Plenary speakers

    At the international scientific conference "Perspectives on Teacher Education and Development", there will be four plenary speakers:

    Prof. Dr Dijana Vican, Rector of the University of Zadar
    Prof. Dr Pavel Zgaga, Faculty of Education at the University of Ljubljana
    Prof. Dr Siniša Opić, Dean of the Faculty of Teacher Education at the University of Zagreb
    Prof. Dr Majda Schmidt Krajnc, Faculty of Education at the University of Maribor
    • Prof. dr. Dijana Vican, is a full professor in the field of pedagogy at the Department of Pedagogy, University of Zadar, Republic of Croatia. Her scientific-professional and teaching work is realized in several pedagogical disciplines - general, systematic and intercultural pedagogy, educational policies, andragogy, entrepreneurial education, school culture and teacher education.
      She has made her professional contribution by working in multiple bodies and functions at the national level. She was the President of the National Curriculum Council at the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (2006-2009), the State Secretary at the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (2008-2011), the President of the Commission for the Advancement of Education Reform 2016 at the Ministry of Science and Education. From 2014 to 2019, she was the head of the Sectoral Council for Education at the Ministry of Science and Education. Since 2015, she has been the rector of the University of Zadar.
      She is the leader of a competitive scientific-professional project that is in the process of implementation under the title Competence Standards for Teachers, Pedagogues and Mentors financed through the Call for Proposals Implementation of the CROQF at the level of higher education; lasting from March 22, 2019 to September 22, 2021; the project is co-financed from the European Social Fund within the Operational Programme Efficient Human Resources 2014-2020; The project holder is the University of Zadar, and the project partners are: Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Education, University of Osijek, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Split, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Philosophy in Osijek, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb.

      Brief description of the lecture:

      The aim of the lecture is to problematize the impact of socio-cultural, value and economic changes, information and communication technologies and a number of other factors that make the contemporary teaching profession more complex and demanding than the traditional teaching profession.

      The competency profile of teachers lies, among other things, in the gap between two different concepts; the concept of effective implementation of systemic education, that is, enabling students to systemically acquire basic competencies and the concept of "à la carte education", which is based on enabling students to acquire diverse literacy. The implications of the changes on formal systemic education and the competence profile of teachers will be presented through the opposition of these two concepts.

      By explaining the competence profile of those who teach through the training of students for lifelong learning as one of the requirements of all educational policies and one of the goals of formal (and compulsory) education, the author considers contradictions in education activity - teaching and educational process - learning as practical difficulties in realizing the educational goals of the education system.

      Plenary session: Teachers in the gap between systemic education and "à la carte education"
      Thursday, 30th September, 10.30 – 11.15, Faculty of Education UM - Amphitheater 

    • Prof. dr. Pavel Zgaga is a full professor of philosophy of education at the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana. He has led and participated in several domestic and international research projects related to conceptual issues of education, especially in the field of higher education studies and teacher education. In the period after Slovenia's independence, he worked at the then Ministry of Education and Sports as State Secretary (1992-1999) and as Minister of Education and Sports (1999-2000). He has also collaborated with international organizations such as e.g. He has been invited to many countries as a lecturer and consultant by the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the OECD and UNESCO. He was a co-founder of the Center for the Study of Educational Policies (CEPS, 2001) and the Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana (2002–2004). In 2006 he received the National Award of the Republic of Slovenia in the field of education for his research work. In 2007, the Swedish University of Umeå awarded him an honorary doctorate, and at the University of Ljubljana he received a Gold Plaque for his work in the same year. In 2010, he encouraged the establishment of the Slovenian Society for Educational Research (SLODRE), which he also led until 2017, and was also a member of the Council of the European Association of Educational Researchers (EERA). Since 2019 associate member of the Center for Higher Education Research and Evaluation at the University of Lancaster, UK.

      Brief description of the lecture:
      Anniversaries are occasions for reflection, and this is what this paper is intended to do. On the occasion of the venerable anniversary of the academic institution dedicated to teacher education, we shall reflect, on the one hand, on the milestones that mark the journey so far and, on the other, on the main ideas, dilemmas and conceptual solutions that have accompanied this journey through several stages. Since the middle of the last century, we have identified two important milestones: the beginning of teacher education at the tertiary level in the early post-war period and then, just at the time of Slovenia's gradual independence, its full integration into the general framework of university studies. These two milestones mark the historical rise of the field of teacher education, which has been confronted with ever new challenges over the last three decades. As in the past, these challenges have been linked both to general societal changes and to the specific problems that these changes bring to the complexity of the school field. Therefore, on the other hand, the reflection in this paper will also focus on the challenges, questions and dilemmas in the midst of which we find ourselves today and to which we obviously do not yet have all the answers.

