Network Meeting 2015, Budapest

Network 14’s meeting – ECER2015

Date: Thursday, September 10th, 2015, 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Place: Room 103.Oktatóterem, Building C, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary

1. New link convenor
2. Report from Link Convenors' Meeting (April 2015)
3. Report on ECER2015

a) Reviewing, programme planning and Main Conference (numbers)
b) Overall assessment
c) Joint sessions
d) Interactive poster session (pilot)
e) Symposia
f) Feedback on 5-paper sessions

4. ECER2016 (Dublin, Ireland)

a) Proposals for special calls
b) Budget for NW activities/publications
c) Convenor group (new members)

The meeting was moderated by Joana Lúcio, as the current link convenor for NW14, and had an attendance of about 40 people, including convenors and other participants.

Addressing the first item on the meeting’s agenda, Joana introduced Rocío García Carrión (convenor for NW14 since 2011) as the new link convenor for the network, following a shadowing period that had started at the end of 2014. Joana will continue to assist Rocío in all tasks relevant for the network’s functioning until the end of 2015, and will then resume her role as convenor.

Following up on EERA’s concerns with greater transparency and consistency in the networks’ procedures and mandates for convenors and link convenors (discussed at the last Convenors’ Meeting), Joana asked Linda Hargreaves, as one of the senior members of the network, to elucidate on the procedure currently used by Network 14. As the EERA Council prepares to introduce more specific recommendations regarding this topic, to be included in the General Regulations, it is expected that, within the next two years, this election/nomination process should become more standardized. The convenor group will be informed of any decisions reached.

Next, Joana shared some information stemming from the Convenors’ Meeting in Berlin, in April 2015, namely the issue of running and development of Networks, and the process of Networks’ presentations to Council, as well the topic discussed within the previous item on the agenda. Further information on both topics will be discussed within the convenor group.

Joana then made a summary of the preparation process for ECER2015, namely in terms of the number of proposals received, acceptance/rejection rates for both phases of reviewing, the different formats of submissions received and their distribution according to topic, and the number of reviewers involved. Some numbers pertaining to the Conference itself were also presented, namely number and type of sessions. As the network had launched a special call for ECER2015, “The City as a Learning Experience: a multidisciplinary approach to learning in and from urban spaces", Joana (who was one of its proponents) reported on the 3-part symposium and paper sessions put together following the great response to the special call, which resulted in very well-attended and successful sessions.

Attention was given to the fact that, having received zero submissions for ECER2014, Topic 2 received 15 proposals for ECER2015, which may be due to: 1. A rephrasing of the topic, and 2. The network’s special call, that explicitly mentioned the issue of place-based and place-conscious education. As that change in phrasing had only been implemented in the submission system, it should now be made definitive in the Network’s descriptors (“Subthemes of Research” at <link http: networks network14 _blank external link in new>

When asked about the overall quality of the Conference, those present generally agreed that it had been of high quality, with very few last minute issues, no significant problems with the venue (with the exception of a few issues with IT), good social events and useful support staff.

It was agreed that the link convenor would officially thank the Conference’s organizing committee, on behalf of NW14, for their work leading up to, and during, ECER2015.

In preparation for this year’s Conference, a reminder was sent (two weeks before the event) to all presenting authors, about the importance of handouts. Following up on the discussion about handouts at last year’s network meeting (Network 14 is aware that we are living a period of transition between analogical and digital media, while also being sensitive to environmental concerns such as paper wastage), a suggestion was made for authors who wished to make their handout available online (thus substituting the need for printed copies), to upload it to a Dropbox archive, and then provide those attending the session(s) in which they were presenting with a link to said file. Joana was contacted for support in this process, by a few authors, in the days leading up to ECER2015.

No major concerns with handouts (or the lack thereof) were expressed during the meeting.

The meeting also included some information regarding NW14’s joint initiatives for ECER2015: one joint session (a symposium) with NW30 – Environmental and Sustainability Education Research, titled “Transitions and Links in Urban/Rural Place-Based Learning” (relating to NW14’s special call for ECER2015); and one joint session (a symposium) with NW24 – Mathematics Education Research, titled “Mathematics for All: Interactive and Dialogic Strategies to Success in Primary Mathematics”. Despite being at 9AM on Friday morning, both sessions had a good attendance rate (over 10 people in both cases) and were assessed as successful. For ECER2016, NW14 should pursue further joint ventures.

