ICOLLE 2022 Conference: Teaching everyone, everything, comprehensively?

15. 9. 2022

This year of ICOLLE international scientific conference, regularly organised by the Institute of Lifelong Learning MENDELU, was dedicated to the legacy of the eminent educator and thinker J. A. Comenius, who was born 430 years ago this year. The opening part of the conference focused on Comenius’ work and his lesser-known role as a peacemaker. Further, more contemporary topics such as the formation of teacher identity in alternative schools, the issue of teacher departures from schools, and the didactic competencies of teachers followed. The afternoon sessions provided the conference participants with space to discuss and share experiences and examples of good practice.

How has Comenius’ idea of “omnes, omnia, omnio”, i.e. to teach everyone, everything, comprehensively in different levels/spheres of education, developed historically and is currently being implemented? This question, in various forms, permeated the contributions of this year’s 14th ICOLLE conference.

The conference plenary session was opened by Markéta Pánková, Director of the National Pedagogical Museum and Library of J. A. Comenius in Prague. She spoke about the personality of Comenius, who is known to the whole world as the founder of modern pedagogy, philosopher and theologian. However, she also mentioned his lesser-known role of a peacemaker, the relevance of which grows especially nowadays, when the values of humanity are being trampled upon in Europe. She recalled that all of Comenius’ work – be it pedagogy, history, astronomy, literature, or theology – is intertwined with the struggle for a better society and the desire for a peaceful life.

In the Czech Republic, there is a growing interest among parents in alternative schools, which attempt to bring the curriculum to pupils in a more entertaining way than traditional schools. The growing number of private alternative schools is directly related to this increased interest. What mechanisms are at work in alternative private schools that shape the identity of educators? Kateřina Lojdová from the Faculty of Education at Masaryk University in Brno addressed this topic. She presented the results of her research, based on in-depth interviews with teachers, that identified five levels of teacher identity, each of which is, in a certain way, defined as opposing mainstream education.

Marcela Verešová from the Faculty of Education at the University of Constantine the Philosopher, Nitra, devoted her contribution to the analysis of teachers’ didactic competencies such as planning and preparation for teaching, its implementation, building the atmosphere in the classroom, diagnostics and evaluation and teacher self-reflection. She presented a research study involving 600 pre-service and in-service teachers. The study examines the relationship of motivation to choosing the teaching profession and the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and the didactic competencies mentioned.

Silvia Barnová from the DTI University in Dubnica nad Váhom presented a contribution on the ability of secondary technical school teachers to cope with adverse, stressful situations in their professional and personal lives. The results of a survey she presented confirmed that this ability is significantly influenced by the management style of the school. The research results also indicated that the organizational climate of the school has a significant impact on teachers’ job satisfaction and well-being, which further influences teachers’ decision to stay in the teaching profession or not. At the same time, the issue of teacher turnover and frequent teacher departures from schools is an issue that is topical not only in the Czech Republic and the USA.

After the plenary session, the ICOLLE conference continued with the discussion in conference sessions. Contributions covered topics such as digital competencies of educators and e-learning in higher education, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on teaching and student practices, senior education and their perceptions of online learning and many more. This part of the conference is traditionally complemented by thematic discussions and sharing good practice examples.

Nearly 80 local and international experts attended the ICOLLE 2022 conference. The opening session of the conference featured 4 plenary contributions. The conference sessions featured speakers with 29 contributions, and the poster section presented 5 posters. All papers from this year’s ICOLLE Lifelong Learning Conference will be available to interested parties in peer-reviewed proceedings of the conference, which will be published on the www.icolleconference.cz/en.

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