From: Fred Dervin <frederutu.fi>
Subject: Fostering Learner and Teacher Autonomy in Educational Practices: Languages and Beyond
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Full Title: Fostering Learner and Teacher Autonomy in Educational Practices:
Languages and Beyond
Date: 06-Jan-2011 - 07-Jan-2011
Location: Mumbai, India
Contact Person: Fred Dervin
Meeting Email: mumbai2011hotmail.com
Web Site: http://sites.google.com/site/mumbaiconference2011/home
Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Call Deadline: 01-Jun-2010
While the conference is devoted to the notion of autonomy in language learning
and teaching (LLT), we are equally keen on studying autonomy in other
disciplines and sectors (vocational education, learners with special needs,
technological streams, non formal education, life-long learning etc.). An
interdisciplinary dialogue between philosophy, psychology, sociology, education,
and technology also seems inevitable. The pedagogical processes and principles
that underline autonomy, the socio-cultural factors and discourses that shape
it, are all part of the scope of this conference.
We invite papers that primarily deal with any of the following sub-themes in
English and French...
Call for Papers
We invite papers that primarily deal with any of the following sub-themes.
1. Towards a pedagogy of autonomy
What is the nature of autonomy? What pedagogies can we rely on to achieve the
dual objective of successfully learning a language and/or a discipline and
learning to learn? What tools can we make effective use of? What techniques and
strategies do such pedagogies give us to understand the process of
autonomisation in a better way? This section invites papers that reflect upon
types of pedagogy in use, those that foster autonomy and those that don't, with
respect to specific contexts in which they are functional. Proposals may also
put forward criticisms of a 'wild' inclusion of autonomy. The role of
accountability in autonomy-fostering learning also needs to be analysed.
Reflections upon these issues, as well as innovative and alternative pedagogies
fostering autonomy are invited, especially in challenging, and complex situations.
- Learner & teacher beliefs on autonomous learning
Learner and teacher beliefs on autonomy affect the learning-teaching process.
The way knowledge is imparted and received, the kind of pedagogies used and
appreciated, the importance given to learner/teacher responsibility, are in a
way related to learner/teacher beliefs.
- Constraints of the instructional context
Some learning-teaching contexts are more favourable to a pedagogy of autonomy
than others. What constraints restrict autonomy? What conditions support
autonomy? And is it possible to rise above the limitations to create a situation
for autonomy-based learning? The role of policy makers, decision makers is in
that sense of vital importance. Official documents (curricula, language learning
policies, textbooks and e.g. the European Framework and its local
interpretation, or in the Indian context, the "5 year Plans, National Curriculum
Framework"), can be analysed in this section in order to delineate different
interpretations and constructions of autonomy in different contexts. Comparative
studies within and across countries can also be presented.
2. Relationship between actors
Moving from the teacher-centered learning to learner-centered learning,
necessarily implies a renewed educational relationship (Bruner, Rogers) that
does away with domination and relies on meaningful interaction (Vigotsky,
Lewin). What type of mediation would be ideal for an enhanced teacher-learner
relationship? Can we look at the teacher as a guide, mentor and/or mediator?
Analysis of existing learning environments, their historical perspectives, and
the feasibility of integrating dynamic, socio-constructivist approaches in tune
with their respective contexts, are some of the topics of this sub-theme. The
role and nature of teacher training in developing and fostering autonomous
practices is also vital and invites attention.
3. Digital technologies and autonomous e-learning
In the era of social media, digital technologies and e-learning, the increase in
alternative knowledge systems, course formats and learner support, where does
autonomy stand? In some contexts, technology is often viewed as a substitute for
the "traditional" way of imparting knowledge, rather than a new tool with fresh
propensities. Is autonomy a prerequisite for ICT? Does ICT create a path for
autonomy-based learning? How and under what conditions? Also, does it allow
teachers to build up their own autonomous competences (e.g. get away from
textbooks, allow students to interact with the outside world, make language
learning and teaching more "authentic")? Critical reviews of the current use of
e-learning tools in relation to autonomous learning can be proposed.
4. Interculturality, multilingualism and autonomy
All learning is a means of getting face to face with the Other, especially,
language learning and multilingualism. Encounters with "Otherness" can
contribute to learning to get to know one's own diverse selves and thus to
develop autonomy. This however does not happen automatically. How can one create
learning systems that aim at developing intercultural and multilingual
competences that go beyond "grammars of cultures" and oversimplifying the Other?
Learning systems that lead to reflexivity, respect of multiple identities, and
reaching out to the other (Cf. Abdallah-Pretceille, Amartya Sen)? How can one
become capable of co-constructing a relationship with a 'foreigner' in one or
several languages? What autonomous strategies can help achieve this? Contexts of
mobility (academic/student mobility, vocational training, etc.) and autonomous
language and intercultural learning can be considered in this section.
The call for papers is available at:
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