The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2018


"Surviving and Thriving: Education in Times of Change"

In 2017, IAFOR education conferences in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America have brought together delegates from around the world to consider the theme of “Educating for Change” from a variety of different perspectives and approaches, taking full advantage of the international make-up of the attendees and the huge diversity of experiences. A recurring theme throughout the conferences was the reference to the future, be it immediate or longer term, as being uncertain; the natural resilience and optimism was counterbalanced by both apprehension; with hope also came fear.

In this period of great global political and economic instability, rising inequality and social unrest, the role of education within society has never been more important, but never more vulnerable. This brings us to our conference theme for 2018, which references these inherent vulnerabilities in both educational systems and the individual students and teachers, as well as the necessary resilience needed to not only survive, but also thrive.

How do we teachers, administrators and policymakers adopt and adapt to change outside our control? How do we nurture and encourage positive change, through the excitement of the imagination, innovation and creativity? How can technologies be better used to help us teach, and to help students learn? How do we sustain and manage change? How can we react positively to negative change? How can we, our institutions and our students survive and thrive in these times of change?

The Local Context: Hawaii and the Pacific

This unique international conference, organised in affiliation with IAFOR Global Partners, including the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, offers a unique location from which to consider a number of issues and trends in education, including distance, access and rural education, the frictions between the preservation and challenging of traditional and indigenous cultures, languages and wisdoms, and how alternative and marginalised groups are (re)valued. The population of the islands is multicultural and rich in the difference one would expect from its geographical location equidistant from Asia and the Americas. As part of the US system, the islands that make up Hawaii have a colonial past and present that informs questions of knowledge and identity, and invites discussions of social justice issues.

We hope and expect the 2018 conference in Hawaii will bring together educators from around the world to exchange ideas, research and practice from their own backgrounds and contexts, and to draw on and be inspired by the local and international body of delegates from an expected 40 different national backgrounds.


The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2018 (IICEHawaii2018) will be held alongside The IAFOR International Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment – Hawaii 2018 (IICSEEHawaii2018), and many of the sessions will concentrate on areas at the intersection of education and sustainability. In keeping with IAFOR’s commitment to interdisciplinary study, delegates at either conference are encouraged to attend sessions in other disciplines. Registration for either conference will allow delegates to attend sessions in the other.

In conjunction with our Global Partners, including the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and Virginia Tech, we look forward to extending you a warm welcome in 2018.

The IICEHawaii2018 Organising Committee

Professor Ronald Mellado Miller, Brigham Young University–Hawaii, USA
Professor Barbara Lockee, Virginia Tech., USA
Dr James W. McNally, University of Michigan, USA & NACDA Program on Aging
Professor Curtis Ho, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, USA
Dr Xu Di, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, USA
Dr Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Kiyoshi Mana, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan

Key Information
  • Location: The Hawai'i Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
  • Dates: Thursday, January 04, 2018 ​to Saturday, January 06, 2018
  • Conference Theme: "Surviving and Thriving: Education in Times of Change"
  • Initial Abstract Submission Deadline: August 22, 2017*
  • Final Abstract Submission Deadline: October 24, 2017
  • Registration Deadline for Presenters: November 22, 2017

*Submit early to take advantage of the discounted registration rates. Learn more about our registration options.


  • Dr Richard R. Vuylsteke
    Dr Richard R. Vuylsteke
    East-West Center, USA
  • Dr Xiaoyan Liang
    Dr Xiaoyan Liang
    World Bank
  • Dr Hiagi M. Wesley
    Dr Hiagi M. Wesley
    Brigham Young University – Hawaii, USA
  • Dr Xu Di
    Dr Xu Di
    University of Hawai’i at Manoa, USA

Why Join an IAFOR Conference?

The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) welcomes academics from all over the world to our interdisciplinary conferences held in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. Our events provide a unique international, intercultural and interdisciplinary environment in which to hear the latest world-class research and network with leading academics, professionals and practitioners.

Our conferences are meticulously planned under the direction of prominent academics to ensure that they offer programmes of the highest level, and are supported by some of the world’s leading academic institutions, including the University of London (UK), Virginia Tech (USA), Barcelona University (Spain), Waseda University (Japan), Monash University (Australia), University of Sussex (UK), Medill School of Journalism (USA), Moscow State University (Russia) and The University of Tokyo, (Japan).

By facilitating dialogue between the world’s academics and thought leaders, IAFOR has become a pioneer in providing the research avenues and visionary development solutions that are necessary in our rapidly emerging globalised world. We welcome you to engage in this expanding global academic community of individuals and network of institutions, and look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.

Dr Richard R. Vuylsteke
East-West Center, USA


Dr Richard R. Vuylsteke (pronounced VUL-stek) took office as the East-West Center’s 11th Chief Executive on January 1, 2017. A former EWC grantee and staff member, he rejoined the Center after several decades living in Asia and serving most recently as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

Previously he served as President of the American Chamber in Taipei, Editor-in-Chief of the Taiwan Review, and Area Studies Coordinator for the US Department of State Foreign Service Institute in Taipei. Earlier in his career, he was a research fellow in East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School as well as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Rajasthan, India.

