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EHA : Annual Review and Yearbook 2008
Corporate Reports EHA Annual Educators Forum/International Faculty Forum In 2008, the EHA Educators Forum was combined with an International Faculty Forum (IFF) as a satellite to the main IFEH Congress in Brisbane. The meeting took place on Sun 11 May at Griffith University from 9-4pm. As host country, Australia was charged with taking over the Chair of the IFF for the next two years until the World Congress in Canada in 2010. Following a welcome from the newly elected President of IFEH, Bernard Forteath, I accepted the ceremonial gavel on behalf of my Australian academic colleagues, from Dublin who were hosts from 2006-2008. On a personal note, I would like to thank Barbara Delaney and her academic colleagues at Dublin Institute of Technology for their untiring effort over the last two years in progressing a range of issues of interest to the academic community across the globe. Attendance at the IFF measured in numbers was reasonable, but sadly the diversity of countries present at the World Congress was not represented at the IFF, with minimal attendance from academics outside of Australia and UK. This was unfortunate since the Forum was keen to explore and gain international perspective on two important lines of discussion at the meeting: (i) issues related to EH workforce and education and (ii) assessment of whether it was possible to develop some agreement on what constitutes EH Practice around the world with a view to sharing ideas on curriculum and possibly reciprocity of qualifications. Two papers were given on workforce issues and related education matters from Australian academics (Tenkate and Cromar) and these were followed by two papers from CIEH staff (Tony Lewis and Paul Robinson) and a colleague at Birmingham University (Maurice Brennan) on curriculum. These presentations are available for downloading online from the IFEH website www.ifeh2008.org by clicking on ‘Congress Publications’ followed by ‘Faculty Forum’. After lunch a session on common themes in EH curriculum was chaired by Steve Konkel (a US academic on sabbatical in Dublin). This session, which was followed by a second break-out session of a smaller group the following afternoon, attempted to gain some consensus on core curriculum across countries by those present. In principle the aim of gaining agreement on curriculum internationally is a very laudable one, and encouragingly, much useful work ensued, particularly at the smaller group meeting. With such a small and unrepresentative group from the wider international community present, however, it remains to be seen whether it is feasible to devise a curriculum with enough common ground, but retaining sufficient diversity to ensure that it represents the needs of the international community rather than only selected aspects of that community. The understanding of the current IFF Chair is that to progress the issue further a paper is being drafted by the authors of the original presentations (Lewis and Robinson from CIEH with Brennan from Birmingham University and Steve Konkel from Kentucky) which will attempt to summarise the work that took place at Brisbane in addition to outlining the author’s original thinking. If this paper, and the ideas it contains, is to gain the support of the full international academic community and wider IFEH population, the Chair would suggest it must be the subject of worldwide circulation and vigorous debate and scrutiny over the next year or so, since the size of the audience at Brisbane did not allow this to occur. We must be confident that the interests and needs of all EH professionals (including academics) around the globe are being served by any proposal which gains acceptance from the IFEH secretariat on behalf of the wider EH community. I would like to thank my academic colleagues Thomas Tenkate and Dean Bertolatti for their sterling work in presenting papers and chairing sessions and generally assisting to make the Faculty Forum a memorable event. I look forward to meeting with international colleagues in Vancouver in 2010 and trust that there will be a more widespread representation of academic staff there from across the globe to continue to wrestle with the important EH education issues which face academics and others into the future. Prof Nancy Cromar CHAIR OF INTERNATIONAL FACULTY FORUM 2008-2010 20 EHA ANNUAL REPORT 2008