OCIES APIA 2020 Cancellation

It is with great regret that the OCIES executive committee informs you that OCIES Apia 2020 will not take place. In the complex and difficult circumstances of these times, the Samoan Government and NUS have made it clear that it is not possible to host the conference. The committee fully endorse this decision.

In the near future, the OCIES executive committee will re-convene to discuss future plans and matters such as the AGM. In due course, further communications will be issued.

Meanwhile, we think of those who have passed, are sick, have lost loved ones and are suffering in other ways. We wish you all well and thank you for your continued support. Until we meet again, kia ora – be well.

Kind regards
Martyn Reynolds
OCIES Secretary

Call for abstracts: OCIES 2020 Conference at the National University of Samoa

Dear OCIES members,

The OCIES Executive Committee and OCIES 47th Conference Convening Team thank you for your support in maintaining your registration for the OCIES Conference in Apia, postponed from last year because of the measles outbreak.

We are pleased to confirm that the conference will now take place at the National University of Samoa, Apia between June 29 – July 2, 2020.

Accepted abstracts of reconfirmed participants will be programmed in the 2020 conference. Abstracts do not need resubmission. However, minor necessary changes relating to co-presenters etc. can be requested by e-mailing the conference convener at: 


Call for new abstracts

If you wish to submit new abstracts for the conference, please go to: https://ocies.org/online-proposal-submission-2/

Please circulate this information in your circles and direct them to the OCIES website for information and the Eventbrite site link for registration: www.ocies.org

Reconfirmation of attendance

We anticipate that all participants still registered will attend. However, please reconfirm 2020 conference participation by 31 March 2020 via oceaniacies@gmail.com 

Registered participants unable to attend should contact oceaniacies@gmail.com  by 20 March 2020 for a refund less administration charges. After this date, no postponement related refunds will be possible. 

Registration fees

For new registrants, the 2020 conference fees are at 2019 fee levels. Fees are due on registration via the OCIES website. Samoa-based NUS participants can register and pay fees via the conference convener at NUS.

We wish you well in organising flights and accommodation and look forward to seeing you in Apia.

OCIES Executive Committee and Conference Convening Team

A Comparative Education Seminar with Professor Michael Crossley

Venue: Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Date: 13 March 2020

Register: http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/86883850937

Hosted by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education & Oceania Comparative and International Education Society

We’d like to invite you to a discussion with Michael Crossley, AcSS, Professor of Comparative and International Education and Director of the Research Centre for International and Comparative Studies, as well as the Education in Small States Research Group, at the University of Bristol, Graduate School of Education, UK, and Adjunct Professor of Education at The University of the South Pacific.

Professor Crossley will reflect on his 30+ years of comparative education research, with a focus on what we can learn from education in small island developing states who live at ‘the sharp end’ of environmental sustainability.

Professor Michael Crossley’s address will be followed by an interactive panel discussion with other eminent comparative education researchers and practitioners. A light lunch will be provided, followed by a session on getting published and a discussion about the future directions of our regional society, OCIES. The seminar will end with an opportunity for networking over drinks.

Please register your interest and we’ll be in touch with further details in the new year.

3rd WCCES Symposium: Call for Papers

OCIES members might want to save the date for the 3rd WCCES Symposium, which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal from 6-8 July! For more details check out WCCES main website: www.wcces-online.org

The advent of Wikipedia, Google, and several online learning institutions is challenging the conventional role of a teacher, who hitherto acted as a “sage on the stage”. Information is literally at the fingertips of learners, nevertheless the challenge of converting it into actionable knowledge still remains. Even artificial intelligence systems today are not advanced enough to replace the human teacher. It is highly likely that several components of teaching delivery may be taken over by technology in the times to come, however the role of a human teacher as a mentor, guide, and researcher is hard to be replaced. In the current global context, teachers at all levels of the education system face formidable challenges, such as the need to help future generations of citizens develop humanist values, dealing with rapid technological changes that affect their roles, identities and work, freeing themselves and their students from the grip of consumerism fueled by world markets. In the framework of comparative education, this symposium aims to attract views, experiences and insights from research on the teaching profession from different parts of the world, with an eye on these challenges. It would indeed help in understanding the multi-faceted role of a teacher today and tomorrow from varied cultural, linguistic, political and geographical perspectives.

Questions for Consideration

• How can the teaching profession rise to the call in the SDGs towards the promotion of the idea and requirements to nurture shared values caring for our local and global, social and physical environment in recognition of our common humanity?

