ECER Report 2004
The network was initiated and approved by the EERA Council in the beginning of 2004, so this ECER was the first conference for us as a network. From the start there were 18 members of the network, half of us participated in the Crete ECER.
We received 22 proposals for paper presentations, symposia and workshops. 4 of them were redirected/rejected. The criteria on which the proposals were assessed were: Relevance to this network, clear research questions, theoretical and methodological considerations and indications of findings of the research project.
At ECER we had 9 sessions: One introductory session and one business meeting, 2 symposia, one workshop and 4 multi paper presentations. All of the sessions were chaired. There was good attendance; from 9 delegates up to 45 with an average of 21. One presentation was moved to another session prior to the conference, one was cancelled and one presenter did not show up for the session. The overall impression is that the papers were of good quality with only one of not very good quality.
There was one unpleasant incident: When one presenter from a non-English speaking country had started her presentation one fourth of the audience left the room. This behaviour was felt not to be conducive to helping new EERA members to feel included into the conference.
In some of the sessions the presenters and the chair did not give enough time for discussions, but at the introductory session and the business meetings in particular we had really good and productive discussions.
The Business Meeting
A short report on the reviewing procedure was given.
An account was given of the paper on convenors functions, that the Secretary General had produced and that had been approved of by the convenors meeting a day before the business meeting. We had a discussion on the functioning of the network and convenors and agreed that the network could and should develop into a more robust forum for discussions and research on the European area, and not only to be an ECER-preparing network.
Therefore we decided
- to rewrite the network description.
- to elect one link-convenor plus 4 convenors and name the rest of the network members co-convenor
- to start a discussion of what kind of research on educational leadership is most important in Europe at present (see Key questions);
- and finally we found three trans-network themes for the 2005 ECER
Key questions for research
We started to draw a sketch of what to us seem to be the most important questions to research into educational leadership in Europe. This process is going to be taken further on the net and possibly result in construction of shared research projects, in ECER discussions or in paper writing. At the business meeting we formulated these questions:
- What are the roles of professional in respect to policy, e.g. quests for accountability?
- How can/should we conceptualize educational leadership in a European context and on the basis of European culture and policies?
- What seems to be the important research questions to other stakeholders like OECD?
- How can we measure outcomes?
- What kind of research strategies and methodologies can we make use of?
- How can we - and who are we – to decide on what is quality in research?
- How can we develop leadership capacities in institutions now there is both focus on the educational aspects and the managerial aspects?
- What kinds of leadership development programmes are appropriate?
We agreed that all convenors and co-convenors pick one or more of these questions – or construct other questions – and start writing their thoughts on them over the next months and mail them to me (Lejf), who will collect and disseminate to the whole network every 1-3 month. Eventually we decide what questions who are going to engage ourselves in (e.g. for an ECER discussion, for a construction of a research project, for writing papers or books – or whatever kind of processes we may choose).
Some decisions have to be made prior to the ECER proposal deadline in March if we want space for discussions at the Dublin ECER.
Trans-Network themes for next ECER
- governance in and around education
- developing, attracting and retaining professionals
- professionals’ role in policy making