Theme and Aims

"Cultures in education, cultures in research – education and research in cultures"

  • 2 - 6 July 2025
  • Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany

In 2025, the city of Chemnitz will be the European Capital of Culture. This is why the Chemnitz University of Technology, host of the EERA Summer School 2025, decided to focus on the role of „culture” in educational research, policy and practice.

People commonly understand by culture something determined by what used to be called kalokagathia in ancient Greek. It meant ‘the beauty’ and ‘the good’ as common qualities of a person. Plato added ‘the truth’ – and this triad became the central idea of German new humanism. From then on, this was the absolute measure of any kind of art for many decades. But: does ‘culture’ equal ‘art’? Does it consist in artefacts – as opposed to ‘natural’ phenomena? Is it the language? Is it the way of clothing, the way of building houses, the way of creation tools and making use of them? Is it the traditional organization of a society or is it the way of organizing a society? The Summer School aims at critically questioning the concept of ‘culture’ and its understanding in processes of educational research, policies and practices.

In fact, there is still hardly any topic in educational research, that lacks the notion of ‘culture’, often with highly contrasting and opposing understandings of the concept. And sometimes it appears in the first row, as one of the few formalized criteria of evaluation at the ECER conferences is the criterion ‘the paper speaks out to a European audience’. This shows that the EERA, too, assumes that educational research can be grounded in quite different cultural national or regional backgrounds – without referring explicitly to ‘culture’. The more: as we can find different cultures in educational research, nothing to say in different faculties – just to talk to an economist, a physician, an engineer on their research.

Quite contrarily to these observations of cultural diversity, the ideal of science was to strive for universality in the results of our research. The outcomes were expected to be independent against time and group: How can we, as researchers, handle today this challenging antagonism? How can education address differences and the diversification of diversity within research without falling into the trap of culturalization and the (re)production of cultural stereotypes? How can researchers address the context specificity by at the same time generate research results that contribute to more equitable education systems around the globe?

Today, we would not hesitate to expect different results from different backgrounds. And we could profit by difference. Culture counts, and, in the understanding of context specificity, it counts in educational research, too. But this requires obviously

  • a broad, differentiated and critical understanding of culture and cultures.
  • a deep reflection of what our personal embeddedness means to the topics and results of our research
  • an awareness of how the results of our research are not only a question of method, but also a question of the specific disciplinary, university, faculty, and research group culture(s)

This Summer School will open the ground to the participants to connect the approach of enhancing the awareness of effects or conditions of the cultural context. For this purpose, we are proud to announce a keynote speech by Prof. Paul Standish (University College of London). Paul Standish is a true leader in philosophy of education and has dealt with the topos of ‘culture’ in his educational works. In their work as educationalists, his input will excite the participants to search for their way to a critical idea of culture as a medium of their research work, of their topic, and, of their faculty.

We will try to enlarge the methodological horizon of the participants in favor of their future research. We will provide an introduction or refreshment into the method of phenomenology and train our phenomenological skills. Alongside with working on the capital of awareness of culture in the capital of culture, this would be the central aim of the 2025 summer school.

EERSS 2025 Dates

15 November 2024 - 15 January 2025
Information on acceptance
1 March 2025
2 - 31 March 2025
Summer School
2 - 6 June 2025


EERA Office
Doretta Dow