Gulf Comparative Education Society’s Fifth Annual Symposium on Locating the National in the International: Comparative Perspectives on Language, Identity, Policy, and Practice
October 04, 2014
The Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES) held its fifth annual symposium from April 8 to 10, 2014. Entitled “Locating the National in the International: Comparative Perspectives on Language, Identity, Policy, and Practice,” the symposium was in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
It consisted of a pre-conference workshop, one keynote address, four featured panels, and eleven breakout sessions with over 55 presentations by both invited speakers as well as those who had submitted abstracts. The speakers came from a wide variety of countries including the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Switzerland, England, Australia, Germany, and the United States, and represented different voices in the education sector, such as policymakers, academics and researchers, school providers and leaders, consultants, and teachers.
The purpose of this year’s GCES symposium was to examine issues relating to language and cultural heritage in the context of the creation of inclusive and outward-looking educational spaces. As countries in the region seek simultaneously to preserve traditions and culture while embracing modernity, challenges inevitably arise, particularly in the education sector. Delivering the keynote address about acting both locally and globally in the classroom was Professor Tony Townsend from the University of Glasgow.