For the third consecutive year, NW14 hosted an Interactive Poster Session (IPS). This year, as part of the network's participation in a pilot regarding poster sessions (along with Networks 8, 22 and 29), posters were not displayed in the general poster area, but instead remained in display in one of the rooms allocated to NW14, for the duration of the conference. Two weeks before ECER2015, authors of poster presentations received an email containing information about this session. Of the four posters accepted by NW14 for ECER2015, only one group of authors did not attend the IPS. The participants in this session agreed that it was successful, and a good opportunity for authors, in terms of the visibility of their work. It was agreed that Interactive Poster Sessions should be pursued in the future, but it was noted that: 1. The authors of poster presentations should be invited to participate in the IPS (a formal oral presentation should not be made to seem mandatory); 2. The format and the informality of the session should be made clearer, and 3. The initial moments of the IPS should be reserved for attendants to view the posters, followed by presentations and discussion.

This discussion about the IPS prompted another one about changes (or new possibilities) in formats for presentation at ECER. Pecha Kucha-type presentations (namely, for posters), as well as shorter, more incisive “Notes from Research”-type paper presentations were some of the ideas that emerged. After consulting with the EERA Office about the feasibility of these changes, the convenor group will discuss the redaction of a formal proposal, to be discussed first with the EERA’s Executive Board, and later at the annual Convenors’ Meeting, at the beginning of 2016.

For ECER2015, NW14 received a significant (and continuously growing) number of symposia proposals. It was agreed that, because of their clear focus, symposia are relevant and usually well-attended, as they make attendants feel “at home” in terms of the topic at stake, and the discussion that follows. Given
that the number of such proposals hasn’t proved to be problematic in terms of programme management, for ECER2016, NW14 welcomes any such proposals, as well as all other formats.

Although some 5-paper session had been put together, ahead of ECER2015, in response to a few issues with session planning and scheduling, no such sessions actually took place, because of last minute withdrawals. This could be a useful strategy in the future, in order to tackle two- or even one-paper sessions. While last year 3-paper sessions were the norm, ECER2015 saw a vast majority of 4-paper sessions, in response to the Network’s growth in terms of number of submissions, and to avoid more than two parallel sessions per time slot. While some of the participants in the meeting expressed their preference for 3-paper sessions – as they are seen as more well-paced, with more room for discussion – as the Network continues to grow, a balance should be ensured.

For the upcoming Conference, the EERA Office would like to ensure whether joint special calls (between two or more networks) are possible. Therefore, proposals for special calls, for ECER2016, should be sent to Joana (<link window for sending> and/or to Rocío (<link window for sending> by October 8th at the latest. Those proposals will, then, be circulated and discussed amongst Networks, and issued with the general call in November. Proposals for special calls should relate to one or more of the Network’s five main topics. The full text of last year’s special call (for reference) can be found at <link http: networks network14 upcoming-ecer nw14cfp2015 _blank external link in new>

The networks were also informed, during the Convenors’ Meeting at the beginning of ECER2015, that the EERA Council has agreed to financially sponsor activities initiated by Networks. Two funding schemes are currently available: Network Projects and Network Season Schools. The next deadline (for both lines of funding) is October 30th. Proposals for Network Funding should relate to one or more of the Network’s five main topics, and need to be supported by the link convenor. More information on these funding opportunities can be found at Those interested in applying within this deadline should contact Rocío and/or Joana as soon as possible.

As the number of proposals NW14’s receives each year is steadily increasing, and given our consolidated option for a double-reviewing system, the Network welcomes additions to the convenor group. So far, Karen Noble (Australian Catholic University), Helen Manchester (University of Bristol) and Tim Jay (Sheffield Hallam University) have made their interest in collaborating known, which we very much appreciate. Those interested in joining the convenor group should contact Rocío and/or Joana as soon as possible. Convenors’ tasks
include reviewing the proposals received by Network 14 and chairing sessions during ECER.

NW 14 runs a mailing list and invites researchers to join. To join the mailing list, send a blank message to nw14-subscribe(at)

Interview with Link Convenor 2019