Annual Report 2012, Cádiz
Network 27 is one of the larger networks of EERA which means a lot of work with respect to reviewing, organisation of sessions, chairing et cetera. The call for papers for Cadiz, has led to round about 120 proposals for paper presentations, symposia/workshops, and posters. In addition to that we had to review proposals for the emerging researchers conference with topics close to those of our network. The reviewing process led to the admission of 89 proposals for our network (57 papers on the one hand and 6 posters, 1 round table and 5 symposia with together 25 participants on the other hand). The topics of the symposia and the round table as enlisted below mirror the broadness and diversity of interests, contents and methodology of didactic research:
- A symposium arranged by Brigitte Gruson, Rennes, on: The Joint Action Theory in Didactics: Contributions to comparative didactics in Europe
- A symposium arranged by Kirsti Klette, Oslo on: Lenses of Classroom Teaching - Approaches for Measuring Teaching Qualities
- A Symposium arranged by Kirsti Klette, Oslo, on: Research design and analytical categories as lenses for construction and conceiling difference in classroom studies (together with network 24).
- A round table organized by Birgit Pepin and Sør-Trendelag as joint session with network 24 (Mathematics education research) on: Methodological issues in international and comparative mathematics education research.
- A symposium arranged by Carol Taylor, Sheffield Hallam University, Joris Vieghe, Ghent, Bernd Hackl, Graz, et al. on: The hidden inventory of education: Signs, practices and situations as constituents of pedagogical reality.
- A Symposium by David Clarke, Melbourne, et al. on: Using multiple theoretical lenses to investigate teaching and learning: Challenges, and benefits of different approaches in different domains.
- A symposium arranged by Leif Östman, Uppsala, et al. on: Literacy and didactics: Perspectives, practices and consequence
In spite of broadness of the field and diversity of research topics, methods and interests as demonstrated in this list, we assume that we may find common ground for didactics in Europe. As shown in a publication on didactics, learning and teaching in Europe, edited by Brian Hudson and Meinert A. Meyer (Barbara Budrich Publishers, Opladen 2011), the search for common ground is promising, interesting and hopefully successful.
One of the effects of this orientation may be seen in the first symposium enlisted above presenting a tri-national research endeavour by Brigitte Gruson and Monique Loquet, Rennes, Brian Hudson, Dundee/Sussex, and Meinert A. Meyer and Matthias Trautmann, Hamburg and Siegen. The research group aims at developing a joint evaluation of classroom instruction with a methodological orientation towards the Joint Action Theory in Didactics (JATD) as developed by Gérard Sensevy et al., Rennes, Alain Mercier et al., Marseille, Maria-Luisa Schubauer et al., Geneva, and Chantal Amade-Escot,Toulouse.
The topics developed in the symposia show a broad range of interests among the researchers who participate actively to the network. In a first, rough evaluation, the papers, symposia and posters of the Cádiz conference may be assembled in three groups or strings:
- Classroom research,
- General and/or comparative and domain specific didactics,
- Research methods and meta-didactical reflection on research and its impact on teacher, learning, and school development.
Regarding classroom research, a big concern is the development of theoretical and methodological frameworks for comparing classroom actions across subjects and across educational contexts. This concern is directly related to the fragmentation of the didactic research traditions in Europe, which we aim at overcoming. Besides we hope to improve our understanding of the differences and similarities of perspectives produced by general didactics, comparative didactics, and domain specific didactics. Such an improvement goes along with a meta-didactical reflection on the impact of research on instruction and school development. To face this challenge, we would like to suggest some key research topics to improve the discussions among the researchers active now and to make the network attractive for prospective new researchers.
At the Cádiz network meeting, Brian Hudson stepped down from his post as link convenor of network 27 after seven years in which he has managed to create a network which has been successful in bridging the divide between British classroom, teaching and instructional research on the one side and continental didactics on the other. The network members present thanked him for his successful work as the founding father of this network. They then elected Meinert A. Meyer, Hamburg, as successor in the position of link convenor, and in addition to that Florence Ligozat, Geneva, and Joana Duarte, Hamburg, as deputy link convenors.
We were very satisfied with the quality of most of the papers presented at Cádiz. We hope that the number of participants from Southern European countries will increase at future ECERs. We assume that one of the reasons for the improvement of the quality of presentations in our network over the years can be seen in reviewing process to which we have come (two independent peer reviews and a third one in case of substantial differences of review one and two).