This year’s conference meeting in Vienna of the network Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments Network in the European Education Research was organized as paper sessions and network meetings. The Network promotes innovative strategies dealing with intercultural teaching and its learning environment. Key issues are cultural identity and diversity, multi-ethnic learning groups and communities, intercultural discourses and the role of intercultural education in promoting both the local identities of groups and a sense of common citizenship in Europe.
The Network established itself this year for 7 paper sessions, and two networks meetings containing 20 papers. The thematic focus of the sessions was 'Inclusion', ‘Methodology’, ‘Cross cultural and intercultural learning’ and ‘histories of intercultural education’. The last theme was coordinated with the symposium of the same theme by networks 7 and 17. Most of the papers reflected the theme of the conference, "Theory and Evidence in European Educational Research" as well as the perspective of the network: To create new ways of working and new combinations of ideas and practices in intercultural education. Some of the sessions were drawing upon the projects and the way of working developed within earlier international seminars. Maria Angels Subirats, Raimonda Bruniviciute, Manfred Bayer, Tony Cotton and John Willumsen were chairing the sessions which were initiating interesting discussions and also gave a variety of researchers a chance to present a lot of new ideas and approaches. The number of people attending was varying but most sessions were well attended.
There were two network meetings. Originally tree were planned for, but as many had to leave the conference early, it was decided to move the business forward so that the meeting was a part of the interactive workshop, which included Jay Pollit, Parmjit Sagoo, and the presentation by Manfred Bayer about the German-Polish “Master-DUO Courses” an innovative masters program on intercultural education. In that way the meeting could discuss future actions taken from the inspiration of the workshop and the presentation. There were very interesting discussions of future creative and music and drama inspired strands and of future projects like the Master Duo, which was inviting more participants during the coming year.
The discussions are to some extent embedded in the sub themes for the next conference in Helsinki: Intercultural education and issues of Inclusion; Innovative Research Methodology; Cross Cultural Research and Intercultural learning; Intercultural Education and learning environment in Higher Education; Innovative Arts Based Educational Enquiry. The website will be developed with facilities such as exchange forums for papers, presentations and links as well as a discussions board. It is possible to link to the ‘Future(s) of Education Project’. At the next conference the network title and description will be discussed again for possible future adjustments