Revisioning Adult Higher Education
A webinar series hosted by SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College invites you to participate in a three-part webinar series in which our invited guests, Margo Okazawa-Rey, Fielding Graduate University; Bakary Diallo, The African Virtual University; and Stephen Brookfield, University of St. Thomas present and invite conversation around key issues, challenges and possibilities for adult higher education today.

Teaching and Learning with Adults in a Globalized World:
Identity, Agency, Justice

Speaker: Margo Okazawa-Rey

Webinar Description and Speaker Bio

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Education and schooling for justice and equality are not new processes. For example, the radical student movements of the 1960s challenged postsecondary education in the U.S. to move beyond the Western academic canon and to establish whole new curricula and programs/departments. Topics and perspectives drawn from those new studies were slowly (though not wholly) integrated into the traditional disciplines. These new disciplines focused on identities, agency and justice for marginalized people of color and women as essential teaching and learning goals, in addition to subject content. Today, globalization continually shapes who U.S. educators are, who we are educating, and how we do our work, and identity, agency and justice continue to be salient features of teaching and learning processes. In this opening segment of the series, Margo Okazawa-Rey will engage participants in a discussion around the following question: What do identity, agency and social justice have to do with educating adults in a globalized world?

Margo Okazawa-Rey's scholarship is informed by a lifetime of activism. In the 1970s, she was a member of the Combahee River Collective, a black feminist group that developed the theory of intersectionality as a basis for feminist praxis. She is one of the co-founders of the International Network of Women Against Militarism, a transnational project that generates feminist analyses and resistance to U.S. military bases and all forms of militarism and militarization. She also is active in PeaceWomen Across the Globe, an international organization, which nominated 1,000 women collectively for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. She is on the editorial boards of Social Justice and Feminist Africa and has published articles and books. Her current work examines the connections between militarism, economic globalization, religious fundamentalism and their impacts on women. Since 2005, she has been feminist research consultant at the Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling in Palestine. Margo Okazawa-Rey is a professor in the School of Human and Organization Development at the Fielding Graduate University, and professor emerita at San Francisco State University.

Producing and Delivering Consortium Programs with 10 African Countries

Speaker: Bakary Diallo

Webinar Description and Speaker Bio

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The availability of quality and contextualized academic content constitutes one of the major barriers to accessing quality education in Africa. The African Virtual University Open Education Resources Architecture, which focuses on the creation, organization, dissemination and utilization of open education resources, led to the development of a dynamic, rational and comprehensive strategy for collaborative partnerships for African higher education and training institutions. As a result, 73 modules of math, physics, chemistry, biology, teacher education professional courses, and information and communications technology have been developed and more than 4,000 students from across Africa have been enrolled. In this second webinar of our series, Bakary Diallo will examine how the creation and dissemination of knowledge might contribute to Africa's overall economic development.

Bakary Diallo, a native of Senegal, has been working in the education sector for the last 23 years as a secondary school teacher, an academic, a consultant, a project administrator and a researcher. In 2005, he joined the African Virtual University, an intergovernmental organization based in Nairobi, Kenya, which specializes in open distance and electronic learning. He held several senior positions within the organization before his appointment as the CEO/rector of the AVU in August 2007. Prior to joining the AVU, he worked at the University of Ottawa (where he earned his Ph.D. in educational administration) as a part-time lecturer in the faculty of education (July 2001 to July 2005), and as a consultant of integration of ICT (information and communications technology) in education at the Center for University Teaching. He taught at the secondary level in Senegal from 1988 to 1997 before joining the University of Ottawa. His latest research activities focus on the use of ICT in higher educational institutions.

What does it mean to act critically?

Speaker: Stephen Brookfield

Webinar Description and Speaker Bio

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Most adult educators would probably say they support the goal of helping students to think and act more critically. Rare, indeed, are those practitioners who would want to be identified as working in an "uncritical" way. But acting critically varies considerably depending on your politics and the intellectual traditions you take most seriously. In this final segment of the webinar series, Stephen Brookfield will take a critical theory perspective on what critical adult education practice looks like, linking it to radical, activist traditions in the field, to envision where our energy and resources are best directed.

Since beginning his college teaching career in 1970, Stephen Brookfield has worked in England, Canada, Australia and the United States. He has written 14 books on adult learning, teaching, critical thinking, discussion methods and critical theory. In 2008, he was awarded the Morris T. Keeton Award of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning for "significant contributions to the field of adult and experiential learning." He currently serves on the editorial boards of journals in Britain, Canada, Australia and the United States. After 10 years as a professor of higher and adult education at Columbia University, he now holds the title of distinguished university professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota where he recently won the university's Diversity Leadership Teaching & Research Award and the John Ireland Presidential Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Teacher/Scholar. In 2009, he was inducted into the international Adult Education Hall of Fame and, in 2010, he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Muhlenberg College.