Orsolya Deák – Gyula Zoltán Kállay: Durkó Conference ONline
The Mátyás Durkó Memorial Conference was held for the seventh time in Debrecen in 2020. Networks in the World of Culture and Adult Education was the title of the conference in this year, which provided meeting platform for the professionals of the field of culture and adult education. The date of the two-day conference was 3-4th September. Contrary to the practice of previous years, the conference was organized in the online space in this year due to the pandemic situation. The event was implemented within the framework of the EFOP-3.7.3-16-2017-00150 project.
The Department of Cultural Studies of University of Debrecen was the main organizer of the conference. National Cultural Institute, the Hungarian Scientific Academy, the KulturAsz Cultural Associaton and the EPALE Hungary were the co-organizers of the event.
The conference series was first organized in 2006 by the staff of the Department of Cultural Studies and Adult Education of the University of Debrecen on three occasions:
- the 50th anniversary of the university course,
- professor Mátyás Durkó’s 80th birthday, who was the founder of the course,
- the 35th anniversary of becoming an independent department.
Since the organization of the first conference, it has been held every two years, each time hosting a different topic. Mátyás Durkó is the introducer of adult education profession in higher education in Hungary. He founded and headed the former Department of Adult Education and Public Education of Lajos Kossuth University (now: University of Debrecen). With his Adult Education and folk culture book (published in 1968), he laid the foundations of the andragogical discipline in Hungary.
In 2020, the title of the scientific memorial conference was Networks in the World Of Culture and Adult Education. The realization of the online conference had many unique and innovative possibilities, and this online form provided an opportunity for many participants to attend, who would not have been able to attend the event in person.
The greetings, opening and plenary presentation of the conference were recorded on pre-recorded videos by the invited professionals. These videos were sent to the organizers, who uploaded these digital materials to the best-known online video-sharing interface, and made them available on the official website of the conference to all interested parties.
Thus, the participants could start with Magdolna Závogyán’s (managing director of National Cultural Institute) and Levente Takács’ (deputy dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Debrecen) official greetings. After that, Erika Juhász (chairman of the organizing comittee) opened the event and at the same time she announced the winner of this year’s Mátyás Durkó Memorial Medal.
During each conferemce, the medal will be awarded to a specialist, who has provided outstanding performance in developing and improving trainings dealing with culture and adult learning. In 2020, Teréz Kleisz retired associate professor was awarded the commemorative medal. Later the participants were able to listen to the winner’s plenary presentation, which had the following title: „Current directions of vocational research”.
After the online greetings and plenary presentation, the participants could watch an unusual online roundtable discussion, whose topic was „Networks in Culture”. As an introduction, Erika Juhász gave a lecture with the title of „National Cultural Institute and Networks of Higher Education”, followed by a presentation by István Bordás, which topic was about the networks of the Hungarian Folk Culture Association. Afterwards, Béla Szente as a director of a cultural center, spoke about the network of the National Alliance of Cultural Centers, while Rózsa E. Széman gave a lecture on the activities of the Transylvanian Hungarian Public Education Association. Amália Neveda presented the Agora-workshop network, while Lajos Milán Molnár informed the interested parties about the network of the Association of Hungarian Community Builders as a member of this association.
This year, the participants were able to register to the conference with e-posters instead of session presentations. The posters were grouped by the organizers into 4 different poster sessions based on their topics as the followings:
- Theory and research of public education (session leader: Edit Újvári, director of institute, associate professor, University of Szeged)
- Practice of public education (session leader: Erika Juhász, head of department, associate professor, University of Debrecen – director of professional developement, National Cultural Institute)
- Theory and research of trainings (session leader: Balázs Németh, deputy director of institute, associate professor, University of Pécs)
- Practice of trainings (session leader: Tünde Barabási, associate professor, Babes-Bolyai University)
More than 60 e-posters were received for the conference, which were made available by the organizers on the official website of the conference. During the real-time. moderated session meetings, the authors of each poster were given the opportunity to present their work to the best of a few thoughts, then the participants had the opportunity to ask questions about the topic. The interactive sessions provided an excellent opportunity for professional exchanges.
An average of 100 people took part in each online sessions, so it can be stated that the online conference was of great interest, and the participants flexibly adapted to the new online form.
The abstract of each e-poster are available on the official website of the conference. This website also features videos from plenary presentations, online session meetings and the unusual online roundtable discussion. E-posters can also be downloaded for those who interested.
The organizers would like to say thank you to the participants of the online conference for their active participation.
We hope that in two years’ time we will meet with the prominent professional representatives of public education and adult education in a presence conference.
The official website of the conference: www.durkokonferencia.hu