The theme of the 2017 UWI Schools of Education Biennial Conference - Envisioning Future Education: Cross-disciplinary Synergy, Imperatives and Perspectives - reflects a desire to engage in dialogue about how best to prepare educators and other stakeholders for the emerging demands of the education system by forging collaboration with a variety of relevant interests. The rapidly changing needs of the twenty-first century make it mandatory for successful graduates to be endowed with a combination of technical and soft skills to succeed in the workplace. If employees and entrepreneurs are to remain at the forefront of their chosen fields of endeavour, they must be innovative. The pursuit of cross-disciplinary training and the creation of viable partnerships are important considerations to accomplish this and to remain relevant. Any contemplation of the future must consider the constant evolution and change taking place in their respective disciplines and the creation of proactive strategies to treat with the diverse needs of various constituencies they serve.
The planning of this 2017 Biennial Conference takes account of these factors. This conference seeks to create a space for constructive dialogue on the synergies that must be established and or deepened though the sharing of various perspectives and experiences that have the potential to enhance education nationally, regionally and globally. It provides the opportunity for the sharing of thoughts of academics and practitioners from a wide cross-section of disciplines which impact development and change in education. The conference seeks to give a voice to a range of demographics, including youth whose input must be given serious attention since they will inherit the future that is currently being shaped by the decisions of the present. It is our hope that the deliberations that will result from this symposium will form critical groundwork for exploring future initiatives for hybrid relationships, inclusive education, critical thinking and new approaches to problem-solving. The School of Education in the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the Mona Campus, The University of the West Indies, is therefore very pleased to stage this conference.
Best wishes for a successful conference.
Professor Stafford A. Griffith
Director of the School of Education & Deputy Dean
Faculty of Humanities and Education