EDiTE at the 7th Rethinking Educational Ethnography Conference

The 7th Rethinking Educational Ethnography Conference, that took place at 1-2 June 2018 was organized by EDiTE supervisor György Mészáros at the Faculty of Education and Psychology of Eötvös Loránd University. With the theme “Rethinking platforms for teaching ethnography: facing changing conceptualizations of culture and challenges from post-materialist philosophy, globalization, and mobile modernity”, the conference’s main focus was on the challenges of ethnography and teaching ethnography; the changing platforms for teaching and learning ethnography; the specificities of Eastern European academia in relation to ethnography; the dynamics of centre, semi-periphery and periphery;  neoliberal challenges for ethnographic research and its transmission; post-modern and post-materialist philosophy and learning ethnograpy;  learning new methods to study teaching and learning in the context of globalization and mobile modernity. EDiTE researcher from the University of Lower Silesia, Tamas Tóth presented his ethnographic research on teacher education in the context of marginalized communitites in the Eastern-European peripheries.



This year’s 8th International Conference on Critical Education took place at the University of East London from July 25 to 28 and focused on the theme of “Critical Education and Activism Against Neoliberalism/ Authoritarian Neoconservatism in Education, State and Society.” EDiTE researchers from the University of Lower Silesia, Tamas Toth and Josefine Wagner had the unique opportunity to present their research on “Pedagogy of the Spectacle” and “Inheriting Education?”, respectively, at the Early Career/PhD Invited Sessions. Also, EDiTE supervisor, Prof. György Meszaros from ELTE University attended ICCE and offered the audience his excellent talk on “Returning to Reality: Critical Ontology for Anti-Capitalist Research and Activism in Post-Socialist Semi-Periphery.” The conference is highly recommended to critical young scholars as the atmosphere is warm, welcoming and encouraging to thinkers who want to share their thoughts and actions for social and education justice and receive excellent feedback for further improvement and reflection


Democracy & Diversity Institute, Wrocław, Poland

From 6-22 July, EDiTE researcher Beata Zwierzynska participated in 2018 Democracy & Diversity Institute organized annually by the New School’s Transregional Center for Democratic Studies. Beata took part in Agnes Heller’s open lecture, and a discussion on Kielce Jewish pogrom events and screening of Bogdan’s Journey documentary, and two courses (each one consisting of 12 meetings): “’Europe is dead,’ Philosophy, History, and Politics in the Thought of Jan Patocka” led by James Dodd – Professor of Philosophy, NSSR; and “Democratic Crisis and the Politics of Social Media” led by Claire Potter – Professor of Historical Studies, NSSR.

The first seminar focused on the philosophy of Jan Patočka, in particular to his conception of Europe, and its moral death. Patočka was a Czech philosopher who is also remembered for being one of the original signatories of Charter 77 – human rights movement in communist Czechoslovakia. He was interrogated by the police because of his involvement in the movement. During the seminar, the required readings included Patočka’s Heretical Essays, Plato and Europe, “Titanism”, “Masaryk’s and Husserl’s Conception of the Spiritual Crisis of European Humanity”, “On Masaryk’s Philosophy of Religion, Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition, Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and many more. But most importantly for Beata’s interest in the Havel’s “The Power of the Powerless” (dedicated to Patočka and influenced by his thought) – a famous essay  first published in Poland, and an important text and inspiration for the Polish Solidarity movement leaders.

The second seminar was devoted to the history of democratic crisis mainly through the examination of different types of media, including the most influential ones: Facebook and Twitter, and the rise of a global digital public sphere. This sphere, and numerous counter spheres inspired both democratic, and anti-democratic actions; life—saving initiatives and destructive populisms: grassroot democratic organizing, but also cynical political influence on elections; communication between fleeing refugees, but also bots, fake news, or antivaccination movements. The discussions were not only theoretical, but also debates on the role of citizens and intellectuals to counteract such phenomena; understanding the mechanisms of the online spaces, but also finding the principles to create democratic spaces, rather that participating in provocation, misinformation, or information chaos by being unaware of the usage of attention economy and media manipulation. The discussions were based on the close readings of 4-5 articles for each class ranging from more traditional texts like Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, Jurgen Habermas’ The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, and Nancy Fraser’s “Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy” to current analyses of cybermedia, political realms, and societies, for example: Sanjay Sharma’s “Black Twitter? Racial Hashtags, Networks and Contagion”, Anne Applebaum’s “Britain After Brexit: A Transformed Political Landscape”, and Wendy H. Wong and Peter A. Brown’s text “E-Bandits in Global Activism: WikiLeaks, Anonymous, and the Politics of No One.


