Programme

The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii (IICEHawaii) is a multidisciplinary conference held concurrently with The IAFOR International Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment – Hawaii (IICSEEHawaii). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for either of these conferences permits attendance in both.

This page provides details of presentations and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the Speakers page.


  • Education in a Changing World: New Partnership and Changing Paradigm for Education Development
    Education in a Changing World: New Partnership and Changing Paradigm for Education Development
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Xiaoyan Liang
  • ‘Ignorance is Bliss’: The New Anti-Education Movement
    ‘Ignorance is Bliss’: The New Anti-Education Movement
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Andy Curtis
  • Surviving and Thriving: Education in Times of Change
    Surviving and Thriving: Education in Times of Change
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Failautusi ‘Tusi’ Avegalio
  • Pacific Indigenous Perspectives vs Global Ways of Learning
    Pacific Indigenous Perspectives vs Global Ways of Learning
    Featured Presentation: Dr Hiagi M. Wesley
  • Educational Policy: Does the Democratisation of Education in Educational Systems Fuel Economic and Social Inequality?
    Educational Policy: Does the Democratisation of Education in Educational Systems Fuel Economic and Social Inequality?
    Featured Panel Presentation: Professor David P. Ericson, Professor Xu Di & Dr Joseph Haldane
  • IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
    IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
  • IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening
    IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening

Additional programming will be announced here shortly.


Previous Programming

View details of programming for past IICEHawaii conferences via the links below.

Education in a Changing World: New Partnership and Changing Paradigm for Education Development
Keynote Presentation: Dr Xiaoyan Liang

The presentation will shed light on the evolution as well as emerging policies and practices implicitly and explicitly espoused in the World Bank education programs. Neoliberalism ideologies have impacted education reform policies in developing countries in the last two to three decades. Privatisation, decentralisation, school choice, accountability, and standards (often unreachable and without sufficient enabling conditions) have been the mantra for much of the education development. The results, however, are not optimal, widening the gap in access and quality of education and often weakened state institutions in the mandate and provision of education. The World Development Report 2018 labelled the status of education as a “learning crisis”. At the same time, the presentation will highlight the alternative and successful path of education development in selected East Asian countries such as China and Korea, characterised by the strong role of the states, balancing central planning with local implementation, pragmatism in adopting different priorities at different stages of development. Further, at core of the East Asian education experience is the relentless focus on teachers and instructional excellence at every level of education and a heavy dose of science, technology and engineering curriculum (STEM), which many now agree have contributed to the economic miracles we witness today in these countries.

The World Bank, under a few of its flagship programs, is beginning to embrace and promote knowledge sharing and partnerships between the new donors (as opposed to traditional ones) such as China and Korea with other developing countries including Africa, aiming at leveraging the Chinese and Korean education development experience in basic education, higher education, as well as technical and vocational education and training. Concrete examples will be provided to illustrate how these projects are incubating concrete collaboration between the Chinese and Korean institutions with the African ones.

Read presenter biographies.

‘Ignorance is Bliss’: The New Anti-Education Movement
Keynote Presentation: Dr Andy Curtis

Talking to attendees at an education conference about the importance of Education may be characterised as ‘preaching to the converted’ or ‘singing to the choir’, as all of us who attend such events are, ipso facto, convinced of and committed to the value and importance of Education. However, outside of our Education world there appears to be a growing number of high-profile, high-powered world leaders and celebrities who are not only ignorant of basic facts and figures regarding the world around them, but who appear to be proud of their ignorance. That can be seen as an attack on the belief that being an Educated Person as an inherently good thing to be.

Linguistically, a reflection of this blissful/boastful ignorance is the Oxford English Dictionary’s (OED) 2016 Word-of-the-Year: ‘Post-Truth’. According to the OED site: “Post-truth has gone from being a peripheral term to being a mainstay in political commentary, now often being used by major publications without the need for clarification or definition in their headlines”. If Truth is now ‘optional’, what does this mean for Education, and for us as educators? In terms of language, a related phrase is ‘Alternative Facts’, used in January 2017, by the US Counselor to the then-new President of the USA. Again, if Facts are now also ‘optional’ what does this mean for education and educators? In this keynote presentation we will look at some possible answers to these questions.

Read presenter biographies.

Surviving and Thriving: Education in Times of Change
Keynote Presentation: Dr Failautusi ‘Tusi’ Avegalio

From my first year (‘97) as a faculty member at the University of Hawaii, College of Business Administration, an intellectual and world view dilemma between my Polynesian beliefs, rooted in traditional values, and Western education/perspectives continued unabated until years later when I matured as a ranking traditional leader (alii) of the Samoan archipelago and as a seasoned educator and administrator at the secondary and post-secondary levels. The cause of that dilemma was the intellectual contrast between the notion of a mechanistic universe motivated by a linear rational process and an organic universe, genealogically connected that privileged intuition, dialogue with ancestors, and kinship ties among all living things. Utilising one or the other has been harmful and ineffective in adapting effectively to change particularly if imposed by a dominant culture. Rather than supplant traditional beliefs and cultural values with ‘modern’ pedagogic and leadership methods and/or perspectives of success, a more effective method of reconciling the seemingly opposing values and moving forward was synthesising cultural knowledge and traditional wisdoms with modern knowledge, science and technology. Combine the best of both, discarding their weaknesses and creating a third option with value added. The opportunities for success are compelling.

