The Future is Theirs:
Visions for Primary Education in the Twenty-first Century
The International Conference on Primary Education 2009
will be held at The Hong Kong Institute of Education from 25-27 November. I would like to invite you to join us and share your views and beliefs about education for our future generations.
We have chosen this theme because we want to focus on a future that belongs to young people not yet even born. We believe that we have a responsibility to plan for that future and not leave it to chance. Young people are the future. We owe it to them to be thoughtful in the ways we prepare them to face it, negotiate it and remake it so that it can better serve the needs of succeeding generations.
This is a most challenging time in which to hold such a conference. We witness daily the transformation of the international economic system and we witness regularly failed attempts to resolve major international tensions. We live in a world that for some is rich in technological advances but for others cannot provide clean water. We know that education cannot by itself solve these problems: but we also know that education can prepare a generation of thinkers and problem solvers who can start to address the problems in a serious way. This education cannot be left to the later years – it must begin as early as possible so that the potential of young people can be harnessed for the difficult challenges ahead. A key function of this conference is to provide a platform for professional dialogues and problem solving. Hopefully, we shall explore new ideas to help confront these troubling times, new approaches to teaching, learning and assessment, new possibilities for student engagement and an exploration of the values that will be needed to underpin our preferred future.
The Hong Kong Institute of Education has a long and continuous history in the preparation of primary school teachers. Through this conference we wish to pay our respect to that history while seeking to create a future that can benefit from local, national and international contributions. I look forward to welcoming you to Hong Kong and to the dialogue that will characterize our time together.
Professor Kerry J Kennedy
Chairperson of the Conference Organizing Committee