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Monday, June 17, 2019

Value of Conference Themes: Part III

Given the DKG vision statement—"Leading Women Educators Impacting Education Worldwide”—how appropriate that the fifth and final international conference theme is global awareness. As technology has broken down physical barriers, allowing educators to expand the experiences of their students beyond classroom walls, the need to understand diversity, learn about other cultures, and recognize one’s place in the world at large—i.e., the need for global awareness--has intensified. If DKG members are indeed going to impact education worldwide, they must be ready to help students develop and embrace such awareness, and, if they are to lead young people effectively, they must develop and embrace such awareness themselves. Thus, like the other conferences, the international conference on global awareness will serve a dual purpose of expanding members’ personal and professional growth even as it helps them to promote excellence in education.

It does not escape me, furthermore, that one of the key benefits of the five international conferences in 2019 is that they will go a long way to increasing the international flavor of the Society as a leader in education. As noted in an earlier blog, regions were developed as a structural element at a time when travel and communication were far more limited than they are today, and, as members recognized by approving more than 100 amendments to the governing documents at the recent international convention, sometimes structures begin to become ends in themselves. Each of the upcoming conferences will provide broader opportunities for networking across regions rather than simply within regions. Focused on a key theme at each conference, that networking will also be richer as one connects with colleagues of similar professional interests and concerns. Such an emphasis on purposes over place and on professionalism over parochialism will ensure that we meet the vision of impacting education worldwide and that we are forward moving ever.

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