A brief recap of the 2013 Comparative International Education Society (CIES) Annual Conference

4 Apr

Two weeks ago a few of us had the opportunity to attend the 2013 Comparative International Education Society (CIES) Annual Conference for the second consecutive year. This year the conference was held in the beautiful city of New Orleans (a nice followup to San Juan, Puerto Rico last year – though we are awaiting a location more conducive to intellectual discussion rather than sun-bathing). Last year we were mesmerized and amazed by all the panels and found ourselves a bit “intellectuals-struck.” This year a few of us found that the CIES conference was more characterized by a lack of original content – it was mostly repetitive and flat, offering few groundbreaking insights beyond last year’s panels.

However, there were a few more stimulating sessions, and once you’ve had a pleasant chat with at least one person presenting some more original ideas, then the whole event seems a bit friendlier and more open. Inevitably, when you strike conversations at a conference you’ll be asked about your research/interests. Trying to capture the essence of your research/career objective verbally in two or three sentences before you bore or annoy someone with long and confusing explanations… well, it’s not an easy game, and we are all still getting better at it. These things seem to take time and repeated visits to conferences such as CIES.

One of the highlights (for us) this year was HREC’s very own Steph DeGonda. She presented her research on the Capabilities Approach in a project she has been working on in Honduras. Needless to say, she rocked it and got positive feedback from the audience! So, a special SHOUT OUT to STEPH not only because she was brave and trusted her instincts, but because she delivered and managed it like a champion. We are so proud!



3 Responses to “A brief recap of the 2013 Comparative International Education Society (CIES) Annual Conference”

  1. Devin April 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    I think the second round at CIES was actually better than the first – but largely because I decided to branch out beyond my normal education in emergencies panels (which I still attended in abundance of course). Thanks to Georgina, I attended a few Inclusive Education panels, which I found fascinating in light of my own research on refugee education (broad UNESCO definitions sure can absorb a lot of categories). I also moved both backward and forward along the schooling continuum, attending panels on Early Childhood Literacy as well as Higher Ed – both of these categories were equally intriguing and opened my eyes and mind up to a vast array of new ideas.

    That said, I do fear that if I attend CIES in Toronto next year, and attend these SIGs (special interest groups), I will hear much of the information from 2013 regurgitated. It’s a fast moving field, but individual research only moves so quickly.

  2. Devin April 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    As for Steph, she did a remarkable job presenting and moderating her panel. Here here!


  1. HREC Panel @ NYU International Ed. Conference | Human Rights and Education Collaborative - April 10, 2013

    […] which they’ve previously discussed at the Human Rights and Education Colloquium (and which Steph presented at CIES). Philip’s presentation is an elaboration on some earlier blog posts about the crisis in […]

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