IAFOR promotes and facilitates new multifaceted approaches to one of the core issues of our time, namely globalisation and its many forms of growth and expansion. Awareness of how it cuts across the world of education, and its subsequent impact on societies, institutions and individuals, is a driving force in educational policies and practices across the globe. IAFOR’s conferences on education have these issues at their core. The conferences present those taking part with three unique dimensions of experience, encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating heightened intercultural awareness and they promoting international exchange. In short, IAFOR’s conferences on education are about change, transformation and social justice. As IAFOR’s previous conferences on education have shown, education has the power to transform and change whilst it is also continuously transformed and changed.
Globalised education systems are becoming increasing socially, ethnically and culturally diverse. However, education is often defined through discourses embedded in Western paradigms as globalised education systems become increasingly determined by dominant knowledge economies. Policies, practices and ideologies of education help define and determine ways in which social justice is perceived and acted out. What counts as "education" and as "knowledge" can appear uncontestable but is in fact both contestable and partial. Discourses of learning and teaching regulate and normalise gendered and classed, racialised and ethnicised understandings of what learning is and who counts as a learner.
In many educational settings and contexts throughout the world, there remains an assumption that teachers are the possessors of knowledge which is to be imparted to students, and that this happens in neutral, impartial and objective ways. However, learning is about making meaning, and learners can experience the same teaching in very different ways. Students (as well as teachers) are part of complex social, cultural, political, ideological and personal circumstances, and current experiences of learning will depend in part on previous ones, as well as on age, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, varying abilities and more.
IAFOR has several annual conferences on education, exploring common themes in different ways to develop a shared research agenda which develops interdisciplinary discussion, heightens intercultural awareness and promotes international exchange.