Annual Report 2007, ECER Ghent
The annual business meeting of Network 4 was attended by 32 participants at the conference venue. Lead convenor Dóra Bjarnason and co-convenor Julie Allan chaired the meeting. Co-convenor Susan Tetler was unable to attend. She stepped down as a convenor in 2007.
We discussed the Network's contribution to the conference, quality of papers, whether there had been any no-shows for accepted papers, chairing, last minute changes and what we could do better for the conference 2008. We also informed the members on changes in the office, and other changes including changes in registration and the proposed new IT system. Finally we announced two new convenors for the Network.
Network 4 had 36 papers at the conference and one round table but no symposium this year. Most sessions were of good quality and very well attended. People were delighted with the Network and the quality of the papers and satisfied with the Network leadership. Those who participated in a photo art exhibition that we were invited to attend by a group of Belgian parents were also grateful and glad they took up the parents' offer.
We discussed the new system of proposals and found that people found the clearer guidance to be helpful. We also discussed whether or not people thought we should adopt anonymous refereeing of future paper proposals. After some discussion it was agreed that the current mode of evaluating the proposals by the Network convenors was working and providing quality papers. Convenors were however asked to give newcomers who send in their first papers and may not quite give a clear focus, theoretical background or methodology, advice on how to improve their proposals.
The two new convenors for Network 4 are Sip Jan Pijl and Shereen Benjamin.
Thinking about what could be changed to improve the Network 4 contribution for the 2008 conference, the following ideas emerged:
- To invite participants to hold an interactive session - workshop - to create space for discussing research in progress.
- To try and invite/attract a symposium.
- To draw attention to the need for access to be improved greatly to enable disabled researchers to attend ALL sessions at the Convenors meeting and elsewhere at the next conference.
- To find out if Network members can learn about inclusive schooling in the host country of our next conference.
- To update and make more use of the Network's e-mail list.
Finally we discussed how to deal with presenters who do not show up after having had their proposals accepted and without informing the convenors or the office of that before hand. Nothing was decided but the general feeling was that such presenters were not very popular and should be asked for a reason and even blacklisted.
Sign Dóra S. Bjarnason