II International Conference of the journal «Scuola Democratica»
University of Cagliari, Italy – 3-4-5 June, 2021
Centro Interuniversitario per la Ricerca Didattica (Università di Cagliari and Università di Sassari)
The challenges posed by the contemporary world have long required a rethinking of educational concepts, policies and practices. The question about education ‘for what’ (as well as ‘how’ and ‘for whom’) had become unavoidable and yet it largely remained elusive due to a tenacious attachment to the ideas and routines of the past which are now far off the radical transformations required of educational systems. The challenges brought about by the pandemic raise these questions even more pressingly. They shed new light on the role of digital technologies (polarised between ‘apocalyptic’ and ‘integrated’ users); the demands that arise from the huge environmental risks that the new generations now have to face; the necessity of designing training paths for global and local citizenship; the demand for new forms of education capable of actively responding to the challenges of ‘blending’ cultures, identities and differences, as well as fighting against the all too many inequalities that are still produced on the regional and local scale; the necessary transformation of educational spaces and times to meet the new social and pedagogical exigencies and demands. The central theme of the first Conference (2019) is still very much alive: the need to make education a more robust barrier against the post-democratic tendencies that are now emerging with greater power. Liberal democratic systems are indeed experiencing difficulties in coping with a global crisis that has extended from the health and environmental spheres to the economic and social ones. These are non-neutral issues that affect the actors, governments, international and national organisations that work in the educational field. It is no longer sufficient to think locally or make ‘on-the-fly’ adjustments. Far too many are the instances that call for reflection in order to reinvent discourses and practices so as to stem the vulnerabilities that are imposed on subjects, educational systems and policies, on a national as well as international scale: to look, think and educate to help shape scenarios and future generations capable of facing the many crises looming on the planet.
The second Conference of the journal «Scuola Democratica» wishes to address these challenges. Scenarios, reflections and practices will be proposed that foster the possibility of change towards the reinvention of the educational field as a driver of more general and global changes. The Conference will have a multidisciplinary approach and will host, among the organisers too, experts from different disciplinary communities, including: pedagogy, psychology, economics, architecture, political science, etc. Only the collaboration between the diverse epistemic fields will be able to give strength to the proposals and arrange future scenarios.