Review of IGSBi Conference 2023 in Gdańsk (Poland): "Educational Media for Adults"
The annual conference of the International Society for Research on Textbooks and Educational Media e.V. (IGSBi) took place at the University of Gdańsk from 6 to 8 October 2023, in cooperation with the Faculty of Languages, Department of Modern Languages (Dr. Ewa Andrzejewska). The topic of the conference was “Educational Media for Adults”.
Researchers and teachers from various European countries and from Sub-Saharan Africa dealt with different aspects of the topic from a historical and current perspective and with different methodological approaches. After an introductory lecture on the specifics of adult learning, the focus was on educational media for teachers (e.g. teacher handouts), for higher education (such as study books and multimedia applications) and language education (literacy for refugees, foreign language teaching), but also on informal educational media for adults such as historical leaflets, current parent letter series and educational games. In addition, there were workshop reports on the concrete development of educational media, for example for the independent energy supply of local communities in East Africa.
Presentations on the importance of artificial intelligence (e.g. Chat GPT) for educational processes as well as on myths and possibilities of digital learning environments completed the program.
The contributions stimulated lively discussions.
The conference volume with many contributions will be published in 2024.
Review of the Annual Conference 2022 "Continuity and Change of Knowledge Stocks in Educational Media"
From October 7 to 9, 2022, the International Society for Research on Textbooks and Educational Media e.V. (IGSBi), which celebrated its 25th anniversary that year, held the annual conference in cooperation with the Chair for Didactics of German Language and Literature (Prof. Dr. Dieter Wrobel and Dr. Christine Ott) at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg. The conference had the topic “Continuity and Change of Knowledge Stocks in Educational Media”. Looking from historical and topical perspectives, using explorative-empirical and systematic approaches, scientists, publishers and teachers from several European countries and from Sub-Sahara Africa dealt among others with the following questions:
- the meaning of political constellations for the change of knowledge stocks in educational media, e.g. in the context of power system changes from or to monarchy, dictatorship and/or democratic constitution;
- the relationship between societal conditions, e.g. the dualism between countryside and city, and related different knowledge stocks;
- the change of content due to new (scientific) findings;
- the transformation – or rather persistence – of knowledge due to media changes, e.g. the introduction of comic elements in textbooks or the shift from textbooks to instructional videos;
- the influence of publishing houses for educational media on continuity and change of the imparted knowledge.
The contributions stimulated vivid discussions which were also continued outside of the official program.
While visiting the Research Center for Historical Educational Media at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität and on a tour of its current exhibition under the guidance of its director Dr. Ina Katharina Uphoff, many of the discussed topics became vivid and concrete.
The conference volume with many contributions from this conference will be available in 2023.
Review of the Symposium 2021 "The Corona Pandemic and Its Impact on Schools, Learning, and Educational Media"
On the 2nd of October, 2021, the International Society for Research on Textbooks and Educational Media e.V. (IGSBi) held a Zoom-Symposium on the topic “The Corona Pandemic and Its Impact on Schools, Learning, and Educational Media”. Prof. PhD Fien Depaepe (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) gave an impressing overview of the state of research regarding “The Effectiveness of Technology-enhanced Learning Environments, especially in the Context of the Corona Pandemic, and Its Reception/Acceptance by Teachers and Students”. In the second keynote, PhD Stefania Carioli (University of Urbino, Italy) offered a good insight into the reactions and measures of the educational System in Italy (State, communalities, publishing houses). Subsequently, Dr. Maren Saiko reported about the experiences regarding production and distribution processes in a big German publishing house for educational media during the pandemic and presented some specific initiatives. Finally, four teachers from Germany and Estonia shared their teaching experiences during the pandemic with a special focus on the role and use of traditional and digital educational media. The contributions caused vivid and informative discussions.
Review of the Webinar 2021 "Nation, Nationalism and Schooling in Contemporary Europe"
The common conference of IGSBi, Spes (Società di politica educazione e storia) and Spicae (Società internazionale per la storia comparata dell'educazione) in Parma, which had been scheduled for 2020 and which could not take place on-site due to the Corona Pandemic, was held on the 15th of March, 2021, in form of a compact webinar. The organization committee in Parma, Prof. Dr. Luciana Bellatalla and Prof. Dr. Piergiovanni Genovesi, had prepared a comprehensive program on the topics "Educational theories and didactical media", "Nation, Nationalism and Europe in primers and secondary history textbooks" and "Cultural, biological and racial stereotypes". The contributors from Germany, Italy, Latvia, the Russian Federation, Switzerland and The Netherlands presented a ten-minutes quintessence of longer lectures, which had been available for the registered participants on the internet before. The presentations provoked vivid discussions, rich in content. A publication of the contributions is projected.
