Yamaguchi-Takada Lab Members Participated in the 63rd Annual Conference of Comparative and International Education Society (CIES 2019)

Prof. Yamaguchi, Hirai (D4), and Mai (M2) from Yamaguchi-Takada laboratory and Prof. Sukhbaatar from University of Finance and Economics Mongolia participated in CIES the 63rd annual conference held at San Francisco, USA, from 13 to 18 April 2019. This year’s CIES annual conference was one of the biggest conferences in the Comparative Education field with 4,000 researchers, educators, and project implementors from more than 120 countries. The theme of CIES 2019 was “Education for Sustainability.” Around 1,400 presentations were given with diverse topics including researches on ongoing practices such as “Case Study of Teacher Training at Sierra Leone” and researches on the latest trend of education such as “Education in the Era of Artificial Intelligence.”

Prof. Yamaguchi, Prof. Sukhbaatar, and Mai made presentations at the session, “Educational technology and faculty development.” The team presented the findings from the impact survey, “Evaluating the impact of the project ‘Sustainable use of ICT for improving the quality of primary education in rural Mongolia.” These findings covered multiple aspects, such as the increase of the teacher training opportunities at the province and school level by 34.8 percent and 52 percent respectively, the increase of teachers’ time for using a computer at school by 9.5 percent and improve teachers’ feelings of competence and satisfaction. The audience showed their interest in the various method and materials applied for the teacher training in the project.

Mai delivered a presentation on her research, “Study on Self-Regulated Learning Processes for Professional Development using ICT: A Case of Primary School Teachers in Mongolia.” She focused on sharing the findings from the questionnaire survey conducted on 247 primary school teachers in Mongolia. The purpose of the survey was to clarify the influence of interactive learning materials on teachers’ self-development in 2017 based on Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) theory. The changes in the influence of interactive learning materials between 2016 and 2017 were also stated. The findings were also elaborated with the support of her analysis results of focus group discussion with 20 primary school teachers.

Hirai made a presentation on “Teachers’ interpretation of innovative use of ICT in the context of lower secondary schools in Mongolia,” as the preliminary study for his doctoral research. The purpose of the study was to identify the innovative use of ICT in the lower secondary school context in Mongolia. He shared the outcomes of the three surveys. The first survey was a questionnaire survey with 98 methodologists from all 21 provinces and eight districts of Ulaanbaatar city. The second survey was a questionnaire survey with 91 lower secondary school teachers. The third survey was the focus group discussion with 15 lower secondary school teachers. Based on the analysis on the three surveys, Hirai concluded that use of national level teacher portal (Bagshiin Khugjil) was identified as innovative use of ICT by local lower secondary school teachers. In the question and answer session, the audiences showed their interests in the survey method employed in the study. Specifically, the audience asked why the three different surveys were conducted. He explained that the first survey was conducted to understand the ICT use by teachers on a nationwide scale. The following surveys were conducted to clarify the result of the first survey with a specific example and reasons behind the ICT use. He emphasized that a comprehensive analysis of the results from the questionnaire surveys and focus group interview led better understanding to identify innovative use of ICT in the study contexts.

Lab members also participated in the keynote speech given by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs at Herbst Theater Hall was remarkably inspiring. Herbst Theater is the place where the UN charter was signed in 1946. In such a memorable place, Prof. Jefferey Sachs gave an encouraging speech for educators. He stressed three points in his speech. First, he emphasized that SDG was not a new concept, but the repackaging of the Basic Human Rights declared 70 years ago. Although “Education for all” is one of the basic human rights, our society has not yet been achieved. The second point is that low-income countries cannot afford quality education so that the world needs a financial scheme to achieve SDG4. With a simple calculation, he explained the required investment for quality teachers is equivalent to the tax income of low-income countries. The third point is the importance of the redistribution of the wealth to invest in education. The 2,200 richest annually earn 10 trillion USD. Only 0.04% of that is required to achieve SDG4. He concluded his speech with the strong message “Let‘s work together to ensure that every child has the chance to receive an education of quality and decency.”

Impressions by lab members:

Hirai was highly motivated for conducting his research through the experience of presenting at CIES. By listening to other presenters, and discussion with many researchers, he gained a lot of new practical and academic knowledge. He was also highly impressed by Jeffrey Sachs’s very clear and strong speech.

Mai found this experience informative and inspiring. She got to know more about the trends, current challenges, and practical problem-solving experience in the education field. For example, institutes are paying increasing attention to the innovation of financial solutions. Also, more and more digital solutions for the promotion of educational quality have been studied and implemented. She also got the opportunity to communicate with the researchers and experts working in the same fields. Form the communications, she learned new ideas to carry on her research and found new ways to solve problems.

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