide. We have a standing committee on communications and knowledge sharing, working on, for example, our website, newsletters, and other publications. Moreover, as a global organization we strive to organize our conference at a different continent every year, to give policymakers, practitioners and researchers from around the globe access to everything we have learned collectively. I would like to stress that we welcome people from diverse backgrounds. Diversity and generational renew is an important goal of our organization, and our standing committee on diversity and generation renewal is striving to make ICSEI even more international and diverse.
I am very honored to be the first ICSEI president to take our conference to Africa. It is my pleasure to invite you to our conference in Marrakesh. An ICSEI member at the Stavanger congress in 2019 stated: “In ICSEI I have found a home”. If you are already an ICSEI member, I would like to say welcome home in Marrakesh. If Marrakesh is going to be your first ICSEI conference, I hope you feel welcome, and I invite you to become part of this amazing group of policy makers, practitioners, and researchers.
In coming to Africa, Morocco, Marrakesh, the 2020 congress will provide the opportunity to learn from the Global South. The theme of this congress is: “Education, Youth Empowerment, and Sustainable Development: Collaboration between the Global North and South to Improve Education Quality”. It is a chance to meet and interact with and learn from policy makers, researchers, civil society leaders and practitioners from the Global North and Global South.
I am very much looking forward to learning from the diverse voices that will be present at this congress, and to engage with the rich and diverse Moroccan community. I am also looking forward to hearing from a diverse group of keynote speakers, including Aicha Bah Diallo, the former Minister of Education in Guinea, Kathryn Riley Professor of Urban Education at UCL, and Kouider Mokhtari, Professor of Literacy Education at The University of Texas at Tyler.
At ICSEI 2020 in Marrakesh we will have a lot to discuss around questions related to key themes such as:
- Education and youth empowerment;
- School improvement and career readiness;
- Inclusive education for migrants and refugees;
- School leadership and improving education for marginalized groups;
- Improving instructional practice;
- The role of policy makers, researchers and practitioners in promoting school change
But our journey does not end in Morocco; we will keep on traveling to share and disseminate our knowledge. ICSEI 2021 will be organized in Auckland, New Zealand.A common challenge across the world is how to improve not only achievement alongside equity, but also how to strengthen learner outcomes in relation to multiple valued educational purposes including knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and competencies. The ICSEI 2021 conference will therefore focus on joining the dots between achievement and equity, and between academic, intra-personal and interpersonal learning, as well as between parts of the education system in order that teachers, leaders, scholars and policy people might more effectively address learners’ achievement and wellbeing. Another great conference to look forward to!
I believe together we can improve the quality and equity of education around the world, and I am looking forward to meeting and interacting with you all in Marrakesh and Auckland!