Colegiul National "Moise Nicoara" Arad

The International Scientific Debate „Transdisciplinary education in the secondary and high school educational system”, Arad, 15th November 2012

TRANS for a Day…or a Day TRANS

The First International Colloquium in Romania

Dedicated to transdisciplinar education in schools

Arad, November 15th 2012

 Lead teacher Larisa Chitu

                                                             “Alexandru Gavra” Teacher Training Center, Arad

November 15th, 2012 was a special day for education in Arad, a day when a highly scientific event took place, the first International Conference “Transdisciplinarity in the Romanian system of education”. The event facilitated the meeting with international promoter of transdisciplinarity in the last 30 years, academician Basarab Nicolescu, a well known name in Romanian culture, his books having been translated and published at a fast pace in recent years.

The international colloquium hosted in Arad was organized by three institutions, which were interested and willing to promote this trend in undergraduate educational practice. These are “Alexandru Gavra” Teacher Training Center, Arad, an institution that promotes and frequently provides news in science education for teachers in the district, “Moise Nicoară” National College of Arad, the first school in Romania that held a teaching experiment for school education in the transdisciplinarity, under the direction of academician Basarab Nicolescu and to the initiative of Ms. Mirela Muresan , teacher, and “Parents and teachers for an open school” Association, an organization interested to promote and to initiate such educational practice.

In a world where knowledge is both accumulated and distributed in strictly specialized areas, transdisciplinarity comes to define a new methodological approach which aims at a new set of principles, a methodology which goes across known domains of knowledge, is among them and goes beyond them creating a unifying meaning.

Thus, it was essential when initiating the steps for organizing such an event, that we continue the previous initiatives and generate a favourable “trend” to apply transdisciplinarity in education.

Transdisciplinary methodology is accepted and practiced now in different corners of the world, there are university departments, master degrees, PhDs and scientific journals, Internet sites and a network of Internet users who subscribe to this title, but initiatives and approaches in school education are still “shy”.

The international colloquium organized in Arad was a pioneer in the implementation of transdisciplinary education in school because it was the first symposium on this topic held in Romania, with both a national and an international impact due to the participation of academician Basarab Nicolescu, President of the International Center of Transdisciplinary Research and Studies of Paris (CIRET), who has theoretically founded and consecrated the concept of transdisciplinarity on international level. However this colloquium is a pioneering event due to the fact that it offered the possibility for those interested to capitalize and to promote their own trials and educational efforts made in this spirit.

During the symposium there a framework has been created for meeting between theoreticians and practitioners of transdisciplinarity and gathered one day , more than two hundred teachers from university and school environment, interested in the subject, determined by a desire to clarify the concept and to find out about local and national initiatives in this area. I appreciated the special interest of fellow participants, who spent almost ten hours listening to the lectures and conferences given by renowned experts in the field: academician Basarab Nicolescu, professor Sâmihăian Florentina, professor Mirela Muresan and hearing the twenty five papers presented in all sections.

The participation and interest throughout the day is the confirmation of the teachers’ desire for a change. Participants appreciated the symposium activities, considering it a true adventure of knowledge that gave rise to dialogue and communication. During the event, participants had the opportunity to learn and discover interesting experiences, to clarify specialized terminology, to meet great people, experts in this field and to initiate professional dialogue, thus gaining enthusiasm for life and profession.

