Exploring the dimensions of openness in educational practices: power, knowledge, and agency

Date: March 17 (Fri), 2023

Time: 09.00 -15.00 CET

Format: Hybrid (Zoom link)

Location: Vienna Campus (Quellenstraße 51, 1100) Senate Room B-319 /Zoom

Organizers: Open Society Research Platform (CEU/Yehuda Elkana Center for Teaching, Learning, and Higher Education Research)

Workshop description with detailed program and participants' bios

Short Abstract

What does it mean for education to be open?   Within the current discourse on  “open education”, “openness” has been largely associated with open access to educational resources and open publishing, thus, drawing on the opportunities provided by the Internet and digital technologies. The current workshop seeks to explore the multiple dimensions of openness in their interconnectedness in educational practices. In particular, the workshop will inquire into how turning to the concept of “open society” can be useful to the end of revising and expanding the currently dominant approaches to openness in the context of higher education. The event will specifically focus on the ways this more multifaceted understanding of openness can be translated into educational practices and pedagogical techniques.

The list of questions that the workshop aims to explore includes (but is not limited to):

-       What are the consequences of the currently dominant technology-centered approaches to open education (and corresponding understanding of openness) for the envisaged forms and objectives of higher education, including its societal role? What are the relations between its democratizing and exclusionary effects?

-       How can open education arrive at a more agency-centered approach instead of the current implicitly passive paradigm in which its participants emerge as “users” rather than co-creators?

-       What are the ways of rethinking openness in education in order to augment its emancipatory potential? How should open education address existing power relations and hierarchies in educational institutions and practices?

-       What forms of knowledge production and sharing does openness in education imply, and how it can impact the curriculum and organization of the learning process? What are the consequences for disciplinary divides?

-       How is open education associated with de-colonization in the learning process and knowledge production?

-       How can the notion of open society be translated into the curriculum and what are the implications for pedagogical approaches? How can the development of curriculum and pedagogical practices be reconsidered from the perspective of open education in terms of who and on what terms can take part in these processes?  


The list of speakers at the workshop: Meggan Houlihan (OSUN/Bard College), Tamara Kamatovic (CEU), Angéla Kóczé (CEU),  Kaitlin Lucas (CEU), Pusa Nastase (CEU), S M Mahfuzur Rahman (BRAC University), and Matyas Szabo (CEU).

The workshop will be composed of two panels and a moderated roundtable discussion, which will be open to the audience.

You can join the audience of the workshop in person (Vienna Campus, B-319) or via Zoom by filling in this short form.

The Program of the Workshop

Time (CET)

Location B-319 Senate Room / Zoom

9.00 – 9.15 Opening remarks

9.15-10.45 Panel 1

Pușa Năstase (CEU) “Open Access and the democratisation of research: recent developments in EU policy and current debates

Meggan Houlihan (OSUN/Bard College) “Paving the way for an OSUN OER program: Opportunities and challenges

Matyas Szabo (CEU) “Open curriculum: what gets into university curricula and who decides on stakeholders?

10.45-11.00 Coffee break

11.00-12.30 Panel 2

Kaitlin Lucas and Tamara Kamatović (CEU) “Democratic Pedagogy and Technology: Revisiting Openness and Student-Centered Teaching Online

S M Mahfuzur Rahman (BRAC University) “Beyond structures: Learning to be conscious of conscience

Angéla Kóczé (CEU) Tbc

12.30 - 13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.00 Roundtable discussion (moderated by Matyas Szabo)

Short Bios of Speakers

Meggan Houlihan is the Director of the OSUN Library Resources Program for Open Society University Network. She previously served as Head of Student Success at Colorado State University Libraries and, before that, as Coordinator of Instruction and Outreach at New York University Abu Dhabi. Her recent publications include, "We're a Little Different": Business Information Literacy Perspectives on the ACRL Framework, Evidence-Based Practice in LIS: The Systematic Review, Twenty Years of Business Information Literacy Research: A Scoping Review, and The Internationalization of the Academic Library: A Systematic Review of 25 Years of Literature on International Students. Meggan Houlihan has presented her work at the Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference, European Conference on Information Literacy, American Library Association Annual Conference, Association of College and Research Libraries Conference, LOEX, and LILAC. Her research interests include information literacy, international students, and the use of evidence synthesis methods in LIS.

