We are just a few days away from the international scientific-practical conference “Art, Design, Languages, Education, and Social Work: Innovations in Theory and Practice” (ADLES), organised by the Faculty of Arts and Education of Kauno kolegija Higher Education Institution, which will take place on 7 December. We are delighted to introduce the plenary speakers and their relevant and interesting presentations.

As the war in Ukraine has further emphasised the issue of refugees from the “hot spots” such as Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen, the educational role of the social worker has become more evident. Social workers are an important part of the social capital and have a considerable impact on the psychosocial state of forced migrants and their integration. The role of social workers as informal educators is confirmed by research. Dr Valentina Demidenko, an associate professor at Kauno kolegija, Director of the Jonava Social Services Centre, an expert in refugee integration in Lithuania with 20 years of experience in counselling refugees, and Dr Stefanos Spaneas, an associate professor at the Department of Social Work in Nicosia University and Director of CODECA,  Centre for Social Cohesion, Development and Care, will give a presentation Social Worker as an Educator in the Process of Helping War Refugees.

Cultural differences resulting from the linguistic gap among people speaking different languages due to the distinct traces caused by globalisation will be addressed by Prof. Dr María Begoña Crespo García from the University of A Coruña. The speaker is Deputy Vice-Chancellor for International Promotion and Language Policy, Head of the UDC Language Centre, and her presentation is English in International Settings: A Catalyst for Intercultural Competence.

In his presentation, Culturally Inclusive Learning Environment in Higher Education, Dr Aurimas Eidimtas, representing the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, will focus on a culturally inclusive learning environment. Every year, new students enrol in higher education. Some of them do not achieve their goal of completing their studies successfully and obtaining a diploma. This is partly due to the unique previous learning experiences of each student. The diversity of learning experiences is particularly pronounced among students who come from foreign countries. In his presentation, Dr Eidimtas will discuss what learning environment can be considered culturally inclusive and students’ expectations.

Dr Jeffery Michael Taylor will present  Knowledge in Art and Its Corruption. The speaker is a partner at the New York Art Forensics Laboratory that analyses artworks to determine their authenticity and attribution,  a US Fulbright Scholar teaching at the European Humanities University, and the author of three books. He will highlight the complexity and contradictory nature of the epistemology of art under the impact of art forgeries.

After the plenary session, the participants will be invited to panel sessions with presentations on arts, languages, education, and social work.

Registration for the conference is open until 6 December.

This year, the conference will be complemented by a virtual exhibition of artists from Lithuania and Poland. Participants will be invited to a festive opening of the exhibition “12 Encounters, 24 Touches”, hosted by the performance of an outstanding piano player  Dr Motiejus Bazaras.

The conference is part of the Week of Global Learning, an international teaching week organised by the Faculty.