Evaluation of the event allowed access to knowing the interests of pedagogical experiences in the domain of trandisciplinarity. Asked about the gains of having attended to such an event, the participants have declared:

  • ”The conference was an oportunity to meet quality people preocupied by the wish of serving with devotion  despite the difficulties they are confronted with by the educational system in itself.”;
  • ”I was confirmed, by what I have heard here today, that the true personal and social evolution is not realized by being inflexible and habotnic, but by becoming aware of a coherent perspective upon world, perspective capable of determining our own way”, ” I have understood the differences between disciplinarity, transdisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity and I leave from here with some ideas of how transdisciplinarity can be applied at a pre – school level.”;
  • ”I had confirmation and justification of my personal attempts when in class, many concepts and idea have found the right place in my personal puzzle”;
  • “I have found out that transdisciplinarity is a methodology and not a method” ,” I have had the opportunity to benefit from the theoretical and practical support of the founder of transdisciplinarity, Academician Basarab Nicolescu, the dialog and the authentic comunication is the first lesson of transdisciplinar atitude”;
  • ”The acces to the knowledge and the genius of the expression of Basarab Nicolescu”,”creating the premises toward a new level in dealing with the education; for a new human typology which is structured a new approach in education is necessary.”;
  • “The most important gain was that of sharing thoughts , professional experiences to motivate me even more on the way to this road of knowledge which I can share with my students to help them in return on their personal development”.

The introduction of trandisciplinarity as a dayly practice in education needs a strategy of implementation. The participants to this colloquium, having been asked about the three first steps in the startegy of implementation of transdisciplinarity in Romanian educational system, have identified the following:

  • “initiation of some training programmes, revising the school curricula, elaboration of a guide od good practices”;
  • ”an aggressive popularization of the results already obtained by the teachers at Moise Nicoara National College, patent – pending of some ideas”;
  • “the involvement of the teacher, the opening towards a curricula changing, projection innovation”;
  • “changing educational  policies, changing mentalities of teachers, changing laws in education”;
  • “changing the school curricula, changing mentalities of our representatives and the appearance of  pilot – schools”;
  • “colloquiums, seminars, trainings, conferencesfor the teachers, changing of school curricula, sharing experiences with teachers from countries where transdisciplinarity is applied”
  • ”a good and wide media for the concept, with clear presenation, creating a proper atmosphere by developing a motivating system for the teachers, publishing and agressivelly promoting the first positive results.”;
  • “a better information of the teachers upon the concept, rethinking the school curricula and making some connections uopn transdisciplinarity”;
  • “changing of school curricula, a smaller number of subjects in schools and focus on real problems”;
  • ”the training of the trainers, rethinking the school curricula, providing school auxiliaries, guiding materials for teachers interested in transdisciplinarity”.

The participants consider that the introduction and applying of transdisciplinarity in education is a first essential step towards forming and development of the individual, to facilitate his or her access to and participation to the process, contributing valuably to the world he or she lives in. The colloquium represented a proper moment for a careful analysis of the value of a transdisciplinar methodology in education. A continuation of the activities in the domain of transdisciplinarity, mentioned by the participants to the colloquium (training if the trainers, training programmes, educational activities, publishing materials) can come to answer the need to change the way in which contemporary education is realised. It is important to prepare children and youngsters “ to be “ not “to have” , as the world will do that; it is important to feed thoughts and their emotional teritory with boldness and courage, avoiding the mere accumulation and repeting information, which can so easy be accessed today.

The colloquium facilitated a meeting with many people interested and willing to realize projects and steps towards implementation of transdisciplinarity in Romanian education and also with thise who can offer a consistent expertise in the domain, by involving into a future reconstruction of school curricula.

Despite the many hours spent in a single day in the world of transdisciplinarity and the great number of people participating in the colloquium, the end of the day was actually a new beginning. Thus, all the participants agreed to continue the initiative from this beautiful autumn day-November 15th, 2012.

This declaration wants to bring to all those interested and especially in the decision-makers in education a number of existing national initiatives in the field of transdisciplinarity that can provide a base for the foundation of innovative approaches in education and successful practice of transdisciplinarity in the design and implementation of educational activities.

The transdisciplinar methodology is understood as a sustainable sollution for the 21st century education, by all participants to the colloquium because ‘’ transdisciplinarity meand the dialog for survival‘’(Basarab Nicolescu) and school, teachers should prepare generations of youngsters able to think the meaning of life, to survive and to adapt to a society in which the only certainty is the change.