Originally from Illinois, and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Illinois College, Dr Vuylsteke was an East-West Center grantee in the 1970s while he earned MA and PhD degrees from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, specializing in Western and Chinese political philosophy. While still a graduate student he joined the Center’s staff as a research assistant to the Director of the Culture Learning Institute, and later worked as a special assistant to the EWC president with focus on Pacific Community topics. In addition, he taught courses at the University of Hawai'i and Chaminade University in Asian history and social, political and legal philosophy. He also worked at the Pacific Forum (now Pacific Forum/CSIS).

Prior to graduate school, he served three years in the US Army, leaving active duty as a 1st Lieutenant. While in the service, he was stationed in Hawai’i at the US Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) as Chief of the China Desk and later seconded to CINCPAC (now PACOM) as Chief of the Soviet Far East Desk.

His areas of expertise include strategic and operational leadership of multicultural organisations; Asia Pacific business and trade, and Asian and Western history and philosophy.

Dr Vuylsteke is married to Josephine Wu Vuylsteke, a former broadcast journalist; they have three sons.

Keynote Presentation | TBA
Dr Xiaoyan Liang
World Bank


Xiaoyan Liang is a Lead Education Specialist in the World Bank. Dr Liang joined the World Bank formally as a Young Professional in 1998 after graduating from Harvard University with a Doctor of Education degree. Since then, she has led policy dialogue and research, and managed the World Bank’s education programs in Africa, Latin America, and East Asia Regions. Dr Liang has solid education policy research, program development and implementation expertise in early childhood education, technical and vocational and higher education, education finance, and teacher development. She is widely published. Her most recent analytical works include “Challenges and Opportunities in Early Childhood Education in Yunnan” and “Developing Skills for Economic Transformation and Social Harmony in China”. She is also the lead author of the well-received World Bank’s “How Shanghai Does It: Insights and Lessons from the Highest-Ranking Education System in the World” report. Dr Liang is currently the World Bank’s Africa Regional Team Leader for the East and Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence Project, Skills for Africa Transformation and Regional Integration, and the Partnership for Applied Science, Engineering, and Technology (PASET). Prior to that, she was the team leader for World Bank’s education programs in China, Malaysia and Korea. Dr Liang is passionate and committed to education development and to facilitating education partnership between East Asia, Africa and other countries.

Keynote Presentation | TBA
Dr Hiagi M. Wesley
Brigham Young University – Hawaii, USA


Having been in the classroom at elementary school, junior and senior high school, and university levels, as well as an administrator at all levels, Dr Hiagi M. Wesley is passionate about student learning and academic success. He has a special interest in how different indigenous cultures affect the academic success of students.

His current responsibilities in leadership and teaching have been in the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Studies programs at Brigham Young University – Hawaii, USA. He strives to apply effective pedagogy for student learning, in his role as Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Humanities, as he provides services in the area of curriculum development.

His educational background includes a Master’s degree and Supervisory Certificate in Secondary School Administration as well as a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration. Other training includes an ESL certificate as well as Diversity and Sensitivity credentials.

Featured Presentation | Pacific Indigenous Perspectives vs Global Ways of Learning
Dr Xu Di
University of Hawai’i at Manoa, USA


Xu Di (许笛) is a professor in the department of Education Foundations, College of Education, University of Hawai’i-Mānoa. She is a member of the board of examiners for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, now Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation [CAEP]), which has provided national accreditation for teacher education programs in the United States since 2007. Her recent publications focus on bridging Eastern and Western philosophy for educational practices and include Chinese Philosophy on Teaching & Learning: Xueji《学记》 in the Twenty-First Century (2016), The Wisdom from the East: A Holistic Theory and Practice of Health and Wellness (2013), Spiritual Heritage and Education Today (2013), Taoism: Origin, Essence, and Practice (2013), and A Reading of Lao Zi for Educational Philosophers Today (2012). In addition, she published A Comparison of the Educational Ideas and Practices of John Dewey and Mao Zedong in China (1992) and various chapters and articles on teacher education, educational foundations, multicultural education, international education, and ESL education. She worked as an international consultant in teacher education and educational reforms in Central Asia and Africa for the World Bank in 2002 and 2001. She served on the Hawai’i Teacher Standard Board (2005–2008) and as the president of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) Hawai’i Chapter as well as Hawai’i state representative (2006–2008). She was a visiting scholar and research associate at the Philosophy of Educational Research Center at Harvard University (1999–2000), a visiting professor in Peking University (2015, 2011, 2009, and 1997) and in Renmin University (2012, 2014, and 2016), and an exchange professor at National Kaohsiung University in Taiwan (1998). She served as manuscript editor as well as editorial board member for Harvard Educational Review during 1988–1990. She was honored in Who’s Who among American Teachers in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2008.

Featured Presentation | TBA

Previous IICEHawaii Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | Aloha as a Way of Being: Hawaiian Perspectives on Learning