Network 7 hosted 11 paper sessions. As it was done last year, the convenors tried to group the papers around a common concern or topic, a strategy that in one case did not work well because it made that particular session appealing only to the people specifically interested in that issue. Aside from this instance, attendance and participation was always very good from the first to the last day (even the early morning sessions were well attended), and the debate at the end of every presentation was always very lively, surely because of the high quality of the papers. In each session three papers were presented and this allowed the audience to ask many questions and receive well argued answers.
The time allowed for the papers’ presentation seemed enough, and the presentations themselves were well paced. However, as it happened in previous ECERs, in some cases the audience asked the English speaking presenter to speak more slowly, and in one or two instances those in the audience who spoke English as a 2nd language appeared to feel somewhat excluded from the discussion. Perhaps, asking all the presenters to have written copies of their paper to distribute to the participants will help communication (some of the presenters already did this).
Though the sessions had no titles, papers were arranged around themes such as “the education of immigrant and minority students”, “education, social justice and inclusion”, “linguistic and cultural diversity”, “human rights and citizenship education”, “gender and intercultural education”, just to mention a few. Papers’ theoretical and methodological perspectives ranged from history to ethnography to philosophy of education.
The major complaint was about the room assigned to network 7 for the session. It was noisy (because of the wind) and the acoustic was far from satisfactory, but the students acting as assistants were very helpful and always on hand. However, the room could not be darkened so that it was difficult to use transparencies in an efficient way, but the technological tools were there.