The content of this years papers varied from studies investigating how understandings are formed in instruction to how meanings are negotiated between interlocators in education arenas, how roles and relationships are developed in education institutions and how a curriculum or policy is formulated and implemented but they all included great detail about the minute by minute, day to day social life of individuals as they interact together and develop understandings and meanings by engaging in joint action and responding to each other as they adapt to situations and encounter and resolve problems that arise through their circumstances.
Several of the papers provided storied versions of these events. These stories revealed, interpreted and represented every day encounters and developed them in relation to theoretical constructs and contexts in analyses of the impact of politics and policies on social practices and processes.
There were 41 papers this year. These were organised into thematically linked sessions, a workshop, a special papers session and 5 symposia.
The various sessions were given in self-contained slots in the timetable of between one and a half and three hours.
Attendance at the sessions was generally good. The average was 16 people per session and the range was from 9 to 39. There were two non-attendees compared to the official timetable. One of these was not picked up on until after the day's sessions got under way and this did cause some tensions and irritation for one of the presenters who finished up presenting in a session alone when this could have been avoided.
As mentioned above, the presentations this year covered a broad range of substantive interests and the theories represented and used were manifold, varying from poststructuralist and post-colonialist, to interactionist, Marxist and feminist theories and concerned analyses of processes of cultural induction, labelling, identity formation, differentiation and polarisation, curriculum modification and friendship formation. We have decided within the section to submit a proposal to the Editorial Board of the EERJ regarding a possible special issue of the journal to look at European Perspectives in Educational Ethnography based on this year’s papers.
Due to the large numbers of papers this year we decided to run parallel sessions to ensure that our Network was not timetabled through the whole of the conference preventing co-coordinators and members from attending other network sessions. However, we now feel that this was not conducive to maintaining and developing a corporate network identity as well as reducing the numbers at each presentation.
Secondly, we felt that some papers did not conform appropriately to our network criteria and in some cases properly constituted academic papers were not actually available. Consequently, we are considering the following option. A more rigorous refereeing process with a higher rejection of abstracts to maintain a high quality of papers and to ensure that the number of sessions is kept to a level that ensures a greater opportunity to attend other network sessions. The consequence of this would be fewer sessions, less time for presentation but a higher quality of papers. However, there would be a higher percentage of rejected presenters who would have to seek acceptance in other networks. Comments welcome.