The Inclusive Education Network has continued to grow and enjoys regular participation from a core group of major scholars in this field as well as from less experienced researchers. The quality of proposals submitted was particularly high and papers were organised in parallel sessions according to themes. These included looking critically at the discourses of inclusion and inclusive education, inclusive environments, beliefs and knowledge, teaching and pupil diversity, researching inclusive education, learning from pupils, learning and IEPs, conceptualising inclusion, narratives of difference, inclusion beyond school, making a difference, teacher training and support, inclusion and faith, implementing policy, students’ and teachers’ attitudes and collaboration. Sessions were well attended and had a high level of debate and interaction.
A business meeting was held in Crete at which members were extremely positive about the vivid and critical discussions they had participated in within the Network sessions. There was some regret that papers with an inclusive education focus had been submitted to other networks, e.g. philosophy, rather than Network 4, and the convenors undertook to try encourage potential presenters to place their paper in Network 4. On a more general note, it was suggested that having abstracts as part of the programme, as opposed to being available on the web, would have been valuable.
Alternative formats for sessions will be explored for the 2005 conference; in particular, there will be ‘moving poster sessions’, where the audience can participate in a discussion about a series of posters. Individuals are encouraged to submit proposals for these sessions.
The leadership of this Network will change, with Dora Bjarnason taking on the role of lead convenor. Julie Allan will work closely with Dora to ensure continuity and Bengt Persson and Christina Cardona will provide additional support to the Network.
Members have expressed an interest in closer involvement with the Network and an interest in using the Network to create opportunities for developing proposals and writing. To this end, a list of e-mail addresses of individuals who participated in the 2004 conference has been compiled and this will be distributed