February 26, Monday
February 27, Tuesday
Arrival of Guests
Panel I. The Revival of Classical Education
One of the most recent developments in education has been the return of classical education. This new, or rather old, approach emphasizes the Western canon as the core curriculum, with a focus on developing both intellect and character in students. This panel will explore the resurgence of classical education and its impact on student development. It will emphasize the enduring relevance of classical literature, philosophy, and history, and highlight how it fosters curiosity, resilience, and a love of learning.Frank Füredi, Executive Director, MCC Brussels
Ram Madhav, President, India Foundation
Zoltán Szalai, Director General, MCC
Nicholas Tate, Author, The Conservative Case for Education: Against the Current
Joanna Williams, Director, Cieo; Visiting Fellow, MCC
Moderator: János Setényi, Director, Learning Institute, MCC
Panel II. The Rise of Political Activism in the Classroom
With education serving as a such a crucial platform for shaping young minds, there is a fine line between education and indoctrination. Panelists will explore the distinction between education and indoctrination, the increasing prevalence of educators promoting political ideologies, its impact on students' ability to think critically, and the potential consequences for intellectual diversity.Fernando Griffith, Former Minister of Culture, Paraguay; Chairman, Paraguay Poderoso
Mike Gonzalez, Senior Fellow, Heritage Foundation
Bonnie Snyder, Co-Founder, Terra Firma Teaching Alliance; Author; Educator
Stuart Waiton, Director, Scottish Union for Education
Moderator: Rodrigo Ballester, Head, Center for European Studies, MCC
Panel III. The Pathway to Discovering Student Potential and Talent
An essential element of a good education is unlocking and discovering each student's unique capabilities and talents. Not only does this help maximize a student's participation and success, but it allows them to recognize and appreciate their own self-worth. This panel will explore the intricacies involved in identifying student's unique talents and how to unlock their full potential.Sefika Sule Ercetin, Dean, Hacettepe University
Ralph Schölhammer, Visiting Fellow, MCC; Assistant Professor in Political Science, Webster University Vienna
Magdalena Vergara, Research Director, IdeaPais
Moderator: Georgina Kiss-Kozma, Researcher, Youth Research Center, MCC
Panel IV. The Perilous Impact of AI in the Classroom
With the rapid rise of AI systems like ChatGPT, schools, educators, and parents are faced with a two-sided coin. On the one hand, systems such as ChatGPT offer students the ability to obtain information instantly. On the other hand, it provides ample opportunity for cheating, misinformation, and weakening student’s writing skills. This panel will address ethical considerations and emphasize the importance of human guidance in any introduction of AI into the classroom.Balázs Koren, Teacher of Mathematics, MCC; BIT; ELTE; KJBK Infinity
Joe Nutt, Author; International Educational Consultant
Edoardo Raffiotta, Professor, University of Milan Bicocca
Martin Robinson, Author; Educational Consultant
Moderator: Ferenc Sullivan, Researcher, Youth Research Center, MCC
February 28, Wednesday
Arrival of Guests
Introduction of the Conservative Case in Education Project
Panel V. The Indispensable Role of the Family in Teaching
Whether in public, private, or homeschooling, parents play a vital role as guardians, guides, and sponsors of their child’s education. Yet, in recent years there has been a growing chasm between the wishes of parents and teachers in many Western countries. Experts in this panel will discuss how families can actively contribute to their children's learning journey and how parents can protect their children from destructive forces hidden in education systems.Angela Gandra, President, Institute Ives Gandra of Law, Philosophy and Economics; Former National Secretary for the Family in the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights, Brazil
Carlos Hoevel, Director, Center of Studies in Economy and Culture
Gábor Mihalec, Psychologist
Anthony O’Hear, Professor, University of Buckingham
Moderator: Ákos Pöltl, Senior Lecturer, MCC; Head of Department, Defence Education, Research Centre, University of Pannonia
Panel VI. The Importance of Philosophy in Education
For most of history, philosophy has been intricately tied with education. Yet, with the rise of mass public education, philosophy has gradually become divorced from most educational approaches. Panelists in this discussion will consider the necessity of philosophical grounding in education and the important role it plays in the development of a well-rounded student who can grasp the major questions of life.Till Kinzel, Associate Professor, Technische Universität Berlin
András Lánczi, Director, European Center for Political Philosophy
Leonardo Orlando, Philosopher; Researcher
Barry Strauss, Professor, Cornell University