Tamara Kamatović received her PhD in German Studies at the University of Chicago in 2020. She has many years of experience teaching German in the foreign languages curriculum and has taught in a variety of subjects across the humanities, including human rights, literature, and history. As a postdoctoral research fellow at the CEU’s Yehuda Elkana Center, she works with faculty and students on developing their teaching skills on themes that include democratic and open classrooms, student inclusivity, equity, and gender diversity. She also mentors fellows in CEU’s Global Teaching Fellows program.

Angéla Kóczé is Assistant Professor of Romani Studies, Chair of Romani Studies Program, and Academic Director of the Roma Graduate Preparation Program at Central European University, Budapest. Previously, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem (NC). She was the principal investigator of a research project (2013-16) on Institutionalization of Romani Politics After 1989 in Hungary, funded by the Hungarian Social Research Fund. Her research focuses on the intersections between gender, ethnicity and class as well as the social and legal inequalities faced by the Roma in various European counties. She has published several peer-reviewed academic articles and book chapters with various international presses including Palgrave Macmillan, Ashgate, and Central European University Press, as well as several thematic policy papers related to social inclusion, gender equality, social justice and civil society.  She is a co-editor of The Romani Women’s Movement: Struggles and Debates in Central and Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2019, with Violetta Zentai, Jelena Jovanović and Enikő Vincze)  and The Roma and their Struggle for Identity in Contemporary Europe (Oxford: Berghahn, 2020, with Huub van Baar). 

Kaitlin Lucas is an Academic Technologist at Central European University. She holds a BA in International Economics from Franklin University Switzerland and an MSEd: Information Technology from Western Oregon University, where she developed an interest in using collaborative technologies to encourage exchange of ideas and reflective thinking. At the CEU’s Yehuda Elkana Center, her projects include co-designing online and blended courses with faculty and doctoral students, supporting virtual exchanges, and raising awareness for digital accessibility.

Pușa Năstase is Senior Program Manager at the Yehuda Elkana Center for Teaching, Learning and Higher Education Research and Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Public Policy. Currently she teaches higher education policy at CEU and in the OSUN, conducts research in higher education and leads the Global Professional Development Program designed for university managers and administrators.

S M Mahfuzur Rahman is a Lecturer in the School of General Education at Brac University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He teaches cultural and media studies, world history, and ethics. His current research explores the points of convergence between the a priori political consciousnesses (bildungen – neither Universalist nor a politics of difference) of marginality manifested through fractal patterns in the indigenous and folk arts, and the social and multispecies justice movements. S M is also a fellow at the Center for Liberal Arts and Sciences Pedagogy (CLASP)—a project of the Bard College Institute for Writing & Thinking (IWT), which works with faculty and institutions in the Open Society University Network (OSUN) to promote student-centered teaching methods, writing-based teaching, and experiential learning.

Matyas Szabo is Senior Manager at Central European University’s Yehuda Elkana Center for Teaching, Learning and Higher Education Research, and former director of the university’s Curriculum Resource Center. Since 2001 he has regularly offered capacity building workshops for university professors and staff in more than 20 countries, and is involved in several international projects targeting curriculum reform, course design and faculty development in higher education. Matyas conducted higher education workshops for a number of organizations and projects, such as the Open Society Foundations’ Higher Education Support Program, the Civic Education Project, the Palestinian Faculty Development Program, the Open Society University Network, as well as in a number of Tempus and Erasmus+ European projects. He received his MA from CEU’s Sociology department in 1994. He has worked as a junior research fellow and teaching assistant at CEU’s Center for the Study of Nationalism, as an analyst intern at the Radio Free Europe/Open Media Research Institute in Prague and for 3 years he was the Managing Director of the Roma Access Program. In the area of higher education, Matyas’ interests are student-centered learning, curriculum development, course design, and students’ assessment.