An increasing body of research calls for a fundamental redefinition of education. The question of what constitutes quality education; the meaning and purpose of education; the content of education; the process for the development of capabilities in learners for a life of service to the common good are driving this burgeoning discourse further ahead.
In this process, it is essential to critically analyse the current approach to education and to introduce radical changes commensurate with the needs of the age. One can learn from the lessons of the past and at the same time be open to new ideas. There is a great wealth of knowledge available on the importance of youth empowerment, character education and integrated learning for bringing about a change in character, mind-set and attitudes of children, adolescents and youth.
The proposed conference on Character Education and Future Impact aims at achieving the following learning outcomes:
1. The Why? To ascertain the need for character education: The conference aims to bring the centrality of character education to the whole discourse on quality education. It wants to reiterate that character education cannot be treated as tangential to the process of the empowerment of children and youth for the betterment of the world.....
City Montessori School believes that education given to children must be three-fold aiming at Material, Human and Divine Education.
Educators and stakeholders in children’s education often take antipodal positions on character education: from character being immutable, determined by ‘nature’ (innate and genetic factors), to the view that ‘nurture’ .....
If the purpose of education is to prepare young people for their adult and working life, then there is no question that it is essential for schools to give major attention to the overall character development of children.
Head, Quality Assurance & Innovations Department and Superior Principal
The erosion of human values in our societies today has become a phenomenon.
Convenor, ICCEFI and Head, Department of Character Education and Youth Empowerment, CMS
“Children are the most precious treasure a community can possess, for in them are the promise and guarantee of the future...”
We are passing today through a period of great upheavals. Words such as violence, ethnic and religious cleansing, genocide, gender discrimination, moral degradation, massacre, hunger, student suicides, gun shooting in schools are common enough to have lost their original impact. At the same time there are international and national efforts being made for the establishment of world peace, tolerance, and unity. A move towards character and global citizenship education, as well as mobilizing humanity to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals, are the apparent signs of constructive measures by contemporary thought leaders in the world today. One can see, clearly, that two parallel processes are happening side by side, namely: the disintegration of the old, fragmented world order and the crystallization of a new one.
Search for solutions leads to the question of who has to bring about the necessary change in the lives of people and in the thinking systems and processes of society. Obviously, it is each individual human being. One would argue that to act effectively during this period of extreme individualism and consumerism, individuals must be endowed with a strong sense of purpose that impels them both to take charge of their own intellectual, social, emotional, moral and ethical growth and contribute to the transformation of society.
Character and Civic Education: In a recent research conducted by Populus and the University of Birmingham’s Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, 450 practising teachers in UK were asked about current character education provision within their schools, and the potential impact a greater focus on character might have. Adapted from previous Jubilee Centre research, the poll defined character education as school provision focused on developing ‘positive strengths such as honesty, confidence, and critical thinking’, and teaching students to ‘understand what is ethically important in difficult situations and how to choose the right course of action’. Their response was that character education will have a positive impact on pupil attainment.
The proposed conference on Character Education and Future Impact will examine the role of school educators, including teachers, principals as well as parents in imparting character education and empowering adolescents and youth. Some of the pertinent questions addressed in this conference will be:
The discourse calls for no less than a fundamental redefinition of education. It is important to critically analyze the current approach to education and to introduce radical changes commensurate with the needs of the age. One can learn from the lessons of the past and at the same time be open to new ideas. There is a great wealth of knowledge available on the importance of youth empowerment and character education and the need for bringing about a change in character, mindset and attitudes of children, adolescents and youth. The conference will provide the opportunity to school leaders and other education stakeholders to share and disseminate this knowledge.
