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 policy and change, research and inclusion, school context and inclusion, teachers, education and improvement, gendered inclusion, connecting inclusion with pedagogy, collaborative work and learning, beyond school, young peoples' experiences, gifted learners, attitudes to inclusion, inclusive and exclusive school practices across school communities and cultures, conceptualising inclusion. One round table session and two symposia were held; the first symposium, a Nordic contribution, on Postgraduate programs in inclusive education, and the second symposium, a British contribution, on Pedagogical approaches that can effectively include children with special educational needs in main stream classrooms.
The opening session of the network 4 was a joint session with network 23. Sessions were well attended, especially so the joint session with network 23, and had a high level of debate and interaction. This kind of cooperation with other networks will hopefully be continued. In all, 66 proposals were directed to Network 4 and of those 50 papers were accepted, including papers for the two symposia. The papers that were rejected were either not relevant to the Network 4, not enough of a European theme, primarily descriptive and/or methodologically weak.
A business meeting was held in Dublin September 9th at which members were very positive about the vivid and critical discussions they had participated in within the Network sessions. The quality of the papers was discussed. The Convenors felt papers had on the whole improved with regard to theoretical and methodological aspects. There was discussion of the two symposia, and it was agreed that they were of great interest and relevance to the network, but both somewhat overloaded. It was agreed that next year any symposium application would be given two time-slots to enable more depth and time for discussion, and that clearer guidelines would be given to Discussants. There was some concern about how to involve young researchers and more researchers from Central and Eastern Europe. It was agreed that it was valuable to hear from researchers at different stages of development in their research careers, and agreed to provide some feedback to first time presenters if they so wished. The latter problem was explained by a language barrier.
There was also some discussion of whether written papers should be provided by presenters, in order not to exclude those for whom English is a second language. Agreement was not reached on that but suggested that people should be asked to bring a written paper or a handout.
The Convenors group in this Network will change, with Susan Tetler replacing Bengt Persson as a Co-convenor. The Network thanks Bengt Persson for his diligence and welcomes Susan Tetler to the leadership.