RDG Conference Report of Sherry B. Marasigan

Write up about the Conference

Multicultural Education and Specia Education (MESPED) 2014 was organized by the Chiang Mai University Faculty of Education. It was a result of the collaboration between the departments of multicultural education and special education to allow educators, researchers, and interest people from around the world to share and discuss knowledge on education for diverse learners.

The MESPED 2014 focuses on

  1. establishing knowledge base among participants regarding multicultural education and special education to improve quality of education to improve quality of education and life of individuals with disabilities and racial/ethnic minority individuals;
  2. permitting educators, researchers, and policy makers to share international perspective on evidence-based educational strategies and challenges in the fields of multicultural education and special education; and
  3. providing networking opportunities for attendees to collaborate internationally.

Feedback on paper presented

Several participants were very much interested on the paper presented. The participants commented that the paper gave “a voice to the voiceless” in the Philippines. According to the comments of the audience, the marginalized sector of the society was given a chance to be heard through the study. It was interesting to note that several participants were able to identify with the paper, mentioning that the same case has been happening in their respective countries.

Future directions of research presented

The authors intend to have the research published. Other aspects of indigenous education will be considered for further studies. Likewise, other indigenous Peoples’ (IP) groups will also be included so that the IPs will also be represented.

Potential foreign collaborators

A possible collaboration has been identified with some faculty members and researchers from other universities such as University of South Africa, Chiang Mai University and the Far Eastern University of Chiang Mai who were also doing researches in the same fields. An opportunity to publish in academic journals from other universities also became possible.

Other important contacts and insights

The conference provided a change build networks and linkages with other educators and researchers from various universities. It provided an opportunity to realize that different countries despite varying cultures have the same concerns with regard to various aspects about multicultural education. The challenges being confronted by the country on issues of language and instruction, educational resources, and educational policies are the same issues faced by other nations. Because of this, further collaboration with other researchers is needed to address these concerns.

Short write-up of one’s participation (to be used to feature/publicize the grantee’s participation in the conference)

I have always been interested about the educational system of the Philippines and How this affects the Indigenous Peoples of the country. A lot of reforms have been instituted to indigenize curriculum and instruction to address the needs of the indigenous people (IP) in the Philippines. However, it has been observed that IP education is still measured in terms of the mainstream society’s standards. The conference has provided me with the opportunity to share this research interest with other participant who have the same concerns in their respective countries. The conference provided me with new insights about multicultural education and a wider perspective about indigenous education based on the discussion I have had with the other participants of the conference. My participation in the conference further enhanced my passion to do research in the fields of indigenous education so as to give the Indigenous Peoples more chance to be heard.