Educational Forums @ Milestone

Milestone Institute’s educational Forums invite scholars, current and prospective pedagogues from any discipline to learn about the Institute’s progressive study programmes in the context of current issues in education. The Forums include an overview of the Milestone method that concomitantly offers students scientific immersion and impact-driven projects, independent study and community-based learning in student organisations, specialised study pathways and holistic enrichment through a liberal arts approach. Milestone’s faculty is a community of academics, researchers and highly trained professionals with a passion for education and a calling to work with young, bright minds. Participants will learn about the rewards and challenges of joining this community as a module leader or mentor and the professional development perspectives offered by the Institute.


February 13 (Thursday) 18:00-19:00


Current STEM education discourse is characterised by the ambivalence manifest in ongoing technological and scientific progress generating a growing demand for scientists on the one hand, and concerns on the other hand over uneven access to science education or the spread of pseudoscience (e.g. anti-vaccine movement, creationism). Milestone Institute’s natural and numerical science curriculum aspires to nurture scientists who confidently apply the scientific method in various subject areas, while appreciating the limitations of purely axiomatic or empirical knowledge systems, and attending to the social and environmental context in which they operate.

Milestone Institute’s forum invites scientists to explore examples of inquiry-based learning, which aims to guide learners through a didactically justified discovery process, rather than presenting students with the results as scientific facts at once. Crucial to the inquiry-based method are comprehension, evaluation of scientific evidence, reasoning, clear expression of thought and the understanding of the scientific method. It is through encountering the process of discovery and knowledge generation that students develop the ability to adapt to shifts in paradigms, changes in conceptual frameworks and the technological environment. Learners experience first-hand the challenges of coming up with new hypotheses, creating models and representations of novel phenomena, helping them appreciate the epistemic standing of scientific results. The Forum will include an overall introduction to the educational programme of Milestone Institute, delivered by Head of Teaching and Learning János Hódsági, as well as looking at the natural and numerical science specialisations offered to students. Case studies will be ranging from evolutionary biology to game theory.


Discussion-Based Learning

February 20 (Thursday), 18:00-19:00


Challenges of the current century demand responses from educators in the social and human sciences. Threats to democracy urge us to nurture critical thinkers, environmental crises call for responsible citizens, and rapid technological change necessitates ethical inquiry. However, a responsive paradigm of education is bound to lag behind trends dictated by technology, capital or political opportunism. If education is to rise to the challenge, it needs to inspire learners to make sense of, shape and bring about new directions for human progress. Milestone Institute’s curriculum is designed to attract students with various thinking skills and aptitude to the social and human sciences through simultaneously promoting intellectual humility and initiative in a participation-based approach.

Discussion-based learning, drawing on a long tradition from Socratic dialogue to medieval colloquium, embraces the inevitable chaos that comes about when true learning takes place. It accommodates students’ efforts to grasp new ideas as well as their potential failure to do so. Instructors are encouraged to remove the shame associated with not knowing and help students find pride in surprise, being wrong, wondering and exploring avenues with various learning outcomes. Discussion enables instructors to understand and address individual learning needs.

In the Forum, case studies will showcase what makes a good seminar question and address the use of discussion in incentivising preparation and follow-up work between classes and enhancing learning outcomes of individual study. They will look into making use of discussion in guiding students towards more complicated forms of scholarly work, such as argumentative essays. Participants will also hear about the crucial balance of improvisation and planning in discussion-based teaching.