Annual Report 2007, Ghent

Annual Report 2007, Ghent

The Annual Network Meeting was held during Session 11 at 16:45 on Friday 21 September at the ECER 2007 Conference venue in Ghent. The following colleagues attended the meeting and apologies were received from several more:
In attendance

Ingrid Carlgren, (University of Stockholm, Sweden), Jens Dolin (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Carina Granberg (Umeå University, Sweden), Brigitte Gruson ( IUFM de Bretagne, France), Brian Hudson (Umeå University, Sweden), Gitte Holten Ingerslev (Aarhus University, Denmark), Ellen Krogh (University of Southern Denmark), Avril Loveless (University of Brighton, England), Florence Lizogat (University of Geneva, Switzerland), Meinert Meyer (University of Hamburg, Germany), Daniel Mottam (Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique-Lyon-France), Deborah Priest (Bond University, Australia), Monique Pyls (Amsterdam University, Netherlands), Gérard Sensevy (IUFM de Bretagne, France), Andreja Starcic (University of Primorska, Slovenia), Tobias Stark (University of Oldenburg, Germany)

Summary of discussions

The question of how to develop links with the Post Graduate Network was discussed and the meeting agreed that it was important to find ways of improving support for this network within EERA. As a result it was agreed that Tobias Stark would act as the main link with the Post Graduate Network.
Plans for the introduction of a conference management system were discussed and welcomed by the meeting.
Also the process of reviewing proposals for contributions was considered. In relation to the latter, blind reviewing of papers was not seen as being necessary at the present moment in time.

Issues arising from ECER 2007

There had been a strong response to the establishment of the network and the programme for 2007 involved 60 accepted papers, 4 symposia and a workshop. Participants were generally satisfied with the sessions they had attended but a number of problems were reported. Firstly there was general dissatisfaction expressed with the location of the venue for Network 27, which had been reported also by many delegates during the course of the week. The setting was isolated from the main conference and entailed a 15-20 minute walk from the main site. The number of participants at several sessions was reported as having been too few for productive discussions and a number of "no shows" on the part of presenters was reported.
The low number of participants in some sessions was seen to have been partially a consequence of the isolated location but also as a result of the organisation of several parallel sessions at one time. For example several conference sessions involving three parallel sessions. The reported "no shows" could not be explained and it was agreed that the convenors would explore reasons for this situation with the EERA Office. The convenors? group also agreed to consider what actions might be taken in order to improve the situation with regard to numbers of participants in sessions for the future.

Planning for ECER 2008

Discussions initiated under the previous item continued in relation to thinking about planning for ECER 2008. Questions were raised about how the papers were grouped for ECER 2007 and the suggestion was made to avoid subject-specific sessions in favour of cross-subject issues of a general and potentially integrative nature. It was also suggested that greater use should be made of interactive poster sessions in the future. In addition participants agreed on the need for a social event for the network at ECER 2008 which should be well publicised in advance of the conference.
Discussions also took place with regard to the focus and main idea for the network. These discussions took the direction of considering of the relation between general and subject specific competences. In particular questions were raised in relation to what are the main differences between subject specific and general competences. Having shared perspectives on different traditions within Europe, a question was raised in terms of what was next main task for the network.

Meetings of convenors

Issues raised in the Annual Network Meeting were taken forward by the convenors and meetings have taken place at Stockholm Institute of Education on 26th October, at the Swedish Research Council in Stockholm on 4th December and at the University of Geneva on the 7-8th December 2007. These meetings have been supplemented by regular email communication.
In response to the question of focus of the network, discussions have highlighted two aspects in particular. Firstly the network provides a meeting place for educational researchers from the diverse traditions in Europe in relation to 'didactics' and research on teaching and learning. Secondly it provides a forum for exploring the relation between subject specific and general 'didactics' and/or research on teaching and learning. In bringing together different domains a question of particular interest has come to the foreground in relation to consideration of what are the generic aspects across subject-specific domains of didactics and/or research on teaching and learning. This question becomes more interesting when considering the impact of contemporary technologies on the expectations of students and on cultures of teaching and learning in formal educational settings at this time. It is also of particular interest in terms of responding to the theme of ECER 2008 which relates to the question of a shift in terms of pedagogical practices from teaching to learning.
With regard to the main idea for the network, the scope as outlined on its establishment, highlights the way in which the field of didactics and research on teaching and learning is characterised by its fragmentation across Europe. The very diverse systems of initial teacher education and similarly diverse arrangements for the continuing professional development of teachers reflect this fragmentation. Central questions from a didactical perspective, are what is to be taught and what is to be learned and also why? In turn these raise questions about the role of subjects and subject didactics and also, significantly for many traditions within Europe, about the concept of Bildung. A major question that arises from any shift in practice from teaching to learning is what are the implications for teachers' work? A further important question is what are the implications for teacher education in Europe?  
Therefore a major task for this network is to counteract fragmentation, advance research in didactics and teaching and learning as part of a wider movement to advance university-based teacher education in a European context. Accordingly potential contributors to ECER 2008 are encouraged to submit proposals which address the conference theme and in particular which consider the generic aspects across subject-specific domains of didactics and/or research on teaching and learning.
This task becomes of even greater importance in the light of the decision, in November 2007, of the European Council on measures for sustaining and improving the quality of teacher education within a career-long perspective. This initiative places emphasis on the changing role of teachers, who whilst retaining a traditional role for imparting knowledge are seen also to function as tutors, guiding learners on their individual pathway to knowledge. Such changes will create new demands for teachers who not only are seen to need to develop new learning environments and approaches to teaching but who also need a high degree of professionalism.

Implications for ECER 2008

In the light of these discussions, considerations and policy developments, the convenors' group are involved in planning the following proposals for ECER 2008:
From Teaching to Learning: what are the implications for teachers' work?

Double slot: Sessions 1 and 2
Chair: Prof. Meinert Meyer, University of Hamburg
Presenter 1: Prof. Brian Hudson, University of Umeå
Presenter 2: Prof. Ingrid Carlgren, University of Stockholm
Presenter 3: Prof. Bernard Schneuwly, University of Geneva
Presenter 4: Prof. Kirsti Klette, University of Oslo
Discussants: Prof. Stefan Hopmann, University of Vienna and Prof. Gerard Sensevy, CREAD Université Rennes 2 - IUFM de Bretagne

Joint NW 27-NW 6 Symposium
“From Teaching to Learning: digital portfolio as assessment for learning”

Chair: Prof. Yngve Nordvkelle, Lillehammer University College
Presenter 1: Prof. Juana M. Sancho Gil, University of Barcelona
Presenter 2: Dr Eve Eisenschmidt and Mart Laanpere, University of Tallinn
Discussant: Prof. Brian Hudson, University of Umeå

Joint NW 27-NW 23 Symposium
“From Teaching to Learning: what are the implications for teacher education in Europe”

Discussions are currently in progress. 

Joint NW 27-NW 1 Symposium
"From Teaching to Learning: the role of ICT competences in teachers’ professional learning"

Discussions are currently in progress led by Andreja Starcic with Vivienne Collinson.

Finally on behalf of the Convenor's Group, I look forward to your proposals for contributions to ECER 2008 and to fruitful discussions and continued collaboration in Göteborg during September 2008 and beyond.
Brian Hudson
January 2008

Each network holds a Network Meeting during ECER and invites interested researchers to join. We have collected the network meeting minutes.
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