The ECER 2009 in Vienna had the largest number of participants ever. In Network 23, Policy studies and Politics of Education, the growth from previous years continued. The accepted contributions included 17 symposia, including 8 double symposia (a total of 25 symposium sessions) and 102 individual papers, organized into 26 sessions. Furthermore there were 2 co-sponsored symposia, one with NW 10 (Teacher education) on teacher education for adult education, and one double with NW 22 (Higher education) on the Bologna process. Finally there was a co-sponsored roundtable on evidence-based practice with NW 27 (Didactics). The network sessions ran as four parallel tracks all through the conference.
The large number of contributions called for a lot of review work. All submissions to the network are assessed by two reviewers, and on the basis of these the link convener makes the final decision. Most of the conveners contributed to the review process, but it was still necessary to recruit a few more persons. For the chairing of paper sessions it was also necessary to draw on some people besides the group of conveners. I will be a logical step to invite people, who contributed to reviewing and chairing, to be part of the group of conveners. This was discussed at the business meeting and will be done well before the 2010 conference in Helsinki.
The network 23 objectives encourage contributions that consider the historical and cultural construction of contemporary educational formations; highlight the role of power relations (based in class, gender, ‘race’ and other social divisions) in education policy and politics; and engage with EU policy developments.
The themes of the network can be summarized as follows:
- The politics of policy making in education
- Europe, Europeanisation and the politics of globalisation
- Discourses and research politics
- The politics of knowledge and the knowledge-policy relationship
- Religion and Education
The papers and symposia covered these themes, although there were few contributions to the question of religion and education. The impression is also that the contributions in general were in line with the network objectives. Many people participated in the sessions (although as usual the early morning sessions tended to attract smaller audiences) and from all accounts the quality of presentations and discussions was high.
The network business meeting was attended by some 20 persons.