Click here to read the biographies of IICEHawaii2018 presenters.

Pacific Indigenous Perspectives vs Global Ways of Learning
Featured Presentation: Dr Hiagi M. Wesley

Pacific islanders, in pursuing an education in America’s universities, have to deal with cultural perspectives that influence their way of life, behaviour, motivation and learning. These students, comprising different levels of English language proficiency with diversified degrees of socialization in globalization, continue to perform poorly in America’s institutions of higher learning. The students could be non-citizens with student visas or bona fide citizens of the United States who are children of immigrants from Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia.

The cultural perspectives that determine their identity and self-esteem could be barriers as well as sources of conflict in the academic setting. The challenge is to deal with two perspectives that are bipolar in nature: the heritage culture as well as the school culture with its norms and expectations. Pedagogically, the context of teaching is focused on global perspectives, thus contributing to the already disadvantaged Pacific islanders.

As students acquire a more global perspective, they are in a position to negotiate the system, engage meta-cognitively and participate in the learning process. In retrospect, the greater the level of cognition related to global perspectives, the more likely for the students to acquire, adapt and apply effective strategies that contribute to their academic success. When there is greater incongruence between cultural and global perspectives students feel challenged, lack motivation and experience alienation in the educational settings. The end result could be failure and overall poor performance.

Click here to read the biographies of IICEHawaii2018 presenters.

Educational Policy: Does the Democratisation of Education in Educational Systems Fuel Economic and Social Inequality?
Featured Panel Presentation: Professor David P. Ericson, Professor Xu Di & Dr Joseph Haldane

‘In nearly all the western world and, now, most of Asia, the high hopes that led to the expansion of educational systems have yielded to some second thoughts about the efficacy of educational systems in attaining economic growth, social reform, and a more equitable division of social and economic benefits. Indeed, in some countries the democratisation of education has been accompanied by increasing inequalities. The intent of educational planning has been frustrated to the point that it casts wholesale doubt on the future capability of educational policy making itself.’

Is the substance of such claims true, partially true, or simply exaggerated? Have the promise of and democratisation of educational expansion throughout the world helped to fuel rising social inequality? What lessons can we draw for what we may reasonably expect from educational planning and policy?

Click here to read the biographies of IICEHawaii2018 presenters.

IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session

As an organization, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In 2018, we are excited to launch a major new and ambitious international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research initiative which uses the silk road trade routes as a lens through which to study some of the world’s largest historical and contemporary geopolitical trends, shifts and exchanges.

IAFOR is headquartered in Japan, and the 2018 inauguration of this project aligns with the 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, when Japan opened its doors to the trade and ideas that would precipitate its rapid modernisation and its emergence as a global power. At a time when global trends can seem unpredictable, and futures fearful, the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative gives the opportunity to revisit the question of the impact of international relations from a long-term perspective.

This ambitious initiative will encourage individuals and institutions working across the world to support and undertake research centring on the contact between countries and regions in Europe and Asia – from Gibraltar to Japan – and the maritime routes that went beyond, into the South-East Continent and the Philippines, and later out into the Pacific Islands and the United States. The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative will be concerned with all aspects of this contact, and will examine both material and intellectual traces, as well as consequences.

For more information about the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative, click here.

IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) in 2015 as an international photography award that seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists. The award has benefitted since the outset from the expertise of an outstanding panel of internationally renowned photographers, including Dr Paul Lowe as the Founding Judge, and Ed Kashi, Monica Allende, Simon Roberts, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Simon Norfolk and Emma Bowkett as Guest Judges. Now in its third year, the award has already been widely recognised by those in the industry and has been supported by World Press Photo, Metro Imaging, MediaStorm, Think Tank Photo, University of the Arts London, RMIT University, British Journal of Photography, The Centre for Documentary Practice, and the Medill School of Journalism.

As an organisation, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In keeping with this mission, in appreciation of the great value of photography as a medium that can be shared across borders of language, culture and nation, and to influence and inform our academic work and programmes, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched as a competition that would help underline the importance of the organisation’s aims, and would promote and recognise best practice and excellence.

Winners of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 were announced at The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film 2017 (EuroMedia2017) in Brighton, UK. The award follows the theme of the EuroMedia conference, with 2017’s theme being “History, Story, Narrative”. In support of up-and-coming talent, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is free to enter.

Access to the Award Screening is included in the conference registration fee. For more information about the award, click here.

Image | From the project Single Mothers of Afghanistan by IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 Grand Prize Winner, Kiana Hayeri.