Regional and Thematic Perspectives on Ubuntu and Humanist Education

N’Dri Assie-Lumumba, President-Elect

Since the announcement of the theme of the 2015 annual conference (Ubuntu! Imagining a Humanist Education Globally) and the location (Washington, D.C.), there has been considerable excitement about the conference. The purpose of the commentaries on the theme from regional and thematic perspectives is to sustain the prevailing curiosity and excitement all the way to the conference. The idea is to engage the essence of Ubuntu and its meaning and implication for humanist education on the local and/or global levels focusing on world region/sub-regions. Starting with an introduction and ending with a conclusion, the perspectives focus on Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, Caribbean, Eurasia, Middle-East, Australia/NZ/PNG), and the selected theme of Gender, practice, and emerging scholars. Teach think piece is posted as it is completed. I want to take the opportunity to thank sincerely the colleagues who accepted enthusiastically to share their perspectives, despite their tight schedules. I asked them to offer their respective insights in 2-3 pages. However, they were free to expand on it. Thus, the pieces are of variable length but equally exciting to read. Enjoy the reading. We welcome any feedback.

CIES Scholars, Practitioners and Others Respond to Conference Theme 

Ubuntu as a platform for humanist education: an introduction | Ali A. Abdi, Department Head, University of British Columbia

An African Perspective on Humanistic Education | Pai OBANYA, Emeritus Professor, Institute of Education, University of Ibadan-Nigeria

(Re) Imagining Utopias: Globalization, Post-Socialism, and Comparative Education | Iveta Silova, Associate Professor, College of Education, Lehigh University

Imagining Ubuntu from Latin America: Julia and Joao (or an unromantic story of schooling, love, and hate) | Gustavo E Fischman, Professor, Arizona State University

Education in the twenty first century in MENA: Can we reverse the state of Failed Citizens | Malak Zaalouk, Professor, The American University in Cairo

Ubuntu as requisite: Why emerging scholars must imagine humanism as the impetus for educational research | Mariusz Galczynski, Lecturer, McGill University; Student Representative, CIES Board of Directors

Caribbean schooling and the social divide – what will it take to change neo-­ÔÇÉcolonial education systems? | Anne Hickling — Hudson Adjunct Professor of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Past President of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES)

When Confucianism Meets Ubuntu: Rediscovering Justice, Morality and Practicality for Education and Development in East Asian Humanities | Jun Li, Chairman, The Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA), Past President, The Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong (CESHK), Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Tagore's humanist philosophy of education and its relevance in the contemporary world | Mousumi Mukherjee, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne | Elected Co-Chair CIES Education for Sustainable Development SIG 2014-2016 | Founding Member and Secretary CIES South Asia SIG | Congress Standing Committee Member; World Council of Comparative Education Societies 

A North American Perspective on Humanist Education | Henry M. Levin, William H. Kilpatrick Professor of Economics & Education, Teachers College, Columbia University.  Past-President, CIES

Ubuntu and Partnership in Pacific Education | Elizabeth Cassity, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Council for Educational Research and Honorary Lecturer, University of Sydney

Global Humanism: An Educational Paradigm | Prof. Joel Spring, Queens College, City University of New York

Consumers and Producers of CIES Conference Themes: The Ubuntu Round | Bjorn H. Nordtveit, Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Educational Policy, Research & Administration, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Editor, Comparative Education Review

Epistemic Humility and the Critical Imagination: an Invitation to join a conversation about humanness, (dis)connection, and being present | Heidi Ross, Professor and Director, East Asian Studies Center; adjunct, East Asian Languages and Cultures; Faculty, Indiana University, Bloomington; Past-President, CIES.

Concluding Reflections on Ubuntu as a Multipolar Perspective on Education | Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo, Department of Political Science and Department of International Studies, Wells College and Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University