The Asia-Pacific Network for Moral Education
The 10th Anniversary Annual Conference
4th - 7th December 2015
The University of Sydney, Australia
Shaping Educational Landscapes that Foster Moral Values in the Asia-Pacific Region
The Asia-Pacific region comprises many nations and multiple cultures within and across nations. Nevertheless, there is widespread agreement throughout the region that fostering moral values in education is both important and necessary, in preparing each new generation of youngsters to take their place within their nation and the world.
In many Asia-Pacific nations, some form of moral education is explicitly taught as part of the curriculum. In others, it is believed that moral values are best fostered when they permeate the whole curriculum, rather than being taught as a curriculum subject. However, critics of this approach point out that often the rhetoric of permeation does not match the reality of practice; with the result that moral education is marginalised. Some educators in the region believe that the aim of fostering morality is a matter of 'instilling' moral norms or moral virtues, while others draw a distinction between norms and values and emphasise moral values rather than normative rules. Others question the educational validity of 'instilling' norms, virtues, or values, believing that this can be tantamount to indoctrination (the opposite of education) if not carefully monitored.
Moreover, in fostering moral values in schools and homes, regionally and globally, educators need to take account of the growing impact of digital technologies. Internet games and social media are having a profound influence in shaping young people's minds and brains, in ways that impact their moral sensibilities. What kind of response should educators make to this recent global phenomenon, and could it provide opportunities as well as threats, in fostering moral values within education?
So, while there may be agreement on the need for moral education within the Asia-Pacific region, there are important issues that need to be critically and thoughtfully discussed. There is much work for educators to do, if we are to shape optimal educational landscapes, across nations and cultures, that foster moral values. The metaphor of 'shaping educational landscapes' emphasises the need for creativity and action in response to the multiple influences, constraints and opportunities that provide the context for fostering moral values, at any given time and in any given locality.
Educators need to be proactive in creating the educational space and shaping it so that moral values are prominent within education. Moreover, the landscapes we create need to be flexible, adjusting and shifting in response to political, economic, and technological change. This is particularly the case in the Asia-Pacific, as nations advance economically, politically and socially.
In considering the theme of this Conference, the following questions can act as a guide.
- What do we, as educators, mean by moral values and moral education?
- Are there problems with the way moral education is defined, nationally or locally, in the Asia Pacific region, and are there opportunities for change and curriculum development?
- What factors (e.g. political, economic, technological) influence the current educational landscape of moral values and education in the Asia-Pacific region? What are the challenges, threats and opportunities associated with these factors?
- Is the engagement of young people with digital technologies (e.g. Internet games, and social media) entirely positive, or could it be having an intrusive, negative impact on their moral values and actions?
- Do digital technologies offer opportunities for fostering moral values?
- How can we actively foster critical but also caring, empathetic, and altruistic minds in the Asia-Pacific region?
- How might current practices in moral education impact the ways in which the future generation engages with others and the world, and how might these practices be improved?
These and similar questions related to the Conference Theme should be explored with critical appreciation of the surrounding issues and the shifting local and global context in which they are being addressed. The explicit aim of this Conference is to encourage discussion that deepens our appreciation of the complexity of these many issues and identifies where there is need for action.
Forms of presentation
Individual paper (30 or 45 minutes): Individually submitted paper allowing for up to 20 minutes presentation time and 10 minutes discussion (30 minutes session) or 30 minutes presentation time with 15 minutes discussion (45 minute session).
At the discretion of the Programme Committee, two or three presentations may be combined in one 90 minute session and the Programme Committee's decision as to time allocation is final. The Committee will invite and assign a Chair for each session.
Symposium (90 minutes): Cross-national, cross-disciplinary, or common topic or theme within the overall Conference Theme; organised by the corresponding author, who will typically be the Symposium Chair. Normally, symposia will have 3 or 4 presenters, and perhaps a discussant, but must allow for interactive discussion with the audience.
Roundtable (60 minutes): Informal discussion groups on topics relating to the Conference Theme, e.g. at meal times or during the evening. The organiser will take responsibility for chairing an interactive discussion. Roundtables may also include discussion of textbooks and other materials; programme introductions and practices; guidance on use of assessment methods, etc.
Poster presentation: Relating to the Conference theme; focusing on theoretical, empirical and practical work in progress. APNME will award its Annual Best Poster Prize for the best poster.
Notes on submitting a proposal
The organisers of the 10th Anniversary APNME Conference invite submissions of proposals for presentations related to the Conference Theme.
- Proposals must be submitted on the Proposal Submission Form.
- Please note that for your proposal to be considered it must comply with the following requirements. Thank you for your kind cooperation.
Submitting a proposal to present an individual paper, poster, or run a roundtable
In submitting a proposal please note that abstracts need to be in an acceptable standard of written English and, for an individual paper, poster or roundtable, should be within the word limit of 150-200 words.
Please check the English very carefully before sending the abstract and please ensure you keep within the word limit.
Please ensure you state clearly how your abstract is addressing the Conference Theme. On the form you may like to start with the words: "This presentation will address the Conference Theme by…"
This is not intended to constrain creativity or the diversity of opinions. Rather we encourage creativity and diversity, while at the same time focusing Conference discussion on how, individually and jointly, we can best prepare a sustainable future for moral values education in the Asia-Pacific region, and globally.
Submitting a proposal to run a symposium
On the Proposal Submission Form, enter the name of the symposium chairperson as the Corresponding Author, and the names of the co-presenters as Co-authors.
Provide a 300-350 word abstract that describes the purpose and nature of the symposium as a whole, plus abstracts of 150-200 words for each of the papers presented in the symposium.
Please ensure you state clearly how your symposium as a whole and each of the papers are addressing the Conference Theme.