Annual Report 2013, Istanbul

Annual Report 2013, Istanbul

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 Istanbul led to 87 proposals plus re-directed proposals for paper presentations, symposia/workshops, and posters. This means round about 100 persons as presenters. We see a quantitative reduction in comparison to the 2012 Cadiz proposals which reflects the general reduction of proposals for Istanbul. We have therefore thought about increasing the attractiveness of network 27.

As in former years, some of us participated in reviewing proposals for the Emerging Researchers Conference with topics close to those of our network. These topics mirror the broadness and diversity of interests, contents and methodology of didactic research, and we see in this state an invitation for comparative theory construction.

In Istanbul, we arranged the following symposia:

Symposium on Joint Action Theory in Didactics (Brigitte Gruson),

  • Symposium on the relationships between Subject Matter Didactics and Didactics “tout court” (Bernard Schneuwly),
  • Symposium on research methods, in particular for the analysis of video materials (Kirsti Klette),
  • Symposium in cooperation with the network 17 on histories of education (Helena Ribeiro de Castro and Bernard Schneuwly),
  • Symposium on the hidden inventory of education: teaching and what is beyond the reach of teaching (Carol Taylor)

In spite of the broadness of the field and the diversity of research topics, methods and interests, we assume that we may find common ground (cp. Brian Hudson and Meinert A. Meyer, eds. (2011): Beyond fragmentation: Didactics, learning and teaching in Europe, Barbara Budrich Publishers, Opladen 2011). The publication found a very welcome review by Laura Colucci-Gray in the Scottish Educational Journal 44, 1, pp. 83-86. A further review by Hans-Ulrich Grunder, Bales (Switzerland), was published in Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft 3/2012, pp. 615-626.

Joana Duarte, deputy link convenor of network 27, announced that she will step down from her position because she is involved in the foundation of a new network on education and linguistics. She is now the link convenor of this network. We are glad that we could enroll Jonas Almqvist, Uppsala University, as Joana’s successor. In addition to that, we also enroll Carol Taylor, Sheffield, and Anatoli Rakhkochkine, Leipzig, as new convenors. At present, we are engaged in finding a third new convenor from the Balkans. The motive for the enlargement of the group of convenors is the attempt to strengthen the participation of colleagues from all European regions in our network, including the United Kingdom where “didactics” finds no representation on the organizational level of Higher Education. We feel that our search for and orientation towards common ground is promising, interesting and probably successful in the long run. We therefore try to bring continuity into the research work and the ensuing symposia and other activities.

The papers, symposia and posters of the Istanbul conference may be assembled in three groups or strings, parallel to the Cadiz conference:

  1. Classroom research
  2. General and/or comparative and domain specific didactics,
  3. Research methods and meta-didactical reflection on research and its impact on teachers and teaching, learning, and school and instruction development.

Regarding classroom research, a big concern is the development of theoretical and methodological frameworks for comparing classroom action across subjects and across educational contexts. This concern is directly related to the fragmentation of the didactic research traditions in Europe. 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.

Meeting of EERA Network 27:  Didactics, Learning and Teaching

12 September 2013, Istanbul



Safayet Alam,  Aldona Augustiniene,  Elisabeth Delais-Rossane,  Joana Duarte,  Chantal Amade-Escot,  Sheila Hendersson,  Brian Hudson,  Jens-Oliver Krüger,  Florence Ligozat,  Grace Morales Ibara,  Meinert Meyer,  Isabelle Néhélec-Trohel,  Ping Ren,  Bernard Schneuwly, Neil Taylor, Matthias Trautmann, Helmut Johannes Vollmer,  Anke Wegner,  Per-Olof Wickman,  Sigrid Zeitler

No participation because of other obligations: Ingrid Carlgren, Kirsti Klette

1. Welcome, confirmation of the agenda

No changes

2. Reports and information

  • Brian Hudson provided information on the history of the network to M. Lawn; this information is meant to be used for the EERA record of history on occasion of its 20 years anniversary (to be celebrated next year in Porto).
  • The president of EERA, Lejf Moos, has produced a paper in response to the research-funding programme of the European Community called “Horizon 2020”. The link convenors have contributed to the production of EERA’s answer to “Horizon 2020”.
  • Bernard Schneuwly reports on a book issued (in French) on the development of didactics and subject didactics in Geneva, related to the state of the art in France (contribution from C. Amade-Escot) and Germany (contribution from H.J. Vollmer). A flyer should be sent via e-mail to the members of the network as soon as possible.
  • The next focal meeting of WERA will be in Mexico, and Brian Hudson will participate in the meeting. There is a call for new networks in WERA (published on the website of EERA). Brian Hudson is interested in setting up a WERA network on didactics, learning and teaching.

3. Information on nomination and appointment of new convenors

Joana Duarte is going to resign from the position of deputy link convenor because she will take over the role of link convenor in the new network on Language and Education. A new deputy link convenor will have to be appointed. Meinert Meyer and Florence Ligozat will make a decision about it in the following weeks.