Mikolaj Slawkowski – Rode, Assistant Professor, University of Warsaw; Research Fellow and Tutor, University of Oxford
Moderator: Gábor Csepregi, Academic Advisor, Leadership Academy, MCC
Panel VII. The Enduring Value of Printed Books
Since the dawn of time, books have meant the printed or written word, yet with the invention of the screen, the two have no longer become intricately linked. Some have even argued the 21st century will mark the end of physical literature. Others, however, have argued that printed books possess qualities that are irreplaceable by the screen. This panel will explore the enduring benefits of reading printed books and discuss the sensory experience, enhanced comprehension, and emotional connection that come with physical pages.Yao Hongjie, Director of the Institute of Education History, China National Academy of Educational Sciences
Orsolya Ludvig, Marketing and Communications Director, Libri-Bookline Group
Anthony Malcolm Daniels, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
Alka Sehgal Cuthbert, Director, Don’t Divide Us
Moderator: Enikő Szakos, Researcher, Learning Institute, MCC
Panel VIII. The Increasing Gap Between the Classroom and the Real World
Students often struggle to connect what they learn in the classroom to real-life scenarios, leading them to question the usefulness or practicality of their education. Many leave the educational system feeling as though they have learned useless information, while lacking important life lessons. Panelists will share their insights and experiences on how to make learning more relevant and applicable. They will explore effective teaching strategies, experiential learning programs, and the integration of real-world challenges into the curriculum.Marco Antonio Gonzalez Iturria, Executive Director, Fundación Docere; Professor, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile
Martin Luterán, Rector, Kolégium Antonya Neuwirtha
Gareth Sturdy, Educational Advisor; Co-Author, What Should Schools Teach? Disciplines, Subjects and the Pursuit of Truth
Patricia Santos, Professor, Universidad CEU San Pablo
Moderator: Calum Nicholson, Director, Climate Policy Institute, MCC
Panel IX. The Different Approaches to Assessing Student Success
While most would agree the purpose and goal of education is the transference of knowledge to students from instructors, there is a great deal of debate over how this transference should be measured. From standardized tests to personal assessment and self-reflection, there is no shortage of methods to assess student performance. Yet are all assessments made equal? This question and much more will be tackled by this panel which will explore the different methods of assessing student performance.Aisi Li, Assistant Professor, Nazarbayev University
Antonio Fernandez-Cano, Professor, University of Granada
Jeremy Wayne Tate, CEO, Founder, Classic Learning Test
Roland Wöller, Member of the Saxon State Parliament; former Minister of State
Karl Wöber, Rector, Modul University Vienna
Moderator: Richárd Fodor, Researcher, Learning Institute, MCC
February 29, Thursday
In recent years, we have been hearing more and more about the culture war in the United States, which is becoming increasingly violent, dividing society. These battles are breaking out of the spheres dominated by politics and are destroying areas where they would otherwise have no place: classrooms in primary and secondary education are no exception.
The American educator's work is intended to highlight this phenomenon, drawing readers' attention to the indoctrination work often carried out in schools, without the knowledge and consent of parents, to the detriment of the teaching of traditional knowledge and skills, in which teachers seek to indoctrinate children with left-wing ideas and to serve political ends. And those who disagree or dissent prefer not to voice their reservations for fear of the consequences: bad grades, humiliation and the impossibility of progressing in their studies.
But in the United States, where freedom of speech has been constitutionally protected since the beginning, this should not necessarily be the case, says the author, who believes that there are many ways to curb the Left-Marxist-inspired ideas that are trickling down from universities to lower and lower levels of education. In the book, Ms. Snyder suggests a range of solutions for those who feel that this is not the education they would want for their children and who doubt that the current path will lead to them becoming capable, self-reliant, responsible and well-educated citizens.
In a world driven by technological advancements and rapidly changing educational landscapes, it is crucial to reflect upon the enduring lessons imparted by classical education. In this discussion, our guests will unravel the profound impact of classical education in shaping minds, nurturing critical thinking, and fostering a deep understanding of our shared Western heritage. In addition, they will explore the timeless wisdom embedded within classical education and its relevance in modern society.
