In Crete, Network 17: History of Education, started with a strong session that grouped three papers concerning methodology and methodological problems: Sarah Aiston (University of Durham) and Stephanie Spencer (University College Winchester); Lucy Townsend (Northern Illinois University); and Joyce Goodman (King Alfred’s College). The papers addressed critical issues about the use of interviews and autobiographies in History of Education and provoked an excellent discussion.
Methodology and archives proved to be recurring subjects during the conference.
Catherine Burke (University of Leeds) presented the interesting educational experience of E. O’Neill in the first half of the 20th century using a set of images from a recently discovered archive. Marjo Nieminen (University of Turku, Finland) described how the official texts in Finland spoke about the education of poor children at the beginning of the 20th Century. She was encouraged to develop this research looking for how this discourse was applied in schools. This paper led to a stimulating discussion about what was happening at that time in other European countries and how did these ideas flow among them.
Developing this subject, Helena Ribeiro de Castro tried to stress some of the possible directions of these flows across Europe often linked to the religious orders as well as the reasons for those movements.
Host Pfeiffle (Institut für Allgemeine Pädagogik und Philosophie) talked about Peer Tutoring and some relevant historical aspects of the development and the migration of this instructional model.
Kevin Brehony (University of Surrey Roehampton) and Jane Read (University of Surrey Roehampton) offered two interesting papers about Froebel’s ideas and their influence and perceived presence in institutions as well as in official texts and decisions.
Nick Peim (University of Birmingham) explored the concept of ‘community’, relating school and community in an historical approach.
From the University of Geneva the network received two papers offered by a group of researchers that tried to schematise both the professionalisation of teachers (Valerie Lussi, Rita Hofstetter, Bernard Schneuwly) and the development of vocational guidance (Astrid Jeanneret, Valerie Lussi, Bernard Schneuwly) in Switzerland during the 20th Century.
From Greece, we had three participations: the first told us about two Greek institutions engaged in teachers’ training through an analysis of their archives (Sofia Iliadou-Tachou and Helen Tsakiridou, University of Western Macedonia); then, Ourania Kouvou (University of Athens) described what she has discovered about art education models, suggesting a new trend for historical research in Education; and last, Georgios Tzartzas (University of Crete), explained the foundation of the Greek Modern Educational System establishing its relationship with other educational systems in Europe.
Although it had not been possible to organise a symposium on Visualizing Disabilities as agreed in Hamburg we had a session dedicated to that subject where Richard Altenbaugh (Slippery Rock University), used a large set of images to explore the social impact of polio in the United States and David Matheson (University of Central England in Birmingham) talked about the integration of blind children in some English schools in the mid 20th Century.
On Friday morning, network 17 joined with network 13, Philosophy of Education, to hold a joint symposium entitled: Philosophy and History of Education: Not the One without the Other. There were four papers exploring the subject offered by: Marc Depaepe (University of Leuven), Daniel Troehler (Pestalozzianum Research Institute for the History of Education), Bruno Vanobbergen (University of Ghent) and Edwin Keiner (Ruhr-Universitat Bochum). An in-depth discussion followed each of their presentations.
The final session
The final session of the network’s programme was a roundtable:
‘Childhood, Youth and Education in European Cultural History’: Developing an Advanced Curriculum Programme in the context of the Bologna Declaration. Ian Grosvenor (University of Birmingham), Catherine Burke (University of Leeds), and Frank Simon (University of Ghent) talked about a European project that they had developed with Christine Mayer (University of Hamburg), Carmen Sanchidrian, (University of Malaga), Mineke van Essen (University of Groningen) and Ruth Watts (University of Birmingham).
The project involved the production of a website on the History of Childhood and Youth in Europe and the construction of a multilingual on-line archive of primary sources. The archive was designed for use by researchers as well as by teachers and by students either in their classes or in their personal study sessions. Cathy presented the website to the audience and everyone was pleasantly surprised and showed a genuine interest on knowing more about it. We will all be longing to have it available online.
The network’s sessions in this Conference were well attended and once again it was remarkable the relationship and interest’s sharing established among the delegates who participated in most of the network’s sessions. This engagement was visible in the business meeting.
For ECER 2005 in Dublin 7-10 September, the delegates present in the network’s business meeting agreed on organising the papers, as far as possible in either symposiums or panels around two themes: Art (in) Education and Visualising the body. Suggestions for possible sub-themes under each heading included:
- Art (in) Education – Vocational versus Creative Education; Sites of Arts Education; Networks, Congresses and Conferences of Art Educators; Children as Artists; Performing Arts.
- Visualising the body – Disability, Disciplining and Shaping the Body; Gender Identities; School Uniforms; Hygeine; Outdoor Education; Youth.
Anyone interested in offering a paper under these headings or organised a panel was encouraged to contact one of the network convenors. Finally, the convenors reported that the papers presented in last year’s symposium organized by Catherine Burke (University of Leeds) on the theme of Containing the schoolchild. Architecture, Design and Landscapes for Learning: The Material Context of Educational Practice over Time, will be published in Paedagogica Historica in 2005. The papers in the joint symposium will also be published.
In 2006 ECER will be in Geneva 13-16 September.
Helena Ribeiro de Castro, co- convenor.