Review of the Annual Conference 2019 "Migration and Educational Media"
The 17th Annual Conference of the International Society for Research on Textbooks and Educational Media e.V. (IGSBi) was held in co-operation with the Pädagogische Hochschule [University of Teacher Education] Graubünden from October 6 to 8, 2019, at the PH Graubünden in Chur (Switzerland).
Educational media researchers and specialists from thirteen different countries dealt intensively with the topic “Migration and Educational Media.”
After an opening lecture about “The Culturality of Understanding as Problem for Migrant Children and Youth,” there followed three tightly “packed” thematic blocks:
- “Educational Media for Migrants – Historical Aspects”
- “Educational Media for Migrants – Current Aspects”
- “The Depiction of Migration and Migrants in Educational Media”
The contributions of the first block inter alia dealt with educational media for Russian and Spanish migrants in the 19th and 20th centuries, with teaching materials for migrant teachers from France in Poland, and educational media for specific groups of so-called “educational migrants,” like textbooks for students from Hungary, who go to school in Austria, or the specially commissioned Biology textbook for young people from Mozambique, who attended a so-called “School of Friendship” in the Federal Republic of Germany.
In the second block, current educational media for migrants were discussed, e.g., from Italy, Germany and Switzerland, furthermore different media formats – besides textbooks for example picture-books and digital learning-apps –, but also adaptations of educational media with regard to content, due to migrant students from a different religious and cultural background, e.g. in Canada.
The presentations of the third block dealt with the depiction of migrants and analyzed its appropriateness from various perspectives. There were contributions from diverse subjects like teaching of Geography or of Foreign Languages in different countries, like Germany, Finland, Hungary, and Switzerland. Moreover, a didactical game was presented and discussed.
Besides the interesting lectures and the inspiring discussions and talks during the breaks, a special highlight of the Conference was the donation of the Arsen Djurović Prize for Historical Research on Textbooks, which was awarded to two researchers (Dr. Sabrina Schmitz-Zerres, University of Duisburg-Essen, and Dr. Evita Wiecki, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, both Germany), and the uniquely awarded Arsen Djurović Special Prize for Historical Research on Educational Media (Dr. Iris Seri-Hersch, Aix-Marseille-Université in Aix-en-Provence, France) during the common dinner.
Review of the Annual Conference 2018 "Europe and Educational Media"
The 16th Annual Conference of the International Society for Historical and Systematic Research on Textbooks and Educational Media e.V. (IGSBi) was held in co-operation with the Research and Documentation Center for South Tyrolean History of Education at the Faculty for Education of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, from October 5 to 7, 2018, on the campus in Brixen-Bressanone.
Scientists from eleven European countries dealt with the topic “Europe and Educational Media.”
The first thematic block comprised historical contributions. Among the issues were the pan-European textbooks of Johan Amos Comenius, the depiction of Europe in Russian primers in the 19th and the early 20th centuries, and “Euro-VISIONS” in German school wall charts from one hundred years.
A further contribution dealt with the presentation of European places of remembrance in German textbooks and lead over from the historical aspects to topical themes.
The second thematic block considered language diversity in Europe and the corresponding challenges for educational media; it was, e.g., about multilingualism in Switzerland and in Poland.
The third thematic block dealt with the depiction of Europe in educational media for various subjects. Questions were discussed like the depiction of Europe in Turkish History textbooks and in Polish textbooks, or identity constructions educational media from border regions, e.g., between Germany and Denmark. A further thematic block comprised contributions with regard to the presentation of Europe in new educational media. It was, among others, about the decoding of visual orders of perception in digitally available educational films, and about the efforts of the European Union to explain Europe multi-modally to children.
A panel with five presentations, which was organized by the Georg Eckert Institute – Leibniz Institute for International Textbook Research, focused on bi- and multi-national textbook activities, for example the German-Polish History textbook project, and efforts to find a multi-perspective view of the common history in educational media in South-Eastern Europe.
During the conference, a workshop organized by the Reading Primers Special Interest Group dealt with catechism primers in Europe; here questions like multi-nationality and multilingualism played an important role as well.
Review of the Annual Conference 2017 "Religion and Educational Media"
In the year of the Fifth Centenary of the Protestant Reformation, the Annual Conference of the International Society for Historical and Systematic Research on Textbooks and Educational Media e.V. (IGSBi) addressed the important and often neglected topic “Religion and Educational Media”. The great approval, which was reflected by the numerous proposals and the pleasing number of more than 60 participants, underlined the importance of the topic.
The first thematic block dealt with “Interreligious Education and Educational Media”; the contributors introduced various teaching materials for interreligious dialogue and the reduction of prejudices. The second block addressed changes of media for Religious Education with regard to secularization and multireligiosity. Subsequently, the question was discussed whether and how educational media for Religious Education are responsive to the chances and risks of digitalization and take advantage of it respectively. At the end of the first conference day, the author of a current textbook for Religious Education illustrated the production process and the related considerations and decisions.
