To Be or Not to Be a Great Educator

I am pleased to introduce the proceedings of the ATEE 2022 Annual Conference. The world is changing rapidly, and we must rethink what it means to be a great educator. With the pace of change, it is important to know which knowledge is outdated and how to update it. The COVID-19 pandemic and other diseases have closed institutions, and we must find ways to ensure that learning can continue. This includes teaching students who are not visible behind the screens, those who lack screens, those who cannot read, and those with special needs.
War and other conflicts also pose challenges to education. While we may be shocked by the barbarism of conflicts such as the war in Ukraine, we must also consider how to teach the values of culture, dignity, peace, and human life in such situations. It is important to find ways to to teach how to ensure peace even in the face of family loss, invasion, and destruction of our countries.
The issue of walls and borders is often viewed as a solution to problems, but sometimes ignoring problems can have consequences. The war in Ukraine caused the democratic world to be shaken, and some people believed it was only an Eastern European problem, leading to organizations and countries being unsure of how to react. Is it true that it’s just an Eastern European problem? This raises the question of how to teach courage, faith, and bravery, like that shown by Ukrainians.
The issue of propaganda and fake news is well-known, but the focus here is on educational propaganda. You may have heard statements like “Finland has no homework but great results” and tried to eliminate homework for students, or that “students will learn better if the learning process is interesting.” However, as educators, we know that such simplistic approaches can lead to fragmented knowledge and avoidance motivation. Similarly, while educational technologies can be effective, they come at a cost and require appropriate materials and pedagogies to avoid fragmentism. There are many other such statements, such as the belief that STEM knowledge can solve all problems or that the lecturer is becoming obsolete in the digital age. In light of all this propaganda, how can we encourage scientific thinking and maintain a realistic perspective?
There are many challenges in education, but the solution to these challenges is clear – we need great educators to lead the way. The question is, will you choose to become a great educator or not?
Out of the 128 research presentations made during the conference, this book consists of the 65 best papers. These papers cover a wide range of topics related to education such as teacher education, student learning outcomes, and the use of technology in classrooms. Our intention is that this compilation of papers will provide important insights into the diverse aspects of education and will help in the ongoing discussion about how to reshape education to tackle the demands of the 21st century.
We extend our sincere gratitude to all the authors who have contributed their work to this book, as well as the reviewers who have provided valuable feedback. We hope that this book will be a valuable resource for educators, researchers, and policymakers who are committed to improving education for all.

Prof. Linda Daniela

To Be or Not to Be a Great Educator, 2022. Proceedings of ATEE Annual Conference
Riga: University of Latvia Press, 2023. 985 p.
EdL. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-019-0