• How can the teaching profession and teachers in the framework of comparative education promote and uphold common values recognizing our mutual dependence?

• What processes are taking place and/or can be envisioned to leverage the constructive impact of the education systems in different parts of the world?

• How can the technology be conceived as an effective tool that can help achieve the humanistic values and goals?

• What role can comparative education/educators/researchers play in protecting and fostering teachers’ freedoms when these are threatened?

• How can autonomous and critical thinking be applied in teaching and research to overcome the challenge of sustaining and promoting academic freedom?

• Can cross-national comparisons of values education be performed from the lower to higher levels of education systems?

• What are the implications for gender equity and values education as in many national contexts there is a gendered structure of the teaching profession characterized by a feminization of the lower levels while the upper levels, especially in the universities, are dominated by the male teachers and researchers?


Kia ora

This is a message from the Co-presidents of OCIES. It is being sent to everyone on the OCIES APIA 2019 Conference database.

It is with much regret that we advise you of the OCIES Executive Committee decision to cancel the 47th Annual OCIES Conference scheduled for 26-28 November, 2019 in Samoa. This decision is made following urgent advice from the Administration of the National University of Samoa (hosts of the 2019 conference with Dr Tagataese Tupu Tuia as the conference convener) to this effect.

This regretful cancellation is made in the light of the closure of the National University of Samoa campus (the planned conference venue) and the Government of Samoa-declared state of national emergency following the measles outbreak.

The Executive Committee is looking into the administrative implications to conference registrants (re. fees refunds) as a consequence of this cancellation.

Kind regards

Our thoughts are with those suffering in Samoa

Martyn Reynolds

Call for papers

7th Conference of the International Research Association for History and Social Sciences Education (IRAHSSE)

in collaboration with the Société des professeurs d’histoire du Québec (SPHQ)

Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada, October, 15-17, 2020

Teaching and learning history and the social sciences in relation to minorities-majorities dynamics in a national context

We invite you to submit a proposal on the announced theme.

For this official call, your proposal, 200 words in length, must announce the theoretical framework, the methodology and some results. The bibliography must include at least 3 references.

Send us your proposal before November 15, 2019 to airdhss.uqtr.2020@gmail.com. Download the proposal form here: https://www.euroclio.eu/2019/10/25/call-for-papers-international-research-association-for-history-and-social-sciences-education-irahsse/

How does the teaching of humanities and social sciences reconcile with contrasting national contexts characterized by situations of great cultural diversity marked by the presence of minoritized groups? What is the contribution of history and the social sciences to this question? What pedagogies are put in place to implement school curricula and how do they advance teaching around such a sensitive question?

The coexistence of minorities and majorities within different national contexts is not new. As the historian Benedict Anderson (1991) asserts, whenever state boundaries do not coincide with cultural boundaries, nationalist movements with strong political claims may rise. Sometimes, these latent tensions between state power and various minority groups can turn into “frozen conflicts”, as is the case with the conflicts that arose on the territory of the former USSR (Jolicoeur and Campana, 2009). In such a context, no state or region seems homogeneous when viewed from the angle of cultural diversity.

These situations, which are innumerable around the world, may constitute a great asset for teaching in the humanities and the social sciences. One can think of, among others, Catalonia and the Basque Country in Spain and in France, Scotland and Wales in Great Britain, Flemish and Walloon Belgium, China and Taiwan, France and other countries in Western Europe with large postcolonial communities (after the decolonisation wave of the 1950s-70s), or minoritized indigenous populations in numerous countries in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

Québec, with a multifaceted history of a Francophone minority within English Canada and an Anglophone minority within Québec itself, can, also in the light of many social sciences related questions, serve as an example of a case-study of such a theme. Moreover, Canada and Quebec themselves host numerous minorities, such as French Canadians outside Quebec and Anglo-Quebecers, or, again, the eleven First Nations of Quebec, each with their own historical and social contingencies (Delâge 1991, Bouvier et al., 2012).

This international conference, which will take place in Trois-Rivières (Quebec), will seek to shed light on the ways in which history and the social sciences as they are taught in schools, take into account geohistorical, political, cultural, social and identity-related factors that contribute to the emergence of the minority predicament in the world and the shaping of interactions and connections between social groups. The goal is to initiate a reflection on the relationship between nationalism, citizenship, political framework and cultural diversity.

