The 2019 conference theme for the IAFOR conference series in Hawaii is Independence & Interdependence, and invites reflections on the desirability, extent and limits of our individual independence and autonomy, of that of our students, and of the institutions and structures within which we work, teach and learn. We do not educate, and are not educated in vacuums, but in such contexts and constraints as families, groups, and societies; of nations and cultures; of identities and religions; and of political and financial realities.
Ever changing technologies offer new ways for us to be independent and autonomous learners, encouraging students to be self-directed and confident in making choices, and enabling and empowering students and teachers to be proactive and tailor content. However, myriad technologies and services make us more dependent on the very things allowing autonomy. How do we help students and teachers alike navigate and curate the vast information available? How do we encourage individual growth, while also underlining the importance of belonging, and of the reciprocal responsibilities, and privileges of education? How do we help students and each build the skills and attitudes necessary for positive engagement in distributed, globalised communities that so often lead to polarisation and alienation instead? How do we educate with independence and interdependence in mind?
These and many other questions will be addressed at the conference, and we look forward to coming together to exchange ideas and explore new research paths together in Honolulu in 2019!