In ECER´05 network 14 had four (4) paper sessions and one (1) poster session.
First Paper Session
The first (paper) session (Wednesday 17:00-18:30) was titled: “The effects of various transitions in educational path from the pre -school to the adult life” (chaired by Linda Hargreaves).
The Session included three papers reporting major national studies focusing on the Network's theme on the effects of transitions in educational path on the communities involved. All three were examples of high quality research and all three had critical implications for policy and practice, notably in the social and affective domains.
Rune Kvalsund (Volda University College, Norway) reported on a national Norwegian large-scale longitudinal Project.
The study, using social network theory, and multiple, mixed data sources, found that students identified as having special educational needs who had been in special classes as opposed to working solely in regular classes, were significantly more likely to experience social marginalisation in their lives after school.
Brenda Taggart's paper (London Institute of Education, UK) reported the findings of the Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) project which has shown clear benefits, of pre-school versus no pre-school, in children's sociability and independence, and national assessment scores in literacy and numeracy skills at age 7 years.
Whilst benefits were evident across all occupational groups, children whose parents were in semi/unskilled jobs, performed significantly less well than those of professional parents on the tests.
Finally, Loone Ots, Marika Viession, and Viive-Riina Ruus (Tallin Pedagogical University, Estonia) presented their large-scale national research on how students and teachers cope with academic difficulties.
Using a questionnaire survey of 3000+ students they found that students' competence strategies better than those for relatedness, and that younger students and boys were less constructive in their coping strategies.
Teachers' strategies were most constructive in competence and least in autonomy.
The results imply that schools should give more attention to social and emotional issues.
The second (paper) session (Thursday 9:00-10:30) was titled:
“Defining the status of teacher and school from the viewpoints of contextual factors – region, location and school size” (chaired by Janne Pietarinen).
Because of one cancellation there were only two presentations.
These high quality papers defined many-sided teacher status in various school contexts from the viewpoint of several interest groups’ (e.g. parents) expectations. They also integrated expectations of these interest groups to rural/urban settings, socio-economical variation and cultural capital which revealed interesting differences in definitions of teacher and school status.
Linda Hargreaves (University of Cambridge, UK) reported some findings from the Teacher Status Project, a large scale national study of teacher status in England between 2002 and 2006. More specific the project is investigating public and individual teachers' perceptions of status, as well as those of education stakeholders such as parents, governors and support staff through large scale surveys and case studies. Results pointed out that a reduction in this differential, which could be attributed, speculatively, to increasing awareness of primary teachers' work, pay, training and qualifications during the 1990s, coupled with the heightened profile of primary schools.
Unn-Doris Karlsen Baeck (Social Science Research Ltd., Norway) reported her case study in where she has noticed that the degree and quality of parental involvement varies between different groups of parents. The results also indicate that different groups of parents have different expectations towards and experience parental involvement differently. The expectations and experiences of some groups of parents seem to be more in key with the expectations expressed by the teachers. Differences in cultural capital seem to be important in order to understand such differences and the meetings that take place within the educational system between school and parents can therefore be seen as cultural meetings where different kinds of social and cultural capital are activated.
The third (paper) session (Thursday 11:00-12:30) was titled:
“The influence of educational changes on community – school relationships” (chaired by Rune Kvalsund).
Because of one cancellation there were also only two presentations.
These papers focused on one of the Network’s key theme – research that analyse communities and their schools which have a risk to be permanently or temporarily outside their mainstream educational, social, political or ideological norms and those which are 'temporary' communities such as families whose children are facing educational change in their schooling.
Renaldas Ciuzas and Gediminas Merkys (University of Technology, Kaunas) have found in their survey that school bus system introduced for the first time in the history of Lithuania functions quite well. However, 3 to 5 per cent of schoolchildren do not adapt to it smoothly and experience some problems.
The problems to be mentioned: the 'working day' and work load of the schoolchildren extends unallowably, problems of child safety and transporting process social control occur, extracurricular activities and healthy nutrition of children suffer.
The research results also imply that the social and educational control of the school bus system should be developed and improved. In addition, local educational authorities tend to treat these problems as issues of management and logistics rather than a social and educational issue.
Takako Takano (University of Edinburgh, Scotland) presented her mixed methodological case study design in where school extensively integrated 'subsistence-related' activities into the curriculum in Russian Mission in Alaska. The majority of the community residents were Yup'ik people.