The second day started with a survey about three hundred years of textbooks for Religious Education in Norway. It was followed by a panel about the topic “Learning to Read with Catechetical Texts – Historical Approaches”, which was organized by the Reading Primers Special Interest Group. The contributors presented from various national perspectives how religious textbooks gradually evolved to reading primers. The following presentations dealt with religion as topic in different textbooks from the 17th to the 20th century, for example in textbooks for teaching German in Switzerland and Finland, in Jewish primers, and in textbooks about the history of education for university students.
At the third day of the conference, two thematic blocks dealt with the status and the meaning of religion in educational media both during different dictatorships (Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Italy) and during the transition from dictatorial to democratic systems (Spain, Albania, Germany) in the 20th century.
Finally, different subject-related positions and perspectives with regard to the topic area “Religion and Educational Media” were presented, inter alia with a contribution about religious positioning in Religious Education, and with historical-didactic and religious-scientific considerations on a reflected presentation of religious events in educational media for History classes.
A special highlight was the award of the Arsen-Djurović-Prize for Historical Research on Textbooks, which this year was granted to Dr. Kira Mahamud Angulo (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia,Madrid, Spain) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Jan M.M.G.F. Van Wiele (Tilburg University, The Netherlands). More information
The participants from fourteen different countries had many inspired discussions about the presentations, but also during the breaks and at the common festive dinner. Once again it has become obvious how enriching it is to bring historical, systematic, qualitative and quantitative, as well as subject-related perspectives together at a common conference.
Review of the Annual Conference 2016 "Heterogeneity and Educational Media"
This year’s Annual Conference of the Society took place from September 30 to October 2 in the parish house of the Uranienborg Church in Oslo. The organist of the host church, church music professor Inger-Lise Ulsrud, enriched the program with an outstanding organ concert at the first evening of the conference.
For three days, about 40 participants from nine countries discussed the topic “Heterogeneity and Educational Media” under various aspects.
In the introductory section, heterogeneity was described from the perspective of publishers and authors as an enormous challenge; they pointed to different concepts and solution approaches.
The first two thematic blocks dealt with internal differentiation in heterogeneous learning groups. In the first block, lecturers from Switzerland, Italy, and Germany discussed medial perspectives for internal differentiation. They outlined multi-medial and multi-modal approaches, as well as the concept of augmented reality, and adaptive textbooks; they presented also research on usage behavior. Results and approaches with regard to internal differentiation in various subjects and learning environments stood in the focus of the second thematic block; it dealt with educational media for learning German, Geography, Biology, and Mathematics, but also at an extracurricular place of learning – always with reference to a heterogeneous group of students.
Two next two thematic blocks pursued the depiction of heterogeneity in educational media – both from a historical and a topical perspective. The contributors from Poland, The Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Hungary, and Germany considered the depiction of gender, and of different ethnic groups, religions, and sexual orientations.
The last thematic block dealt with language heterogeneity, i.e., with the teaching of languages in a multilingual environment. The contributors from Serbia, Russia, Italy, and Germany examined historical and topical educational media for multilingual learning groups and presented own approaches – to meet one of the challenges in a globalized world, which had been sketched in the introductory part.
Review of the Annual Conference 2015 "Educational Media under Scrutiny"
Authorization, Interdiction, Legitimization, and Delegitimization
This year’s conference took place from October 9 to 11 at the Society’s old “headquarters” in the Bavarian School Museum Ichenhausen, where the Society was founded in 1997 by Prof. Dr. Max Liedtke, Prof. Dr. Franz Pöggeler und Prof. Dr. Dr. Werner Wiater, as the current President of the Society, Prof. Dr. Eva Matthes, mentioned in her welcome address.
About 45 participants from ten countries discussed the topic “Educational Media under Scrutiny” from various aspects. After an introductory lecture regarding the importance of the curriculum, the first thematic block dealt with the Development of educational media in the field of tension between authorization, interdiction, legitimization, and delegitimization. Here the perspectives of makers and producers of educational media were debated in particular. The second, most extensive thematic block was directed at approval procedures and forms of authorization in various countries. Contributors from Germany, Greece, Norway, Serbia, Spain, and the Czech Republic reported about the procedures in their countries, partly also from a historical point of view. A further topic was the legitimization via didactical concepts; it focused mainly on competence orientation. In the final block, interesting “case studies” from the past and present were presented, for example the discussion about the depiction of evolution in biology textbooks, or the question of the legitimization of the actor SchuleWirtschaft [SchoolEconomy] to distribute educational media free of charge.