From 22 to 23 April, 2014, the 3rd conference of NEO ER took place at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea. The conference was financially supported by the Korean Ministry of Education and organized by Sungkyunkwan University. With the topic Values and Prospects of Extended Education, the cases of eight countries were presented – Korea (Sang Hoon Bae), Sweden (Anna Klerfelt), Taiwan (Sheng Yao Cheng), Switzerland (Marianne Schüpbach), Germany (Ludwig Stecher), the UK (Alan Dyson and Kirstin Kerr), Japan (Fuyuko Kanefuji), and the US (Denise Huang).
Throughout the conference, in-depth discussions were held mainly about the concept, key features, and educational outcomes of extended education. A keen interest was given to what institutional features it has and what kind of function it plays. Greater attention was paid to whether extended education differs from other kinds of educational practices and whether it can be an area of research to be studied. Each participant presented social and educational outcomes of extended education in the context of their countries. In terms of prospects of extended education, participants generally agreed with the idea that extended education is in the process of institutionalization and will be becoming one of the legitimate educational systems. It was also suggested that the governments’ policies and support will be of great importance in shaping the roles and scope of extended education.
During the conference, many suggestions were made for future research (Bae, 2014). First, considering the nature of extended education that is implemented with diverse functions, for varied populations, and in a variety of ways, future studies can be performed to clearly define extended education. It was also said that further research should be done to investigate the relationship between extended education and the regular curriculum as well as traditional classes of public schooling.
Second, future studies may be conducted to examine the evolutionary development of extended education. In some countries, there is a clear distinction between extended education and supplementary private tutoring, while in other countries, there is not yet.
Third, most of the participants suggested the importance of international comparative research. Future studies may be conducted to examine the current situations, the scope, target groups, and educational outcomes of participation in extended education in various countries and regions within the countries.
Finally, it may well be said that the Seoul meeting paved way for building a new international research network in this field, the WERA IRN-Extended Education.
Bae, S.H. (2014). Values and prospects of extended education: A critical review of the third NEO ER meeting, International Journal for Research on Extended Education, 2, 135-141. doi.org/10.3224/ijree.v2i2.19551.