Meinert Meyer encourages the members of the network to nominate new convenors. Typically, the appointment is for 4 years. The link convenor and his deputies are in charge of appointing and dismissing convenors. Concerning already nominated convenors, they will be asked whether they are willing to go on with their work, as the new conveners will do. The tenure will expire after 4 years. They may be re-appointed if they are willing to and if their contribution is significant. Meineret Meyer intends to clarify this on an individual basis of him communicating with each of the convenors. A similar procedure is to be practiced with the reviewers. Meinert Meyer wishes to extend the list of convenors  towards a better coverage of the different regions of Europe. He makes three proposals: Anatoli Rakhkochkine (Leipzig) for Eastern Europe, Carol Taylor (Sheffield) for English-speaking countries in Europe, and Marko Palekcic, (Ljubljana) for Balkan countries.  

4. Capacity building in network 27

Joana Duarte reports on capacity building activities in co-operation with WERA and with the network for emerging researchers. Edina Kovac (Hungary) is speaker of a newly built work group for research on public education as part of HERA, the Hungarian Educational Research Association. Some of us may want to establish a co-operation with this network, and Edina Kovacs will hopefully be able to participate in the next ECER and our network meeting in Porto.

5. Convenors as dialogue partners

Meinert Meyer reports on a newly installed program of network 27, named “Convenors as Dialogue Partners”. The program is on the Network 27 website and should be augmented with the new convenors interests and competencies. This programme was launched in order to improve the visibility of the scope of the network, and to help new researchers in making “good” proposals, fitting into the network scope. Everybody should feel free to get in touch with the listed convenors in order to get some help or to initiate collaborations with respect to some specific interests.  

6. Quality of reviewing

On the basis of an extensive report carried out by Meinert Meyer, Florence Ligozat reports that there were 87 proposals for ECER 2017 including symposia. 7 proposals were rejected, 5 proposals were redirected to other networks.

Florence Ligozat suggests that authors should be more explicit concerning the relationships between their thematic research focuses and the scope of the network. Too often, the relation of theoretical approach and empirical analysis or results claimed is also unbalanced. There is a great diversity of topics, cultural and national perspectives impeding communication and producing misunderstanding concerning acceptance/rejection of proposals.

We should see a challenge to make the differences more productive. A possible way to attend this may be to organize a workshop in which the convenors and reviewers would analyze a selection of anonymous proposals and discuss some standards for evaluating the quality of the proposals with respect to the network objectives.  

The European dimension of research also appears to be a vague criterion for reviews of papers. A comparison of the double reviews shows that there is only a low inter-reliability. Meinert Meyer will write to the ERAA Office suggesting the deletion of this quality criterion from the formal proposal evaluation program.

Joana Duarte suggests that an online workshop for young researchers who want to submit papers about didactics should be organized. The workshop should take place before the deadline for submission of the proposals and inform about pitfalls and best practices.

7. Preparation of ECER 2014

Meinert Meyer encourages those members of network 27 who have organized symposia to go on with their work. There may be new symposia, of course. The list for discussion looks like that at the present time:

  • Symposium on Joint Action Theory in Didactics (Brigitte Gruson)
  • Symposium on Subject Matter Didactics (Bernard Schneuwly)
  • Symposium on research methods, in particular for the analysis of video  material (Kirsti Klette)
  • Joint symposium (network 3, curriculum innovation, and network 27) on curriculum and didactics (Nienke Nieveen and Stefan Hopmann)
  • Symposium on didactic theories in Europe comparison (Meinert Meyer)
  • Symposium in cooperation with the network 17 on histories of education (Helena Ribeiro de Castro and Bernard Schneuwly)
  • Symposium on teaching and what is beyond the reach of teaching (Carol Taylor)
  • Further proposals are welcome.

8. Website of the network.

The website of the network will be updated after the conference in Istanbul.

9. Application for funding for a network convernors’ meeting.

EERA does not provide travel grants for network convernors’ meetings, and this year there will be no funding for network activities because the number of participants at ECER in Istanbul was lower than in Cadiz.

10. Problems during the conference in Istanbul (lessons to be learnt for Porto)

No major problems are reported. The members of the network appreciate the location of all sessions of the network in the same building during the conference in Istanbul.

Joana Duarte reports about a very positive feedback of participants regarding the combination of papers in the different sessions.

Further information:

Helmut Johannes Vollmer informs about the work in progress about a new E-journal named : “Research in Subject Matter Teaching and Learning”, which will be launched in 2014. The Journal has an international editorial and advisory board.  

Bernard Schneuwly reports that the EERJ Editorial Board would welcome a special issue on Didactics (to be issued in 2015?). Meinert Meyer and Florence Ligozat agree to prepare a proposal in this respect. They encourage the network members to suggest possible articles about the European conception of didactics, which could be published in this EERJ issue.

Members interested in participating in a network on didactics within WERA are asked to contact Brian Hudson.

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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EERA has published ECER statistics for each network since 2018.
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