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Curriculum and Instruction News

Conference connects researchers in various fields interested in furthering ‘deeper approach’

August 29, 2018

UW-Madison and faculty members from across campus helped host an international cohort of scholars on Aug. 13 at the Pyle Center for a conference titled, “Valuing Deep Education.”

The event resembled a think tank for about 20 researchers and humanitarian specialists from Taiwan, India and the United States, including School of Education faculty members Francois Victor Tochon, Lynet Uttal and Mimi Bloch.

When explaining the theme of “Valuing Deep Education,” Tochon notes that a number of researchers and practitioners in various fields have alluded in their works to the importance of reaching depth in their field.

Tochon’s work, for example, often focuses on the “Deep Approach” to world language, an immersive, learner-centered, technology-rich and project-based approach designed for institutions of higher education that offer programs in language and culture, area studies, and international or global studies.

Chuang, Oswal and Tochon
Yuangshan Chuang (left-to-right), president of the Deep
Institute, humanitarian Aruna Oswal and UW-Madison
Professor Francois Victor Tochon pose for a photo Aug. 13
at the Pyle Center, which hosted the conference, "Valuing
Deep Education."
“Quite a few scholars have demonstrated that taking depth into account would help re-conceptualize their field in a way that would support a paradigmatic shift,” says Tochon, a professor with the School’s No. 1-ranked Department of Curriculum and Instruction, where he leads the World Language Education program. “Their works have been met more or less with success, but depth so far has not been understood as a trend. These researchers have not been connected across fields.”

The conference, notes Tochon, shows it’s now possible to promote a gathering of interest around a deeper approach to knowledge.

“The Deep Institute rationale calls for scientists and researchers in various fields of knowledge to recognize the importance of moving the academic world away from simplistic definitions of reality with their subject-object Cartesian split, and move ahead towards implying the synergic and synchronistic, multi-causal forces of connectivity,” he says.

The conference also addressed the new role of educators in the post-development process and discussed the rationales for a unified taxonomy in education, and the ways to organize the complex conditions for a deeper approach various disciplines.

One of the themes of the conference was Disaster Awareness Education, in reference to the refugee crises.

During the conference, Yuangshan Chuang, President of The Deep Institute, and Tochon awarded Aruna Oswal an honorary doctorate for her outstanding humanitarian accomplishments. This honorary degree was given to Oswal by the Asia Pacific Association for Multimedia-applied Language Learning (APAMALL). Oswal chairs one of the largest humanitarian foundations of India, heading The Oswal Group, popularly known in the humanitarian service industry. Oswal is co-president of the World Council for Regional Peace.

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