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HSE University Students Present at International Conference on the Future of Education

HSE University Students Present at International Conference on the Future of Education

© Facebook/ The Future of Education conference page

The ninth annual international conference The Future of Education, held in Florence, Italy, brought together over 200 education researchers and professionals from 48 countries. Undergraduate students from HSE University were the only undergraduate students at the conference to present a paper.

The Future of Education conference has traditionally attracted lecturers from universities and special educational centres, as well as organizers of big international educational projects, such as Erasmus+.

This year, the conference’s 27 sessions covered different stages of the educational process, from primary school to adult education. Panels dealt with teacher training, new learning technology, ethical issues in education, teaching academic and creative subjects, as well as long-distance learning and educational strategies.

The last time Russian representatives took part in the conference was 2015, and they were researchers from the HSE Institute of Education. This time, HSE University was represented in Florence by staff of the HSE Laboratory for Educational and Youth Journalism. They presented the results of their study on the best practices of finding talented children and working with them, which was carried out in Izhevsk, Russia.  The materials were collected during an expedition to Udmurtia supported by the HSE University grant ‘Rediscovering Russia 2018’.

Twenty students of different fields – journalism, sociology, management, and law – took part in the expedition. They visited ten educational institutions in Udmurtia, where they interviewed school directors, teachers and students. The researchers also met the regional authorities in education.

Photo courtesy of Yulia Chernenko

The collected material served as the basis for the paper ‘Educating the Gifted in Russian Region: Pilot Study in Udmurtia’. It was presented at the conference by Yulia Chernenko, the laboratory expert and lecturer at the School of Media, and undergraduate students Anna Borisova (2nd-year student, Public Administration) and Arina Grosul (3rd-year student, Media Communications).

‘As a result of the expedition, we were able to assemble  a small team of students interested in research’, said Yulia Chernenko, ‘Anna and Arina worked on the topic of best practices at schools, which was well suitable for the programme of The Future of Education conference, so we decided to apply’.

HSE University researchers described six cases from Udmurtia schools working with talented children: mixed-ability classes at Akadempark network school; industry-specific classes at Lyceum of Economics and Mathematics No. 29; ‘Singapore Lessons’ at the republic’s boarding school ‘Italmas’; the preservation of Udmurtia folk traditions at Kuzebay Gerd School; and ‘upside down’ classes and project learning at School No. 97 ‘Garmonia’.

Organizers of The Future of Education emphasized the importance of young researchers’ and students’ participation. While master’s and doctoral students are not uncommon participants of the event, a presentation by undergraduate students on a serious research project is noteworthy.

‘In fact, the presentation was made by Anna and Arina, while I only gave the introduction and the conclusion’, said Yulia Chernenko

The audience’s reaction was more important for my younger colleagues than for me: many people approached them and complimented them on their research, as well as their command of English

Yulia also received some questions, particularly regarding the Laboratory’s methods of work with students. ‘The level of our undergraduate students impressed the conference participants,’ she said.

The students’ presentation led to a discussion of potential joint international projects. The HSE laboratory received cooperation offers from representatives of the University of South Australia in Adelaide and Erasmus+ programme.

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