Dutch-Flemish Branch Conference: Education as an agent of change

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As part of the PESGB's 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Dutch Flemish branch, in collaboration with Erasmus University College, is hosting a conference on the theme of 'Education as an agent of social change'.

Even in those parts of the world least troubled by violence, poverty, environmental problems, and natural or man-made disasters, the sense that we live in a time of crisis – a critical era – is widespread. The banking crisis and general financial crises, climate change and other global environmental problems, and increasing global and regional socio-economic inequality has led to an increasing number of voices arguing that the current neoliberal politico-economic system is – for a multitude of reasons, both moral and prudential – unsustainable, and that radical changes are necessary. In times of crisis, it is almost habitual to turn to education in search for (a) solution(s).

In this symposium we wish to put the place and space of education in a critical era radically at stake. What sense can be made of the idea of education as an agent of change? To what extent does it still make sense to speak of education as having a ‘role’ to play in this context? Many have warned against the dangers of using the next generations to rectify the mistakes of the previous ones. At the same time, educating our children is arguably one of the most important ways in which we take responsibility in and for this world. How, then, are we to conceive of the idea of education as an intergenerational relationship today? In current times, to what extent is it wise, or sensible, or appropriate to resist an instrumentalization of education? Some have argued that education is or should be a site of experimentation. What are the limits – if any – of such a site?


MICHAEL BONNETT University of Cambridge


GINIE SERVANT Erasmus University College


Participation is free, but registration is taken to imply a sincere commitment to attend. You can register by sending an e-mail to Anders Schinkel: a.schinkel@vu.nl. Please list your name, affiliation, and any dietary requirements. Accommodation is not included, and travel and accommodation costs cannot be funded.


Erasmus University College, Nieuwemarkt 1a, 3011HP Rotterdam, The Netherlands

For travel directions see http://www.eur.nl/euc/contact/.

Contact: Anders Schinkel, a.schinkel@vu.nl.