Exploring the theme of education in action, participants of the York Graduate Students in Education‘s 15th annual Graduate Conference in Education met recently to take a deeper look at questions around democracy and education.
Graduate students from York University, and neighboring universities, presented on a variety of topics including decolonization, various pedagogies, post-secondary education, equity, gender and environments. Research also looked at what democracy in practice looks like, and what it means to broaden the scope of democracy.
“As we consider the direction the world has taken in the last few years, it becomes more and more apparent that we all need to be addressing questions of politics, of democracy and of power, even and especially when we do not feel comfortable doing so,” said conference coordinator Mara-Elena Nagy. “Our theme of education in action is timely because there is no one meaning of the phrase or the concept.”
The conference also featured keynote talks by York University Faculty of Education professors Aparna Mishra-Tarc and Qiang Zha. Both speakers took up issues around action and democracy’s role in education.
Another conference highlight included research presentations from graduate students in the Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) cohort. Abdullahi Aden, Arte Saman, Okello Mark Oyat, Robert Ocan Leomoi and Abdikadir Bare Abikar presented their research on issues in education in the Ifo Refugee Camp in Dadaab, Kenya. The presentation was done via Zoom by the students in Dadaab with their peers in Toronto.
As part of the conference wrap-up, Jacob McLean, from York University Graduate Students in Education, spoke about upcoming potential changes to the post-secondary education landscape and the need for students to be more active participants in all aspects of their democratic processes.
The event was suppoorted by the Faculty of Education, the York University Graduate Student Association and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.