Today was taken up with the meeting for chairs where we learned more about the history of ISSEI and the organisation of the conference. The welcome ceremony was held in the Hilton Hotel, and we were treated to a piano recital and solo tenor. Marianna Papestephanou provided a philosophical perspective on the theme of the conference: The Ethical Challenge of Multidisciplinarity.
She cautioned against academics and researchers slipping into postmodernist relativism, or perhaps worse dogmatic entrenchment, advising philosophy, science and the Arts to seek ways of connecting through mutual respect. for an applied practitioner researcher used to working across disciplines it was surprising that this message still needed to be said, but we’ll see whether we are among the converted as the week goes on.
Tomorrow I am looking forward to attending a workshop entitled Thinking Critically about Technology. Some papers feature a theoretical device, that of pedagogic content knowledge for teachers. I have used this in my article to explore Professional Knowledge, but I am not sure of its usefulness as a classification of teacher knowledge. Knowing me I will be the gobby one at the back who asks an inane question. The afternoon workshop reminds me of the marvellous BBC series All Watched over by Machines of Loving Grace. It’s is entitle Man and Machine: The Relationship between Human and Technology in Philosophy and the Arts. A real eclectic mix of speakers from many countries. Let’s see how well I summarise the day tomorrow.