      Plenary session: Milestones in teacher education: looking back, looking forward
      Thursday, 30th September, 11.15 – 12.00, Faculty of Education UM - Amphitheater
    • Siniša Opić was  born  on December 8, 1973 in Pakrac, Croatia. He graduated in 1996 at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. In the same year, he enrolled into postgraduate school at the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of behavioral disorders where, in 1999 he earned his Master of Science degree.  In 2007, he got his doctorate at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Department of Pedagogy.  He held a part-time lecturer position at the same Faculty since 2006. 
      He used to lecture at the Faculty of Science (PMF), Academy of Fine Arts, Music Academy, Academy of Dramatic Arts, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and other Universities in Croatia. Since 2009, he has been working (full time) at Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Zagreb, holding the title associate professor, and in the capacity of Vice Dean for Studies, Students and Academic Affairs. 
      He teaches courses at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level of study. The areas of his scientific and research interest are the following: research methodology (social science), quantitative methodology. He has been mentor to a dozen students who are in the process of preparing their master or doctoral thesis. Siniša Opić is author of many scientific and research papers (approx. 80) and he reviews many international papers/journals. He has been an invited lecturer, president and keynote speaker at many world international conferences. Additionally, as a visiting professor he had  taught at the University of Brock (Canada), University of Ljubljana, University of Maribor, University of Mostar (BIH), Macquarie University (Australia), University of Sankt Gallen (Swiss)…
      From 2018 he is the new Dean of Faculty of Teacher Education University of Zagreb.

      Brief description of the lecture:
      Science is man’s greatest discovery, the most beautiful fairy tale with a multitude of magical, less likely events, confusing events, and breathtaking outcomes. It often goes beyond the horizon of the observer, into the space and time of the impossible, the abstract, the causal, and the acausal. By reading fairy tales to children before bed we are actually instilling in them the foundations of science. But when children go to school, we read them less and less fairy tales, and they are less and less surprised by the world around them. They are increasingly absorbing our answers, without asking questions and questioning the existing ones. They remember more and more violently without understanding what they are learning, less and less they want to go to the impossible to change the possible. Under the guise of "serious science," or as Thomas S. Kuhn would call the normal sciences, the school system suffocates in the norms and seriousness of science, instead of stimulating curiosity and miraculous questioning of the existing. On one occasion Robert Oppenheimer realized that “There are children playing in the street and it could solve some of my main physics problems because they have forms of perception that I lost a long time ago”. And how much did you lose growing up, or more importantly how much did your children lose in school today?
      "Facts are uncertain, values controversial, stakes high, and change necessary."

      Plenary session: Science as a bedtime fairy tale
      Friday, 1st October, 10.15 – 11.00, Faculty of Education UM - Amphitheater 
    • Majda Schmidt, PhD, is a professor for special pedagogy/education at the Faculty of Education and Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor. Her research interests include education of children/youth with special needs both in inclusive classes and special classes. Her research studies are also focused on quality of life of families who have children with intellectual disabilities and other developmental disabilities.

      Brief description of the lecture:
      Inclusive education has for many years been viewed as a global goal for most education systems. Several international organisations (e. g. UNESCO, UNICEF) promote inclusive education as a right for all students. Goal 4 of the United Nations’ 2030 “Agenda for Sustainable Development” (UN, 2015) as well as the most recent UNESCO guidelines (2017) espouse the human rights perspective by acknowledging inclusion and equity as basic principles which should guide all European educational policies and practices. Focus on inclusion policies and legislation has consequently led to a rise in the number of students with special needs (SN) included in regular classes of school. This trend is not significant only in Slovenia; analogous trends can be observed also across Europe and outside it. Following the practice to promote a more equitable and inclusive education system raises the questions of how to prepare teachers for teaching diverse students in regular classes (students with SN, students from different socio-cultural backgrounds etc.). The multidimensional model of teacher competence reflects that teacher competence not only includes cognitive aspects (skills, knowledge), but also beliefs related to learning, motivation and self-regulation. One key component of the profile of the “inclusive teacher” is that they will support all students, which encompasses two broad areas of competence: a) promoting academic, social and emotional learning and b) effective teaching approaches in heterogeneous classes.

      Plenary session: Inclusive Education and Teachers' competence
      Friday, 1st October, 9.30 – 10.15, Faculty of Education UM - Amphitheater

    Conference program

    Detailed program, uploaded on September 28th
    • 10.00 - 10.30

      Conference opening and welcome speech 

      10.30 - 11.15

      Plenary session 1: Prof. Dr Dijana Vican, Rector of the University of Zadar

      11.15 - 12.00

      Plenary session 2: Prof. Dr Pavel Zgaga, Faculty of Education at the University of Ljubljana

      12.00 - 13.00 Lunch 

      13.00 - 15.00

      Paper presentations A (4 parallel sessions A1-A4)

      15.00 - 15.30 Coffee break 

      15.30 - 17.30

      Paper presentations B (4 parallel sessions B1-B4)


      Official celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Faculty of Education

    • 9.30 - 10.15

      Plenary session 3: Prof. Dr Majda Schmidt Krajnc, Faculty of Education at the University of Maribor

      10.15 - 11.00

      Plenary session 4: Prof. Dr Siniša Opić, Dean of the Faculty of Teacher Education at the University of Zagreb

      11.00 - 11.30 Coffee break 

      11.30 - 13.00

      Paper presentations C (4 parallel sessions  C1-C4)

      13.00 - 14.00 Lunch

      14.00 - 15.30

      Paper presentations D (4 parallel sessions D1-D4)

      15.30 - 16.00


    Delegate registration office
    CANKARJEV DOM, Cultural and Congress Centre
    Prešernova 10, SI-1000 Ljubljana
    Phone: +386 1 241 7136
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Local Organising Committee
    University of Maribor, Faculty of Education

    Information/Help on Abstract Submission: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    © Cankarjev dom, cultural and congress centre. All Rights Reserved.