09:00 am - 09:30 am:- Registration & Tea
09:30 am to 11:00 am:- Plenary session 1: (90 minutes)
All Religion Prayer: Students of City Montessori School (5 minutes)
Welcome address and Introduction to the Conference:
1- Prof. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, President, City Montessori School (10 minutes)
2- Introduction of the Chief Guest: Dr. Jagdish Gandhi, Founder-Manager, CMS (10 minutes)
1. Character education and Social Responsibility – Virtues in the Public Sphere: Mr. Rajendra Kumar Tiwari, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Secondary & Higher Education, Government of Uttar Pradesh (20 minutes)
Open Forum: (15 minutes)
2. Discourse on Quality Education- A Conceptual Framework: Mrs. Farida Vahedi, Head, Department of Character Education and Youth Empowerment, CMS (20 minutes)
Open Forum: (15 minutes)
Tea/Coffee Break: 11:00 am to 11:30 am
11:30 am to 01:00 pm:- Plenary session 2: (90 minutes)
1. Building Capability to transform self and society: : Mrs. Dara Feldman, Founding Chairperson of the Virtues Project International, USA
2. Negative and Positive Forces: Ms. Narayani Ganesh, Associate Editor, Times of India and Senior Editor, Speaking Tree, Times of India, New Delhi
3. Character Education and Responsible Citizenship: Mr. Geoff Smith, Founder member of UK Association of Character Education
4. Excellence: Going Beyond the Culture of Contest and Competition: Dr. Hamed Mohajer, Author of Children's books, and Adviser CMS JYEP, Lucknow
Lunch break: 01:00 pm to 01:45 pm
01:45 pm to 03:00 pm:- Parallel Interactive Workshop sessions (75 minutes)
1. Role of music in character education: Mr. Shamim Movahhed, Head of CMS Music Orchestra
2. Critical thinking and Power of Analysis- Youth Empowerment and Character Education: Mrs. Shipra Upadhyay, Principal, CMS, Rajajipuram 2 Campus, Lucknow
3. Wild India – Perspectives of a Children’s Author: Mr. Deepak Dalal, Author of wildlife adventure stories for children and adults, Pune
4. Awakening the Gifts of Character: An Introduction to The Virtues Project: Mrs. Dara Feldman, Founding Chairperson of the Virtues Project International, USA
Tea/Coffee break: 03:00 pm to 03:30 pm
03:30 pm to 04:00 pm:- Plenary Session 3: Presentations by workshop groups: (30 minutes)
04:00 pm to 05:30 pm:- Plenary Session 4: Key-note presentations
1. Redefining Quality Education, an Ongoing Discourse: Mrs. Suniti Jha, Secretary, New Era Foundation, Panchgani, Maharashtra (20 Minutes)
Open Forum (20 minutes)
2. Whole School Approach to Value Education, experiences from the field: Mr. Payam Shoghi, Principal, Riverdale International School, Pune
Open Forum (20 minutes)
09:00 am to 10:25 am:- Plenary Session 1: (85 minutes)
1. “Can You See the Tree Within the Tiny Seed?”
Geoff Smith, Founder Member UK Association of Character Education Head teacher, Kehelland Primary School (20 minutes)
Open Forum (15 minutes)
2. A Presentation by the students of CMS Aliganj 1 Campus (15 minutes)
3. Harnessing the Power of Social Networking Sites for Character Education: Mrs. Sunita Aron, Resident Editor, Hindustan Times, Lucknow (20 minutes)
Open Forum (15 minutes)
Tea/Coffee Break: 10:25 am to 10:45 am
10:45 am to 12:00 noon:- Plenary Session 2: The Role of Stakeholders in Quality Education
1. Mrs. Sunita Phadke,Vidyanchal School, Pune
2. Ms. Shalini Sinha, Principal, Study Hall School, Lucknow
3. Mrs. Nalini Sengupta, Vidya Valley School, Pune
4. Mr. Ramvilas, Principal, Kakori Village, Lucknow
12:00 noon to 12:15 pm: Students: Documentary from CMS experience (15 minutes)
12:15 pm to 01:00 pm: Plenary Session 3: Role of Government and Civil Society in Quality Education
Role of Civil Society in Policy Intervention:
Concluding session : 01:00 pm to 01:30 pm
Resolution of the conference and Future Follow Up
Vote of thanks: Dr. Bharti Gandhi, Founder Director, CMS
Lunch Break: 01:30 pm to 02:30 pm
Tour of Historical Lucknow: 02:30 pm to 05:00 pm