Annual Report 2013, Istanbul

Annual Report 2013, Istanbul

The network sessions were generally quite well attended with an average participation of over 20. This is roughly the same as in previous conferences. We filled 14 sessions all told thanks to using parallel sessions for some symposia and papers.  Late cancellations meant that despite this our network activities ended after session 12 on Friday morning.

The presentations were mainly conventional papers but there was also a double joint symposium session conducted together with net 7 (Social Justice). This session was exceptionally well attended and contained well managed presentations that helped initiate important and enriching discussions. We look forward to more joint sessions in the future and are happy to cooperate with any other networks on this matter. Ethnography is becoming a common research approach in educational research in Europe. Joint sessions are a benefit to improving the quality of the approach.  

There were fewer papers given in the network this year which had limited or negligible ethnographic content. This has been a problem at some conferences and it is of course difficult to discern from abstracts the extent of ethnographic engagement. Convenors were more rigorous about accepting papers this year.

The business meeting was well attended. A number of questions were attended to. One was the convener list. Currently:

•    Dennis Beach
•    Karen Borgnakke
•    Geoff Bright
•    Francesca Gobbo
•    Christoph Maeder
•    Sofia Marques da Silva
•    Andrea Raggl

This group basically coordinate activities at the annual conference. Those present at the meeting discussed the gradual withdrawal of older conveners and the need to replace them. In line with this it was suggested that Ingrid Kellerman (Berlin Free University) be added to the present list prior to forthcoming reductions. The lead convener was encouraged to try to influence the EERA office regarding the exgtensin of the convener list to 8 members.

The next issue we discussed concerned the question of how we present ourselves and how attractive we are on the internet. One aspect of this concerns the key words we use to describe the network’s main research interests/areas. At present these are:

•    ethnography;
•    narrative;
•    fieldwork;
•    representation;
•    observation,
•    life-history;
•    action research

It was decided at the meeting that we should add anthropology and interpretive paradigms and remove action research and life history.

A second descriptive field in the network’s self-presentation concerns what EERA term the structural area of focus of the network. At present these descriptions include the nature of life in educational institutions as experienced by policy-makers, managers, teachers, teaching assistants, parents and learners and the perspectives of those who influence and are affected by education, those excluded from it and those who choose to distance themselves from those institutions. Major themes include gender, race, class and disabilities.

In the descriptions we say that we welcome all representations involving foci from micro ethnographic and discourse analysis through cultural and anthropological studies to sociological analysis and research based on life histories. We describe that as well as substantive papers we also welcome ones that focus on methodological issues and perspectives from across the field.

The descriptions have worked quite well but some concern was raised regarding their precision and the possibilities of making them sharper. The descriptors will be rewritten by Geoff Bright and Karin Borgnakke in the coming weeks. Network members will be invited to comment on the changes suggested.

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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