ICED Council Meeting, Kyoto, Japan

As I described in my newsletter article, this past summer I had the honor of attending the annual council meeting of the International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED).  The newsletter gives more detail about ICED and what it does, but I wanted to use this blog to share more about the experience of meeting with others who do the work we do all around the world.

The ICED Council, which is made up of the presidents of regional and national educational development networks, met for two days to discuss the work of ICED, talk about this year’s ICED conference in Stockholm, and to plan future activities.  The meeting was also attended by some former Council members, like POD’s past president, Michele DiPietro.

On the surface, it was a meeting much like many other meetings of educational developers, but I quickly learned that we all work in very different contexts.  Differences in such things as the role government plays in educational development, in the number of universities each network represented, and in the structure of development programs all made for interesting discussion and forced us to think outside our own experiences.

ICED Council Meeting

But developers are developers wherever they are, so it wasn’t long before we had broken into small groups and then had a brainstorming session on a white board.

ICED Council Meeting

After the second day of the conference, we participated in the International Symposium on Educational Development in Higher Education, sponsored by the Japan Association for Educational Development (JAED).

International Symposium

After the larger sessions in the auditorium, we had small breakout sessions in which ICED members led discussions about educational development.  It was a wonderful experience for me to listen to my colleagues from other countries speak about the work we do with the same kind of passion I hear from so many of my fellow POD members.  At that point I knew that, despite all the cultural and political differences that impact our work, we share a common bond.

ICED Breakout session

And what better way to strengthen that bond than by breaking bread together.  Or, since we were in Kyoto, in sharing many wonderful, delicious meals of incredible Japanese food.

Dinner in Kyoto

The woman in the front of the picture is Helen Guerin from Ireland, who was just elected the next President of ICED, and I’m proud to announce that beginning this summer I’ll be representing POD as one of two Vice-Presidents of ICED, along with Allan Goody of Australia.

Our hosts also provided a lovely banquet, complete with students from the university performing on traditional instruments.

ICED banquet

Luckily, we also had enough time to do a little sightseeing in this beautiful city.  We were there during the Gion Matsuri festival, so the streets were full of these amazing floats of lanterns.

Kyoto Festival

And we were able to tour three beautiful temples in Kyoto, including the Golden Pavilion, Rokuon-ji.Golden pavilion

All in all, it was an incredible trip, and I look forward to helping build even more connections between POD members and our international community of developers.  We have a lot to learn and a lot to share.

— Kathryn