Victoria Vdovychenko about the IAF seminar "Education in Crisis"

4.-16. November 2018 | Germany, International Academy for Leadership
Opinion17.11.2018Victoria Vdovychenko, Associate Professor, Kyiv Borys Grinchenko University
IAF
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It’s about people, their hearts and minds, teamwork and personal progress.

I devoted 12 days of my life in the flavour of education supported by the International Academy of Leadership in Gummersbach (IAF). I tasted it from 18 various countries, 4 continents of our planet  starting from Honduras till Thailand and Philippines.

IAF helped me to formulate the issues about education which I was thinking all the time, not being able to articulate properly.  Now, the puzzles are formed. So, here we go…

The shapes of the education took various forms, diverse experiences, some of which -  totally innovative and some of which, - difficult to even understand.

The world is in a state of information and technological revolution, as was once 100 years ago that was the case for the industrial one. Old rules die, new ones appear, including the education. We have something we can frame as “Wild Wild West’ of the educational market. Therefore, educators, policy-makers, students and parents - fasten your safety belts. It’s gonna be an interesting but turbulent journey.

Three controversies in education start to shape the state and future of education in the world that it is difficult to disagree with. Firstly, organizational (life skills), social skills and, in particular, networking skills, are of utmost importance for students and for their employers. Open mindset is vital, the importance on creativity and  the social capital becomes key (a key takeaway from all possible formats of our IAF teamwork). Secondly, the old models of education organization are limiting the input that civil society organizations could make in order to present cutting-edge approaches in delivering education services. Thirdly, traditional "objective" educative approach also transforms. People do not need information as contexts from Universities or schools. People want an understanding, not just a recount of events and facts. Therefore, degrees do not necessarily insure our further successful employment.

However, these controversies are shaped by our more and more global digitalization and edupreneurial approach. Reforms are required to make the education a real market where accountability and competition lead to its high standards. In such a way, businesses operating in the educational field are more vibrant to present cutting-edge and innovative-lead solutions to multidimensional challenges.

Apart from Gummersbach, our group also visited Cologne and Munich. Special interest for all of us got the visit to local school Ipad-driven in its methodology of delivering education. Still long and turbulent way to explore, I must say, in particular, thinking about my country of origin – Ukraine.

In general, IAF prompted all of us to create our own “Beautiful Tree” of global education perspective (a concept from James Tooley, one of our lecturers). This “Tree” had its own ‘roots’ presented by  Bettina Solinger, IAF Director, a ‘trunk’ – managed by our moderators Stefan Melnik and Manali Shah, as well as its own ‘branches’ – represented by Assistants Hanna and Martin. The ‘Tree’, of course, couldn’t exist without the leaves – ‘our ideas’, reflections, projects, cultural events, etc. We performed a lot, reflected our own stories, shared best practices and dreams.

Thank you all for making my personal journey of educational life so exiting coming as a breath of fresh air where the knowledge meets experience!

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