Event Date/Time: Jun 17, 2002
Abstract Submission Date: Sep 30, 2002
Paper Submission Date: Mar 15, 2003
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You are cordially invited to come to share and discuss your ideas about, problems involving and expertise in the issues of equity, social justice, conflict resolution and democracy at the international conference. We welcome you as a teacher, developer or researcher involved in intercultural education or active in any other field and willing to examine and develop your work from the perspective of promoting intercultural understanding. Let us explore and experience together new ways of teaching and learning in the stimulating atmosphere of diversity.


The conference is being organised by the Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä in cooperation with UNESCO. It is a part of the programme of activities of the University of Jyväskylä UNITWIN/UNESCO Chair. UNITWIN (Universities Twinning) is an umbrella programme comprising some 480 UNESCO chairs and networks operating various parts of the world. The aim of the UNITWIN programme is to renew and internationalise higher education.

Scope and Objectives

The goal of the conference is to foster world-wide academic collaboration and solidarity with a view to reducing regional disparities across the globe and to reconsider conceptualisations of teaching, learning and researching intercultural education, including human rights and a culture of peace. Cross-cultural discussions and dialogues among practitioners and researchers are of outmost importance as a means of promoting the reflective sharing and renewal of scholarly expertise and knowledge. A focus for topical considerations is provided by the question of the effectiveness of intercultural education and by the matter of the relative priorities of the various challenges facing intercultural education in different and changing socio-cultural contexts.

The conference will serve as an innovative forum for discussing your ideas about

· evaluating and improving teacher education/training and academic and vocational higher education policies and practices;
· enhancing the intercultural competence of professionals working in academic and vocational higher education;
· developing new multi- and interdisciplinary and intercultural research initiatives to enhance teaching-learning methods and materials;
· incorporating human prosperity and cultural heritage into education and training;
· establishing an open forum and network of education professionals active in the field; and
· promoting collaborative projects.

The organisers are aware of the problems entailed by all forms of knowledge representation and communication in multicultural settings, including that most of the participants will be using a non-native language. However, we see such issues as learning experiences rather than as obstructions.

Intended Audience

We are targeting university, college and polytechnic teachers, researchers, teacher educators, student counsellors and advisers, programme coordinators, faculty and staff developers, policy-makers and administrators, UNESCO chairs, teachers and administrators of UNEVOC and UNESCO schools, and graduate students.


The UNESCO Conference will take place on the main campus of the University of Jyväskylä, world-famous for its unique architecture. Originating in the first mixed-gender and Finnish-language teacher training college in the country, the university has made a prominent contribution to education and educational research.

The town of Jyväskylä is located in Central Finland, 270 kilometres north of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. There are good flight, rail and road connections from all parts of the country and abroad.

Call for Proposals

The Organising Committee invites papers and performances that address educational and pedagogical issues in academic and vocational higher education from the perspective of intercultural education. Within this broad framework, the papers may focus on a variety of structures and methods: regional, national or institutional policies, study and training programmes, courses and curricula, teaching-learning processes, classroom strategies and activities, in-service education and faculty/staff development, or scientific research.

Conference Subthemes

We welcome submissions of abstracts on any topic related to teaching and learning for intercultural understanding, human rights and a culture of peace. The conference's thematic session strands will be defined on the basis of the received proposals. We suggest, for your consideration, the following subthemes:

· learning environments
· pedagogical theories/practices
· educational media
· e-learning/teaching
· teaching support
· student counselling

· inclusive approaches and identities
· gender and sexual orientation
· disability
· colour, ethnicity, nationality
· age, physical appearance
· economic and socio-cultural backgrounds

· values, beliefs and controversial issues in pedagogy
· health concerns
· environmental issues
· cultural and ideological traditions and practices
· religious beliefs and practices and spirituality
· indigenous cultures
· world heritage: experiences from the 2002 United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage
· global challenges

· academic professionalism
· (global) citizenship
· intercultural competencies

· communication and language

· knowledge construction, diffusion and transformation
· research methodologies
· conceptions of the world and the human being
· assessment and evaluation
· legitimation and ethics

Conference Activities

Keynote presentations will provide an interactive background for conference discussions. In addition to these common sessions, you will have the following options to choose from as a form of active participation during the conference:

A. Session Presentations: Parallel sessions with presentations followed by discussion (half an hour).
B. Tutorials: Round-table discussions and professional tutoring sessions based on
research or training projects or cases (from half an hour to an hour).
C. Graduate Students' Presentations: Individual presentations discussing thesis or
dissertation work followed by a response from senior faculty (half an hour).
D. Performances: Sessions combining scholarly and artistic approaches and
methods (from half an hour to an hour).
E. Workshops: Active work, demonstrations and hands-on discussion (from one
hour to several hours)
F. Poster Exhibition: Graphic displays and discussion, intended especially for
G. Other: Other forms of activity are negotiable.

Language: English.


Additional Information

The conference fees will be approximately 450 euros for delegates and 300 euros for student participants.