On May 16, the 2021 online National Conference for Ukrainian Educators “Ukrainian education in Canada: New Reality” took place. The Conference was organized by the National Ukrainian Education Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC NUEC) in partnership with the International Educational Coordinating Council of the Ukrainian World Congress.
As confirmed by the Conference, Ukrainian education all over the world is not only gaining momentum in its development, but is also moving to a qualitatively higher level. Almost 300 educators from 20 countries participated – united by one goal, mission and vision – to ensure that Ukrainian education progresses and becomes more interesting for our students.
During this year’s Conference, attendees could participate in presentations and practical workshops with leading educators, who have been implementing new educational standards and introducing new levels to educations. Presenters shared best practices, described how they adapted to new realities and were able to improve their methods and assist students, what difficulties they faced with the new virtual learning environment, the best ways they found to overcome challenges and develop their teaching potential.
Every one of the 32 presentations at this year’s Conference opened up new ideas, inspired further efforts, strengthened faith in one’s own abilities and shared secrets about successful approaches to education.
Attendees participated in presentations and workshops for various levels of Ukrainian school programs, as well as Saturday and community schools in the diaspora. Emphasis was placed on using the latest technologies.
Keynote speakers discussed the tendencies, requirements and new developments in Ukrainian pedagogy, as well as the role of Ukrainian Canadian connections in the international education environment. The plenary speakers at the Conference were:
· Tetiana Sunak, Chair of the UCC National Ukrainian Education Council (Kyiv, Ukraine);
· Zoya Lytvyn, Founder of the NGO “Osvitoria” and Novopechersk school (Kyiv, Ukraine);
· Oksana Levytska, Chair of the UWC International Educational Coordinating Council (Toronto, Canada);
· Dr. Olenka Bilash, Professor, Faculty of Education, Secondary Education Department, Acting Director of the Ukrainian Language Education Centre, University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada);
· Nataliya Sovіnska, Vice Chair of the UCC National Ukrainian Education Council (Winnipeg, Canada).
“This is the time of global change and the need to adapt to new realities. Online learning has prompted educators to work hard on self-improvement and at the same time assist their students in the new virtual learning environment, to find ways not only to overcome obstacles but also to develop professionally and promote the development and education of their students. Distance and mixed virtual/in-person learning are becoming more and more prevalent today. Educators adjusted to virtual learning quickly and demonstrate flexibility in restructuring styles of teaching and adapting to new approaches. The fact that participants of this Conference came from 20 countries demonstrates how global Ukrainian education has become as it creates an opportunity for discussion and professional dialogue, sharing of pedagogical best practices and expertise,” stated Oksana Levytska, Chair of the UWC International Educational Coordinating Council.
The National Ukrainian Educators’ Conference is an annual event that brings together Ukrainian educators from across Canada. The conference is organized by the UCC National Education Council in collaboration with local partners.
Bringing contemporary educational practices into the classroom is essential for engaging today’s youth. This conference aims to support the collaboration and dissemination of knowledge among educators of the Ukrainian language, culture and heritage through keynote speakers, workshops, and presentations.
Educators will have the opportunity to learn about current teaching approaches and resources in the areas of technology, media, the arts, history, traditions and differentiated instructions for children from kindergarten to high school.
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