Pedagogy Congress: Towards an inclusive society

Hogeschool van Amsterdam

On 29 and 30 March 2019, the second edition of the international Pedagogy Congress will take place. This year's key theme is 'Towards an inclusive society'. This event is organised by the cooperating partners of the Masters Education/Pedagogy of the Netherlands and is open to PhD students, academics, practitioners, social workers, and pedagogy and education students.

Internationally, there is a movement towards a more inclusive society. In education, we see that several nations strive for an inclusive system. Furthermore, welfare services have shifted from institutions towards communities and home care. In research, we aim to include our respondents as a co-researcher, and professionals are more and more in the lead. During this congress we will explore all of these developments through practice and science. The congress is held on 29 and 30 March 2019 in Amsterdam.


We are honoured to have Michelle Fine, distinguished professor of Critical Psychology of the Graduate Center, City University of New York, as our first keynote. She will share her experience in participatory action research. Focusing on inclusive education, Aminata Cairo, PhD from The Hague University of Applied Sciences, is our second keynote.


Share your ideas of a planned or ongoing research project, your intervention method developed through research, your research findings, or take the chance to discuss about research with us and other practitioners (-researchers) during the parallel sessions! The parallel sessions are based on four themes with the following titles: Responsive Education, Participatory Research, Beyond Empowerment and Professionals in the Lead. 


Education is permanently challenged by changes in the environment, such as the introduction and widely spread use of mobile technology and social media, the growing influence of extremist or populist thinking or the rapidly growing flexibilisation and globalisation of labour markets. Teachers, schools and the educational systems as a whole are expected to adapt to the fast pace of these changes. In this process schools and other educational organisations need to maintain a balance between the environmental forces and their own vision, ambitious organisational factors, educators and their stakeholders, as they are all part of the changing environment. Schools which succeed in maintaining this balance by actively participating in their environment, can be seen as responsive schools (Goodlad, 1975). From this perspective we seek contributions which discuss

the challenges teachers, schools and the educational system have to cope with;

the way schools try to maintain the balance between adapting to external needs and focusing on their own vision and ambition;

to what extent and in which way the actors and the educational system as a whole do succeed in actively responding to those external challenges.



Since a decade or more, universities of applied sciences are looking for their own position in the field of research and knowledge production. They have found their niche in focusing on practice-based research. However, when defining the characteristics of this research, the academic tradition remains dominant. There is a risk of too much focus on a dominantly academic orientation on research that will reward academic rigour and disregard practice-based rigour. Universities of applied sciences should address this issue in order to develop their own research framework and paradigm to deviate from the traditional academic approach on research.

Discourses concerning research paradigms, epistemology of practice-based research, the interaction between theory and practice, the discourse on evidence-informed and evidence-based, the role of the researcher in relation to subjectivity and everyday experiences should be enclosed in a professional conference of Pedagogics. From this point of view we call for contributions which have a strong focus on

research as an act of cooperation between researchers and their subjects of examination;

research as an act of co-creating new practices together with field-practitioners;

research as a means to give voice to and value practical knowledge.



Empowerment has long been the theoretical concept behind most social work interventions. It is a complex multi-level concept which is used in several domains, amongst them in Social Work and Education. The literature is unclear on the elements it contains and how they influence each other. Even though the concept is not clarified, it has served as the political legitimation of cutbacks in the field of social work. Empowerment seems to have turned into a euphemism for pulling back professional care and support and replacing it by informal care and relief from laymen. These developments force pedagogy to further clarify the concept of empowerment and use it as a starting point to provide professionals with tools to empower themselves and create a profession which sticks to the emancipatory ambitions of its own without adopting the empty rhetoric of policymakers.

From this perspective we call for contributions which shed new light on

what a contemporary empowering emancipatory practice in social work looks like;

how cooperation between clients, laymen and professionals can overcome apparent contradictions;

which professional standards apply to this new emancipatory practice.



After decades of a growing emphasis on institutional cooperation, merging and managing professionals, the tide seems to be turning. There is a new interest in the role of independent collaborating professionals. No longer are the vision and direction located within the hierarchical structure of organisations. There is a growing awareness that competences and a moral compass need to decide on what is right and wrong in the social arena, and how issues should be addressed to serve service users. Professionals are supposed to take the lead in this moral debate about the profession and the subsequent reform of practice. This not only opens new perspectives for professionals to exercise their personal agency, but it also entrusts them with a considerable responsibility. It also calls for professional governance: professionals who are aware of this responsibility, are willing to account for their actions and use professional standards as a starting point. It also means that, if necessary, professionals dare to deviate from these standards. This conference theme aims to discuss these issues. For that reason we call for contributions which focus on

professional standards and how they are produced and maintained by the profession;

the way professionals individually and collaboratively keep their competencies up-to-date;

the way professionals account for their actions towards their clients, other stakeholders and a broader audience.

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Amsterdam , Netherlands

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