Over 500 participants enjoyed an exchange of ideas at a two-day forum at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center which focused on the development of educational systems that will enable students to become productive, responsible, civic-minded global citizens, ready to contribute proactively to societies.
The forum, held in Athens on April 26-27 and titled “Redesigning Educational Systems: From Theory to Praxis,” was organized by the Fulbright Foundation in collaboration with the American Community Schools of Athens (ACS Athens) and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, with panels of highly knowledgeable educators, business executives and guest speakers.
Celebrating Fulbright’s 70 years of educational and cultural exchanges between Greece and the United States, Artemis Zenetou, Executive Director of the Fulbright Foundation in Greece and Stefanos Gialamas, ACS Athens President initiated discussions on education and globalization and on developing ethical-minded citizens. US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, gave the welcoming remarks.
On the first day of the forum, the panel discussion, led by ACS Athens President Dr Stefanos Gialamas, encouraged effective thinking and global awareness in a globally-connected world, while the second one on April 27, led by ACS Athens Dean of Student Affairs Dr Peggy Pelonis, addressed the power that educational institutions have to be agents of change by promoting civic engagement, meaningful learning and the need to shift existing mindsets on teaching methodologies.
The forum culminated with keynote speaker, Dr Allan Goodman, President of the Institute of International Education, who referred to Homer’s Odyssey to highlight the importance of educational/cultural exchange as a journey of transformation.
The closing keynote was delivered by Dr Edward Burger, President of Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas, who stressed the importance of teaching in ways that promote curiosity and deep thinking.
“Content comes and quickly goes, but practices of the mind to think, create, and connect not only last a lifetime, but truly uplift one’s life,” he said.