A major challenge in education today is guiding students through a complex and polarized media landscape, fostering the skill to discern reliable and scientifically accurate sources. Facing today’s deluge of information, teeming with disinformation and propaganda, demands heightened digital literacy and critical thinking. This necessitates sifting through distractions to uncover reliable, scientifically sound sources, a task teachers and students must undertake collaboratively. Together, they explore, question, and embrace different perspectives, fostering empathy, curiosity, and the ability to reassess views.
In this year’s International Staff Training Week 2024 we will investigate some of these themes, in particular the concept of critical pedagogy, developed among others by Paolo Friere (Pedagogy of the oppressed, 1968). The educational shift towards collaborative investigation, with dialogue and active learning at its core, remains evident. Despite limited physical exchanges, offering students virtual opportunities for international learning is essential. Educators play a crucial role in designing activities that promote dialogue, reflection, and collaboration, empowering students in their learning process. The teacher’s role becomes that of a guide and facilitator as well as a co-learner.
Key skills for educators in this process that will be discussed during the week are:
- Developing a reflective approach to teaching and learning in HE.
- Designing project development strategies
- Shaping autonomous attitudes in students and lecturers through telecollaboration and virtual exchange
- Promoting critical digital literacy
- Facilitating intercultural collaborative learning
- Promoting various forms of interaction in online education
- Using English for research and scientific communication in the light of critical pedagogy.