The case study demonstrated that for Yup'ik people being 'on the land' was tied strongly to their identity, and the way of being Yup'ik was directly linked to sustainability. By actively involving community values, Russian Mission School became a more integrated part of the community, and there was a sign that the community began to acquire a sense of ownership in educating their young people, which was considered responsibility of school.
During the case study and field work the significant findings of the case study and field work indicates that a fundamental change in people's relationships with nature requires a different way of looking at the world, in short, ontological transformation, locally and culturally appropriate education is situated within the context of the learners' respective environments, and the fundamental value to the participants is that the connection with the environment is linked to their identity.
The fourth (poster)session (Thursday 13:00-14:30) included two poster presentation in where main themes of our Network approached by reflecting 'temporary' communities such as school networks and families in where have been searched new educational practices to develop co-operation between schools or home –school relationship.
Isabel Bartau Rojas and Juan Etxeberria (University of the Basque Country) presented in their poster the intervention and assessment process of a recently designed parent's training program, called "Family Co-responsibility” (COFAMI).
On the basis of the longitudinal and quasi-experimental research design was found that, in general, both the professional-monitors of the groups and the participants perceived its usefulness as an educational resource to educate children in co-responsibility.
The COFAMI program is causing a relevant school-municipal and social impact in two senses: to promote equality in family and social life and to promote group training of parents as an educational strategy for family and social change.
Angela Kausyliene (Utena College, Lithuania) presented in her poster as a result of theoretical document and content analysis development model of a school network that includes seven stages.
The following conclusions are being drawn after generalizing the analysis of the ideas of the scientific references, conceptual documents on education and research.
A school network is cooperation among various type educational institutions based on non-hierarchical relations and that are united by common goals and mutual benefit.
The managers of educational institutions understand the importance for cooperation as a prerequisite for parity relations by sharing information and innovations not only among network members but also in the achievement of the network goal and vision, they grasp the purpose of a network - to help in the realization of needs and interests.
The fifth (paper) session (Friday 9:00-10:30) was titled:
“Bilingual pupils and their identity work in the multicultural community” (chaired by Lisbeth Åberg-Bengtsson).
These papers focused the school’s position to maintain and develop particular educational, multicultural and linguistic ideology and traditions in (local) community.
Lelia Murtagh (University College Dublin, Ireland) reported a small-scale longitudinal study which measured attrition/retention of school-acquired Irish language skills from secondary school pupils over an eighteen month period.
A longitudinal measurement showed no significant change for the period in question, despite the absence of formal instruction and a significant decline in opportunity to use Irish informally. However, a comparison of self-ability ratings in spoken Irish at Time 2 and Time 1 and introspective comments after testing at Time 2 suggested that many participants perceived their speaking skills to have deteriorated since Time 1.
Leena Helavaara-Robertson (Middlesex University) presented her longitudinal, ethnographic study that follows the literacy progress of a small group of British-Pakistani children who move between three schools.
More specific she examines a small group of young children making sense of their literacies in three different languages and literacy classes.
Results identify the ways in which the teachers celebrate their pupils’ learning and locate the celebration in the schools' value framework. The results also confirm how the schools and teachers have very different views of children as learners.
In Inger Marie Johansen’s (Social Science Research Ltd., Norway) ongoing case study will be studied Somali parents and their female children in 9th grade and 9th grade teachers.
The fieldwork will be done in two cities in Norway.
Preliminary results implies that many Somali girls who wish to achieve good results in school don't get time and space enough to concentrate about school issues and homework.
Another challenge Somali girls seem to face quite often is the parents controlling attitude towards them.
The learning environment in school and at home may be experienced differently among different groups of pupils according to social and cultural capital.
As a conclusion in ECER´05 paper and poster presentation sessions included extensively the main themes of Network 14:
- comparative studies of communities across place and/or time
- studies of transitions between home and school
- phases of school or school to adult life
- particularly comparisons of the effects of transition at different stages and
- methodological issues or innovations in the study of communities and schools.
Also as a whole the scientific level of presentations were high.
Network’s convenors had also a meeting in where we decided that Janne Pietarinen will continue in next year 2006 as a contact convenor and Rune Kvalsund, Linda Hargreaves, Lisbeth Åberg-Bengtsson and Richard Thorpe will continue as co-convenors.
We would like to thank all the ECER´05 presenters in our Network about their scientific input and University of Dublin for well-worked arrangements.