In recent years network 23 has established itself as one of the large networks in the ECER conferences and a network in which new themes in educational debates quickly are taken up. This year the network ran three full tracks of network sessions throughout the conference, including 92 paper presentations, nine symposia, one roundtable and one poster. Thirteen proposals were rejected, corresponding to a rejection rate of 11 percent. The convenors see this as a satisfactory balance between paper sessions and symposia, but would like to encourage more posters.
The large number of contributions calls for much 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 some more persons for reviewing as well as for chairing sessions. The following persons contributed to reviewing for the 2011 conference: Herbert Altrichter, Sharon Gewirtz, Ingolfur Johannesson, Anne Larson, Sverker Lindblad, Martha Lucchesi, Lisbeth Lundahl, Eric Mangez, Ian Menter, Romuald Normand, Jenny Ozga, Xavier Pons, Xavier Rambla, Palle Rasmussen, Linda Rönnberg, Terri Seddon, Anna Tsatsaroni, Janne Varjo, Florian Waldow.
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
- Methodology of policy and politics studies in education
The papers and symposia covered these themes. Compared to previous conferences two more prominent themes this year were the politics of curriculum formation and the uses of evaluation and assessment. In general the contributions were in line with the network objectives. Many sessions also showed a degree of continuity discussions from previous conferences. Most sessions attracted a satisfactory number of participants and from all accounts the quality of presentations and discussions was high.
The network business meeting was attended by some 20 persons. The link convenors, Palle Rasmussen and Linda Rönnberg, indicated that they would like to hand the job over to someone else. They had attempted to find replacements before the conference, but without success. Hopefully a new link convenor team will be in place before next year’s conference.