International conference connects scholars, begins dialogue

June 28, 2017

Scholars from around the world gathered at Michigan State University in June 2017 to explore education’s role in an increasingly connected and diverse world.

The Office of International Studies in Education planned the first-time conference, called “Addressing inequalities, mobility and dislocation: Insights from international and domestic research and practice.”

Participants came from 13 countries, 22 states and more than 60 institutions and organizations. They explored topics such as urban education and mobility, migration and the refugee crisis, and addressing barriers to access.

The conference aimed to lead educators into questions and proposed solutions about how schools and higher education institutions can enable individuals and communities to become “active agents” in an interconnected world.

“We’re creating new spaces of dialogue,” said Lynn Paine, assistant dean for international studies.

New conversations, international changes

Assistant Dean Lynn Paine addresses the conference.

The conference was also unique in that it had actionable goals.

“We’re bringing the university, educational practitioners and policymakers together to not just diagnose problems in the world, but to work on ideas on how to fix them,” Paine added.

Several of the conference’s key panelists were from the MSU College of Education, including Marilyn Amey, Dorinda Carter AndrewsAngela Calabrese Barton and Amita Chudgar. Conference panelists also featured K-12 educators and staff from nonprofit community organizations in Michigan.

The ultimate goal was inclusion for all: advancing education to help everyone thrive in the midst of inequity due to mobility, displacement and economic shifts.

“Our goal is to bring together conversations that don’t often happen in the same room,” Paine said at the beginning of the conference. “My hope is that you’ll see this as an unfolding conversation, and you’ll keep coming back.”

Hear from the experts

Podcasts featuring speakers from the plenary sessions and keynotes will soon be online at

View photos from the event on our Flickr