School of Education and Leadership’s Biennial Conference (BICSEL)

Concept Note for SEL Biennial Conference

Advancing Innovation for Improved Educational Policy and Practice: Prospects and Challenges

Background

The 21st century will go down history as one of the momentous centuries in human history for several reasons. One of the reasons is the speed and height of technological advancement the century has witnessed especially in the last few decades. Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems, robotics, and cognitive tools are growing in sophistication and almost every job is being reinvented to keep pace with the trends. Apart from this, the century has also been confronted with issues such as terrorism, inequality, and climate change all of which pose serious threats to sustainable development. Before the world could deal decisively with the threats, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic struck and disrupted every sector of the world’s economy including the education sector. UNESCO estimated that some one billion learners in schools, from pre-school to tertiary levels across the globe, were negatively affected by the closure of schools occasioned by the COVID-19 outbreak. At the time the world was trying to bounce back from COVID-19, the 2022 monkeypox outbreak and the Marburg virus disease together with the war in Ukraine have come to make matters worse. These trends call for the urgent need for higher educational institutions to repackage the education they provide to prepare learners for the future and more importantly position them to design creative solutions to the challenges that threaten our lives and livelihoods. All sectors of society including academia have been called upon to mobilize for action to generate an unstoppable movement pushing for creative and innovative solutions. 

The Biennial International Academic Conference on “Advancing Innovation for Improved Educational Policy and Practice: Prospects and Challenges will be held in April 2024 at the School of Education and Leadership, University of Ghana, Ghana. This academic conference will take place at a time that the world is battling with ways to contain the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and to find ways through which innovation can be advanced and used to improve educational delivery. In this context, academic institutions have a crucial role to play in ensuring that their products are equipped with skills, knowledge and competences that are needed to succeed in the post pandemic world. 

In 2023 and after, the world has been presented with the opportunity to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic that has highlighted the importance of creativity, innovation, and collaboration in addressing common threats and challenges. Academic institutions are uniquely qualified and positioned to bring to the table discussions and approaches that can be incorporated into the action plans to advance innovation and improve educational policy and practice in the post pandemic era.

This biennial conference by the School of Education and Leadership is an important opportunity to mobilize academic experts, practitioners, and civil society advocates to discuss the prospects and challenges of education in the post pandemic era. Conference participants will gather in Accra, Ghana’s capital to dissect the issues and proffer solutions. The conference aims to build on the importance of academia and education as the bedrock of innovation. The Biennial International Academic Conference on “Advancing Innovation for Improved Educational Policy and Practice: Prospects and Challenges” is a special forum in the School of Education and Leadership and will bring to Accra a global conversation that is necessary for succeeding in the 21st century in general and the post COVI-19 pandemic era. 

The biennial academic conference on advancing innovation for improved educational policy and practice is rooted in the vision and mission of the College of Education, University of Ghana, which seeks to become a world-class ICT-driven research-intensive college by creating an enabling environment that make the college of education increasingly relevant to national and global development, cutting edge research and innovative ICT-driven high-quality teaching and learning in all units within the college. This conference to be hosted by the School of Education and Leadership, College of Education, University of Ghana seeks to engage the global community including academic institutions, civil society organizations, private sector entities, local and national governments, to explore ways that will redefine education.

The purpose of this conference, rooted in the necessity to discuss the prospects and challenges of education is to harness strategies, expertise and resources across the widest spectrum of academic thought to unleash a range of education initiatives that ensure innovation for improved education policy and practice.

Participants at the conference will put together a communique on the prospects and challenges of education. This communique will be drafted by a committee made up of a group of academicians and practitioners and will be offered for adoption at the closing plenary session. The communique will be widely circulated among academic institutions, civil society, and other sectors. 

Conference objectives

The objectives of the conference are:

  • to share experiences and research findings on key issues in education for innovation, practice and policy
  • to explore the prospects and challenges of education in the 21st century
  •  to discuss innovative ways to improve educational delivery
  • to explore ways in which technology can be leveraged to improve educational outcomes at all levels in the 21stcentury
  • to examine strategies that can be used by educational institutions to bounce back from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic

Conference Sub-themes/Thematic Areas

The following are the sub-themes to be considered:

  1. Teaching & Learning
  2. Educational Structures/Policy
  3. Community & Society
  4. Language, Culture & Language Education
  5. Psychology
  6. Innovation & Technology in Education
  7. Education Theory and Practice
  8. Early Childhood Development/Education
  9. Physical Education
  10. Physical Activity & Health
  11. Disability & Special Education
  12. Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Education
  13. General Arts Education
  14. Development in Education
  15. Curriculum Development in Education

Conference Schedule /Date

The committee members agreed tentatively that the conference should be organised while school is in session to enable students to participate. It therefore settled on the month of April 2024. Because of the yearlong UG @ 75 celebrations, the committee is of the view the date of the conference should be aligned with the activities of the 75th anniversary celebrations.

Venue/Logistics

Members agreed that since the conference was the maiden edition, it should be organised on the University of Ghana main campus. In order of preference, these three venues were proposed:

  1. Cedi Conference Centre,
  2. ISSER Conference Facility and
  3. the African Wetlands.

Call for Papers

The call for papers will go out early to enable people to submit their papers on time. Please see the section on Important Dates for the timelines.

Format of the conference and presentation

The conference will be primarily in-person with online opportunity for participants who cannot be physically present. The format of the presentations will be: oral, poster and panel discussions.

Expected outcomes of the Conference

1. Publications in a peer reviewed journal

2. A communique on the dreams, possibilities, and challenges of education

 

Ethical and Scholarly Etiquette

1. This conference is organized both as a scholarly event and for demonstration of pedagogy.

2. In that regard, researchers, educators and practitioners will be invited to submit papers, case studies, and exhibits for the conference.

3. All submissions will undergo a rigorous review process by a panel of experts.

4. Submissions will be considered for the conference based on carefully developed objective criteria.

Important Dates

Item description

Date

Call for Papers Announcement

By Sept. 27th 2023

Submission Deadline for Abstracts

By Dec. 31st 2023

Notification of Acceptance

By Jan. 15th 2023

Full Paper Submission

By March. 15th 2024

Conference Dates

4th and 5th April 2024

Publicity

The conference will rely on the University of Ghana Public Affairs Directorate, Radio Universe, flyers, City FM and TV, and social media for its publicity.

Formation of sub-committees

To ensure the successful planning and organization of this maiden conference, the members suggested that sub-committees needed to be created as soon as practical that will be chaired by the members of this committee. The proposed sub-committees are:

  1. Scientific sub-committee
  2. Logistics sub-committee
  3. Financial sub-committee
  4. Media/Publicity sub-committee

Central Planning Committee Membership

Dr. John Sedofia                                          Co-Chair

Dr. Evelyn Folake Kissi                                Co-Chair

Dr Clement Adamba                                    Research Fellow of SEL, Member

Dr. Doreen Ahwireng                                   Rep of DESL, Member,

Ms. Vida K. Nyawornota                               Rep of PESS, Member

Mrs. Alberta Doe                                          Administer Assistant