ECER 2016 Pre-conference workshop – ‘Advocacy and the activist professional: teachers and teaching in tough times.’

Teachers Club, Dublin
Teachers Club, Dublin

The World Education Research Association Research Network ‘Researching families, educators and communities as educational advocates: cross-national perspectives’ will be holding a one day pre-conference workshop at ECER 2016. The workshop will be on 22nd August (ECER conference commences on 23rd August).  This event is being supported by the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation and will be hosted at INTO’s headquarters in the heart of Dublin city.  The event will be attended by local teachers as well as researchers/scholars.

Teachers are under pressure. Public education is under attack. This day of presentations and papers will explore what it means to be a an advocate for public education in an age of the globalised education ‘reform’ movement (GERM).

What is happening to teachers’ work? How are teachers resisting the attacks on their professionalism and to what extent do teachers’ acts of resistance connect with a wider and more hopeful vision of education as a public good? What does ‘activist professionalism’ (Sachs, 2003) look like in the age of the GERM?  The focus of the day will be on teachers as advocates for public education, activists in unions and participants in social movements.

The day will be informal and focus on sharing work and ideas. This is in keeping with the network’s commitment to connect ideas and activism.   It will be structured around the presentation of papers – likely to be two papers in a single hour session.  Proposals are invited that speak to the themes identified above. Presentations do not need to be accompanied by a formal paper, although such papers will be welcomed. Proposals should not replicate any submission to the ECER conference but it may be that proposals are drawn from the same substantive research and present a different aspect of this work.

The event is free with lunch and refreshments provided. We are grateful to the INTO for hosting this event and providing the day time refreshments.

Following the workshop there will be a gathering at the Teachers’ Club, Dublin, followed by a Network dinner (cost) – all invited.


Proposals should be in the form of a title, list of presenters (with email addresses) and an abstract (maximum 300 words) outlining the key elements of the work to be presented (sent as a Word file). Submit proposals to Howard Stevenson, University of Nottingham, UK, via email ( with ‘WERA workshop’ in the title line.  The deadline for submissions is 30th June 2016, but early submissions is strongly encouraged.

Attendance is open to non-presenters, but numbers will be limited and priority will be given to presenters. Further details about registration will follow once the programme has been finalised. For informal enquiries about any aspect of the above – please contact Howard directly.

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