In a world where modern teaching methods often fall short; it is imperative that educators unlock the magic within literature and use them as catalysts for profound learning experiences. In this exciting discussion, panelists from the University of Oxford will share their insights and experiences, revealing the myriad ways in which literature can ignite curiosity, foster empathy, and ignite a lifelong love for learning.
What is the family's role in a child's academic success? Can a student develop in a family environment that is not supportive? How families can support the education of their children, and where they can be involved? This fascinating discussion will address these questions and more, focusing on the benefits of a positive learning environment at home, the importance of parental engagement in school activities, and the influence of family dynamics. Our guest will also delve into the role of communication, encouragement, and setting high expectations within the family unit in promoting educational attainment.
Since the pandemic, there has been an increasing demand for online education, but is it an effective method of education? Fierce debates over this issue have arisen and show no signs of stopping. On one hand, online education allows students to live more flexible lives, being able to personalize their own educational experience. It also has major benefits for someone who is not able to attend in-person classes. Detractors, however, argue that learning retention and attention suffer in online education, and question whether students can learn as much without any physical connection with the lecturer and your classmates? This discussion on online education will ask the tough questions about online learning and whether its benefits are worth the risks.
What are the benefits of classical education? How does it differ from modern education? What can it provide that modern education doesn't? Leading classical educator Jeremy Tate will answer these questions and explain why classical education equips its students with the ability to handle various real-life situations and make thoughtful decisions and allow them to contribute meaningfully to society. Through his presentation, he will make a case for the necessity of classical education in the modern world and how it can chart a path towards meaningful educational development.
The Conservative Case for Education argues that educational thinking in English-speaking countries over the last fifty years has been massively influenced by a dominant liberal ideology based on unchallenged assumptions. Conservative voices pushing against the current of this ideology have been few, but powerful and drawn from across the political spectrum. The book shows how these twentieth-century voices remain highly relevant today, using them to make a conservative case for education.
Written by a former government adviser and head teacher, the book focuses on four of the most powerful of these conservative voices: the poet and social critic T. S. Eliot, the philosopher Michael Oakeshott, the political thinker Hannah Arendt and the educationist E D Hirsch. In the case of each thinker, the book shows how their ideas throw fresh light on contemporary educational issues. These issues range widely across current educational practice and include: creativity, cultural literacy, mindfulness, the place of religion in schools, education for citizenship, the teaching of history and Classics, the authority of the teacher, the arguments for and against a national curriculum, the educational response to cultural diversity, and more. A concluding chapter sums up the conservative case for education in a set of Principles that would be acceptable to many from the Left, as well as the Right of the political spectrum.
The book should be of particular interest to educators and educational policy makers at a time when ‘conservative’ governments are in power in the UK and the USA, as well as to researchers, academics and postgraduate students engaged in the study of educational policy, or those studying educational issues from an ethical, philosophical and cultural standpoint.
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." said Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein. So education is more than just information: it provides orientation, competence and values. Who is an educated person and what qualities should they have? What is the link between education and social advancement and between education and well-being? What role does the Church play in education? And how can pedagogy, economics and inclusion be reconciled in educational institutions? Dr. Roland Wöller, former Minister of the Interior of the Free State of Saxony and current member of the Saxon State Parliament, will speak on these topics on 29 February at MCC Szeged.
While subjects like math and physics can be taught objectively, how can one teach things like history, civics, or social sciences without their own biases? Should education be neutral? Or will it always teach some form of values? Our panelists will explore these crucial questions that lie at the heart of our educational systems. Due to the increasing desire to combine education and ideology, it has become imperative to critically examine the fine line between imparting knowledge and instilling biased beliefs.
The relationship between education and religion has been a topic of interest for historians, social scientists, and educators. Religion and education, two of humankind's oldest endeavors, have long had a close association, with each influencing the other in various ways . While religion is not the sole determinant of educational attainment, it is recognized as one of the factors that can affect educational achievement. Paraguay's former minister of culture and current chairman of Paraguay Poderoso will discuss this delicate interplay of church and school and the relationship it should have today in the modern world.