The second of the Beyond Education summit organized by NUN Schools was held on March 9, 2019. At the summit, focusing on the concept of “willpower”, new perspectives were presented to the participants under the guidance of experts. At the summit attended by 600 people from 20 different cities, it was emphasized that human should be at the center of education.
The Beyond Education 2019 summit, which was held at NUN Schools Beykoz campus, started with a live questionnaire conducted on willpower in order to increase the awareness of the participants. Based on the answers, the questionnaire revealed the willpower and habits of the participants on issues such as healthy diet and mobile phone use.
The keynote speech of the summit was given by Ziya Selçuk, Minister of National Education. Selçuk stated that it is necessary to start with the correct understanding of the concept of willpower and said, "We should go over the problems with a double-winged approach." Pointing out that will is a concept that cannot be developed from the outside to the inside, but transferred from the inside to the outside, Selçuk defined teaching as a learning journey.
After the speech of our Minister of National Education, the "Willpower in Education" panel was moderated by Fatih Nida Üye, the founding representative of NUN Schools. Prof. Dr. Recep Şentürk, one of the speakers of the first panel, said, “We must first focus on the human being and then the will. It is not possible to understand the concept of will without defining the human being. If we focus only on willpower, it would be like focusing on the wheel and forgetting the car. Before asking what will is, we must answer the question of what a human is.”
Mehmet Teber, who took the floor in the "Willpower in Education" panel after Şentürk, analyzed the points that should be considered while teaching willpower to the students. He also added, “Parenting is the art of allowing the child to be challenged adequately. When we take the challenge away from the child, we take away the will. Making peace with difficulties is one of the most practical methods of increasing willpower today.”
Prof. Dr. Özge Hacıfazlıoğlu shed light on the concept of “Willpower in International Baccalaureate Education”. Hacıfazlıoğlu talked about the advantages of the International Baccalaureate system, which offers a well-rooted and modern education opportunity in many countries of the world. Continuing her speech with reference to international examples, Hacıfazlıoğlu lastly touched upon the good global examples applied in Turkey.
Prof. Dr. Mücahit Öztürk referred to the willpower regarding the fight against addictions, one of the biggest problems of the modern era. “There is a complex structure between addiction and willpower. Modern science looks at addiction as a chronic disease. But the paths to addiction neither tell us how to eliminate the addiction nor how to be protected from it.” He emphasized that addiction is as old as human history and concluded his speech by saying that increasing spiritual motivation is very important for getting rid of addiction.
After the first panel, the Beyond Education 2019 summit continued with Prof. Dr. İskender Pala's speech on "the relationship between human, culture and art". In his speech, he drew attention to the difference between the concepts of knowledge and culture. Stating that knowledge is generated over the centuries, just as the culture, Pala said, "The more your culture expands, the more your perspective on life increases." Defining culture as an ideal, he concluded by saying, “Culture is a matter of who we will look like”.
Within the framework of "The Importance of Mother Tongue in Education and Its Relationship with Universality" moderated by Dr. Zeynep Kevser Danış, Assoc. Prof. Nihan Ketrez made a presentation on how language shapes the mindset.
Deniz Melanlıoğlu focused on the importance of mother tongue and gave advice to the educators, “Let your students write. Don't care if they make a spelling mistake. Let them show the determination to write. We correct their mistakes and teach the truth.”
Prof. Dr. Kenan Gürsoy, the last speaker of the panel, emphasized that youth has personality and said, “If you do not have a personality, you cannot be with others in a certain environment. Because we get to know ourselves and the others. That's how we become we." Expressing that there would be no thought and communication without language, Gürsoy added, "Language is the embodiment of the meaning inside you, and therefore your personality.”
Bekir Sıtkı Turhan, Mihraç Kulu and Ayla Ağabegüm took part in the "In Pursuit of Wise Teachers" panel, where teachers talked about their personal experiences, under the moderation of Alime Şahintürk, the head of Turkish language and literature department in NUN Schools. While Ayla Ağabegüm and Bekir Sıtkı Turhan's memories conveyed how a teacher affected the life of a student, Mihraç Kulu, who is still a village teacher in the Tatvan district of Bitlis, became a living example of how a teacher shapes a school and its environment.
The program ended with a conversation and music performance "Tracking Roots with Music from Local to Universal" with the participation of Şirin Pancaroğlu.
Participants showed great interest in 28 workshops held simultaneously before the last panel. During the workshops, which were shaped around interesting topics from zero waste project to non-linear thinking, writing workshop with The Little Prince to robotic coding, the participants shared and practiced on the areas they could improve in the classroom.