The policy studies and politics of education network met for the seventh time in Göteborg. This year we had almost a tie record proposal number of 76 proposals after a relatively low year last year.
The symposia were on the following topics:
- Priority Education Policies (PEP) in Europe – Present landscape and challenges (double session, cosponsored with Network 25)
- The changing forms of knowledge in contemporary curriculum reconfigurations (double session)
- Fabricating quality in European education: Teacher professionalism, Quality assurance regimes and performance (double session)
- Reconstructing education and health as neo-liberal human service work: Disturbing borders
- Unpacking the backstage of a European education research project: Profknow – professional knowledge in education and health
- In addition, there was a co-sponsored two session symposium with Network 13, on the topic of Government intervention and child rearing, and one of the Network 23 convenors acted as a discussant in this symposium.
Individual papers that were accepted and arranged into 15 sessions with three or four papers each. The more sessions that are arranges as four-paper sessions, the less likely it is that we end up with two-paper sessions. However, if the two papers are well linked together and no other papers are much related to them, that may be a good choice as well.
The themes were:
- Using Basil Bernstein’s theory
- Understanding education policy
- The Audit Society I
- The Audit Society II
- Politics of life-long learning and adult education
- Educating for the knowledge economy
- Effects of reform on professionalism
- Teachers’ work – teacher training
- Interpreting and enacting reform
- Reforming classroom practices
- Politics of the curriculum
- Focusing on citizenship
- Politics of identity
- Politics of equity
- Local governance
The roundtables were the following:
- The global assault on teachers, teaching and teacher unions: What role is there for educational research?
- Colonizing the learner. Technologies of governing the other in contemporary education
- Quality indicators as instruments of educational policy and the issue of learning
- Lifelong learning in the European Union: Discourse´s concepts and evidence in practice
- Active citizenship in a learning context (double session, cosponsored with Network 7)
- One roundtable was withdrawn just before the conference, and it is not listed here.
There were 15 reviewers, three of them volunteers outside the group of convenors, and in addition three paper presenters were asked to chair a session other than their own. Every one who was asked to participate in these activities were willing to do so.
There were only few incidents in which presenters failed to turn up without prior notification, but a few cancellations were too late to be correct in the printed program. One of the problems that we encountered were that individuals who had been scheduled on Friday afternoon complained about it and some of them decided to cancel their papers or even a whole session.
The network business meeting was attended by a good group of convenors and other devoted participants that discussed ways of developing the activities of the network and put forward future plans, altogether over 20 attendants. The quality of both presentations and discussions was generally considered to be good. It was felt that the organisation of papers into themes had helped to foster coherence and lively discussion. Among the activities discussed was the possibility of a research workshop on discourse analysis of policy documents.
The criteria for being in the group of convenors was discussed. Nothing was decided but the general atmosphere was that non-active convenors might leave the group and active reviewers being invited into the group. It is the opinion of undersigned that it is strong to have a group of 15–25 researchers across Europe to be listed as convenors, with certain responsibilities, and the the link convenor should put forward to other convenors names of individuals to be invited as new network convenors.
Link convenor for 2007–2008 was Ingólfur Ásgeir Jóhannesson, University of Akureyri, and he and Linda Rönnberg, Umea University were program chairs. At the business meeting, Palle Rasmussen of Aalborg University was elected as the link convenor for the next two year, and he and Linda Rönnberg will act as co-program chairs.