Call for Papers – 7th Annual GCES Symposium

The Seventh Annual Gulf Comparative Education Society Symposium
Innovation and Transformation: Values, Challenges, and Prospects for Education in the GCC

Arab Open University – Kuwait Branch
April 5-7, 2016

The Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES) is a not-for-profit society formed in 2008 to enable professional and academic educational discourse on the Gulf region from a comparative stance.

The 2016 GCES Symposium calls for papers that focus on the use of innovation to transform education, at any level, across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Papers that utilize a comparative perspective are particularly welcome, as this is the focus of the society. Comparisons can be made across various dimensions including, but not limited to: time, space, or level of education. Papers might explore how education innovation can be conceptualized by scholars and policymakers as an alternative paradigm to traditional educational methods and what the implications are. A critical approach, which looks at both the promises and pitfalls of embracing innovation or of rapid transformations, is encouraged in order to provide a comprehensive examination of the topic. Relevant topics could include Open, Flexible, Online (OFO) education, changes in pedagogy, use of new technologies, the role of non-governmental organizations, etc.

We also welcome papers that take the alternative perspective and examine how conventional/traditional K-12 and tertiary education systems endure in the face of pressure to innovate and change, and what mechanisms these resistors to change use to maintain the status quo in the GCC. Perspectives from any education-related discipline are encouraged as are all methodologies.

This year’s theme was inspired by a 2015 UNESCO ‘Call for Action’ to governments, institutions, faculty members, and students around the world to address the need for recognizing and reinforcing the practices of OFO as fundamental to the UN goals of Education for Sustainable Development and Education for All. OFO education, which is marked by the usage of e-learning technologies in the process of teaching and learning, is one example of innovative approach to increasing access to education. Independent, life-long learning skills are characteristic of OFO educational outcomes. Still, OFO education has been criticized for its laxity, particularly in relation to entry points as a requirement for higher education, and its considerable reliance on e-technologies for communicating information with students. The Arab Open University, where this year’s symposium is to be held, is the first of its kind in the GCC countries and the broader Middle East, and as such is changing the higher education landscape in the region and is the ideal setting for a symposium on education innovation and transformation.

Both quantitative and qualitative research is welcome. Additionally, all abstracts should include the following:

1. Background: Explains the purpose of the work and provides a brief description of the problem/research question addressed

2. Methods: Indicates the theoretical-methodological approach used

3. Results: Clearly presents primary findings of the study

4. Conclusion: Briefly discusses the main outcome of the study in relation to the research question

5. Relevance to the GCC

Abstract Submission Details
Abstracts proposals should be submitted online at:
http://gulfcomped.ning.com/page/abstract-submissions-1

Deadline: December 14th, 2015
Notification Date: February 2016

Doctoral Student & Faculty Travel Grants
The Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research will offer one travel grant to a doctoral student presenting results from their research at the 2016 GCES Symposium. Additionally, the Arab Open University – Kuwait Branch will sponsor one travel grant to a professor presenting research at the 2016 GCES symposium. The grants will each be up to $1,000 and will be awarded on the basis of the quality of the submitted abstract. It can be used for travel, accommodation, or other related expenses.

To apply, visit: http://gulfcomped.ning.com/page/travel-grant-application. The deadline is December 14th, 2015.

Registration Fees
Conference registration and annual membership fee: 32 KWD ($108)*
Conference registration and annual membership fee (student): 20 KWD ($68)*

*Presenters at the conference will receive a 50% discount.
Registration fee includes light refreshments, lunches, and access to all speaker presentations and workshops during the symposium.

For more information about GCES or the 2016 Symposium, log onto our website at: http://gulfcomped.ning.com/

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