This conference is organised around three axes. The first will focus on the emerging challenges characterising majority-minority situations as discussed above. The second will centre on educational aims, curricula, teaching practices and available teaching materials. Finally, the third will pertain to the actors involved in these different national contexts and their relation to the teaching materials, notably the digital ones.

Axis 1: Emerging Challenges

This axis opens and possibly continues an epistemological and critical discussion on the national contexts of the teaching of history, geography and the social sciences, in connection with the relations between national minorities and majorities. It is thus a question of better understanding the dynamics within which these entities evolve, as well as the processes that led to the configuration of these dynamics. The aim here is to better grasp their influence on the teaching and learning of history and the social sciences as well as their potential.

Axis 2: Aims, curricula, teaching practices and teaching materials

In teaching history and the social sciences, the difficulty of defining, promoting and appreciating the development of teaching materials and operations of thought (such as declarative knowledge or heuristics) constitutes one of the most important and thorny challenges. It arises, notably as a result of the political significance or the scientific value given to such knowledge. These challenges raise questions about teaching, learning and assessment, which are particularly important in terms of understanding the social constructs of “minority” and “majority” in a national context. How do official curricula and the multiple teaching resources offered to teachers take these questions into account? Which teaching materials and practices are likely to help students think of themselves as historical actors while helping them  develop a sense of agency in regards to their knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with the practice of history as a discipline, or the other social sciences?

Axis 3: Actors, Teachers, students and other members of the educational community, through the prism of multiple identities in different national contexts

The different actors involved in the teaching and learning of history and other social sciences are often familiar in their practice with the sensitive relationship between minority and majority. The relationship between teachers and students thus requires to negotiate the potential multiple affiliations in the light of the knowledge taught. This situation opens up different questions to explore: How do multiple affiliations manifest themselves in the teaching of history and other social sciences? How do actors negotiate their connection to a type of knowledge that invokes a sensitive relationship between minority and majority?


Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Londres, Angleterre : Verso.

Bouvier, F., Allard, M., Aubin, P. et Larouche, M.-C. (dir.) (2012). L’histoire nationale à l’école québécoise, regards sur deux siècles d’enseignement, Québec : Septentrion.

Delâge, D. (1991). Le pays renversé : Amérindiens et Européens en Amérique du Nord-Est, 1600-1664. Montréal : Boréal.

Helly, D. (2002). Minorités ethniques et nationales : les débats sur le pluralisme culturel. L’Année sociologique, 2002/1 (Vol. 52), p. 147-181.

Jolicoeur, P. et Campana, A. (2009). Introduction : « Conflits gelés » de l’ex-URSS : Débats théoriques et politiques. Études internationales, 40(4), 501–521.

McAndrew, M. (2010). Les majorités fragiles et l’éducation. Québec : Presses de l’Université de Montréal.

Why attend the OCIES conference?

Do you know that the deadline for submission of abstracts and the deadline for conference registration has been extended? Abstracts now close on 8 November, while registration closes on 15 November. If you have yet to register for the conference, let our OCIES co-President, Associate Professor Kabini Sanga, tell you why you should join!

  1. Discover something new: From the keynote addresses, symposia, papers, panels, tok stori/talanoa, round table discussions and poster displays, you will learn something surprising and new. From the conference, you are likely to take home, tips, helpful take-away thoughts and new ideas for work and collaborations.
  2. Energize yourself: OCIES conferences buzz with energy, friendliness and excitement. You are likely to be encouraged, gain new insights and return home, refreshed and hopefilled. You will find the emerging scholars of OCIES delightful and promising.
  3. Appreciate Oceania as Oceania: OCIES conference hosts are authentic representations of Oceania. By engaging fully with conference participants, including the hosts in their settings, you will renew your appreciation of the diverse yet friendly and hospitable peoples of Oceania. 
  4. Grow and or deepen your networks: From the first programme event until the final one, you will meet participants who share your professional interest and passion; allowing you to expand and deepen your relationships and networks. Networking opportunities include special social and cultural events and meal outings.
  5. Enjoy quality time with respected leaders and influencers: You will meet and have unrushed conversations with educators whose work has inspired you—including Oceania senior researchers, seasoned comparative educators and thought-leaders.    

Join us now!

Extension of deadlines for 2019 OCIES Conference in Samoa!

Talofa! Good news!

The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to 8 November and registration for the conference will be opened until 15 November. If you have friends who are interested to join the conference, please pass on the news to them.

We look forward to seeing you in Apia, Samoa next month!

For further inquiries about the conference, please email 47thociessamoaconfese@nus.edu.ws