Annual Report 2006, Geneva

There were 24 papers presented at the conference this year.
These were organised into thematically linked sessions, including two panels, on the following themes: ‘Aesthetics and the transformation of knowledge in the history of education’, ‘Iconic school architecture and special relationships of knowledge’, ‘Pedagogies of knowledge transformation’ ‘Visualisation and educational histories’ and medical / bio discourses in visualising histories’.

The network also hosted an important symposium organised by Rita Hofstetter and Bernard Schneuwly (ERHISE, Equipe de recherche en histoire des sciences de l’éducation – Equipe of research on the group of the history of educational sciences) of the Université de Genève, on the theme ‘What transformations of knowledge (concepts, reference theories and school disciplines) does New Education put forward in the first decades of the 20th century?’ Discussants for this symposium were Marc Depaepe, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and Frank Simon, Universiteit Gent and Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

All sessions were chaired and were well attended with an average of around 20 – 25 people in the audience and some excellent discussions followed all papers.
Geneva University provided a good accommodation, there were no technical problems and support was always on hand if needed.

The business meeting discussed the following items which had been raised at the general convenor’s meeting:

  • The meeting considered the role of the chairperson in managing panels of papers and it was suggested that in general, the chair should seek opportunities in the question and discussion space to encourage the connections and links to be made between papers. It was considered that one or two panels at the conference might be organised with discussants and the papers made available well in advance in order to facilitate this.
  • The meeting discussed the suggestion that presenters be encouraged to make more explicit the European dimension in their papers. It was agreed that, alongside the usual criteria, the convenors should be consider and assess proposals with regard to their contribution to the European dimension and if needed, they should be encouraged to make this explicit. Additionally, the network decided to invite the involvement of a wider team of reviewers of proposals.
  • The meeting discussed possible ways that the network might connect with the general conference theme for Ghent 2007 ‘Contested Qualities in Educational Research’. Initial ideas for panels were in the following areas:

Methodologies: how do we tell life stories in the history of education?

Histories of the senses in the educational past (possible book proposal)

In addition, the network meeting decided to initiate discussions with the Children’s Rights network towards the organisation of joint sessions in Ghent.

The meeting also decided to continue our interest in visual sources through the organisation of workshops / sessions on film – documentary or non-documentary which indirectly addresses the history of education.
This reflects a commitment to experiment with widening the diversity of means of generating knowledge and interest in the histories of education at the Conference sessions.

The network will improve its communication with interested individuals and organisations between conferences by means of a web site, linked to the main EERA site.


The network continues to publish strongly.
In the near future there are several publications that have emerged from the network, including a book jointly written by Ian Grosvenor and Catherine Burke, School (Reaktion Press), and a Special Issue of the History of Education based on the papers presented at the Dublin conference (2005) on the theme ‘The Body of the School Child in the History of Education’ (March, 2007).
The network had previously agreed to submit a paper to European Education Research Journal outlining the issues that the network had explored in its conference meetings and to look at core issues for historians of education in the European space. This was still being worked on and would be forthcoming in the near future.

Network convenors
Catherine Burke (UK)
Georgios Tzartzas (Education Research Centre, Athens)
Angelo van Gorp (K.U. Leuven)
Helena Ribeiro de Castro (University of Lisbon).

Each network holds a Network Meeting during ECER and invites interested researchers to join. We have collected the network meeting minutes.
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EERA has published ECER statistics for each network since 2018.
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