EDiTE at ATEE Spring Conference

From June 7-9, EDiTE was represented at the 2018 Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE) Spring Conference, organized together with the Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology of the University of Bialystok, Poland. The conference was dedicated to the theme of “Designing Teacher Education and Professional Development for the 21st Century: Current Trends, Challenges and Directions for the Future.” EDiTE supervisor and program director at the University of Lower Silesia, Prof. Hana Cervinkova captivated the audience with her keynote speech on “Central European Teacher Education Amidst Global Flows.” In her paper she argued for grounding pre-service teacher education in a critical understanding of diversity and social justice to better respond to the challenging conditions of globalization. She placed her presentation in the context of post-socialist Central European societies that were once deeply diverse and became violently homogenized through totalitarian regimes (Nazism and Communism) in the 20th century. Cervinkova drew from her ethnographic research she conducted with Polish high school students to shed light on present day citizenship education and the urgent necessity for schools to create space for diversity, respect and communication. Furthermore, in the session “Becoming a Teacher,” EDiTE co-supervisor Dr. Anna Babicka-Wirkus from the Pomeranian University in Slupsk presented her paper on “Children’s Rights and Human Rights as a Key Condition for the Education of Transformative Teachers.” Lastly, Josefine Wagner, EDiTE doctoral student from the University of Lower Silesia presented her paper “Barriers to Inclusion – an Ethnographic Study of an Austrian Primary School” in which she focused on one of her three school-based research sites that comprise her doctoral dissertation on inclusive policies and practices in Poland, Austria and Germany.



Beata Zwierzynska and Wiktor Bernard, EDiTE researchers, participated in workshop for teachers and educators on the topic of the usage of smartphones in education “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” on 30th May – 04th June 2018 at University of Algarve, Portugal.

While some schools forbid bringing smartphones to schools and create harsh rules when using technology in the classroom, BYOD encourages students, under teachers’ guidance, to use their own devices to improve learning when used at needed times. Teachers need to learn not only how to use specific tools, but how to facilitate discussions with students on the dangers of the new media, and teach them critical thinking.

Wiktor and Beata had a chance to learn about new software and apps for smartphones, for example: Mentimeter, its admin panel and assessment potential; Symbaloo and similar tools to document the learning process and collect files; Biteable and videomaking lessons; Padlet which is a tool enhancing classroom collaboration and creativity; Socrative tool as another app for lesson preparation, teacher and peer assessment; examples of Kahoot lessons and more advanced functions. The most complex tool was Milage which was developed by a university consortium, including Algarve. The final experience was connected to the augmented reality: smartphones engaging with the physical space, books, art exhibition, and medicine.


EDiTE at EERA Summer School on Qualitative and Mixed Method Designs

EDiTE is proud that this year it was Masaryk University (MU, EDiTE partner university) that hosted the EERA Summer School titled ‘Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research Designs: From designing to publishing’ between 9-13rd July, in Brno. The organising team, including some EDiTE researchers (Petr Novotný, Roman Švaříček, Klára Šedová, Ondřej Bárta, Zuzana Šmideková) did an excellent job in arranging a whole week full of interesting keynote speeches, workshops and social gatherings, encouraging young researchers to learn and form friendships. Furthermore, EDiTE researchers Dev Raj Paneru (MU), Kinley Seden (MU), Deisi Yunga (ELTE) and Nikolett Szelei (IEUL) presented their PhD projects during the group sessions, specifically discussing their methodologies and findings with PhD candidates from many countries and experts in educational research. On behalf of the whole EDiTE community we congratulate Masaryk University and EERA for organising such a great summer school!


EDiTE researchers (Kinley Seden, Deisi Yunga, Nikolett Szelei, Dev Raj Paneru) at EERA summer school, Masaryk University, Brno

In the Heat of Learning: EDiTE-NAFOL Conference and EDiTE Summer School


In educational sciences we know that learning takes place in different forms and formats, and that no such thing as one perspective to an issue or a problem. Last week, EDiTE network gathered for two interconnected occasions, a conference and a summer school. ELTE, and the Faculty for Education and Psychology, was the proud host of both of these events despite the fact that it happened in the hottest week of June.

The conference was organised in tight collaboration with the Norwegian National Research School in Teacher Education (NAFOL), on 11-12 June and under the umbrella theme of Doctoral Education in Teacher Education: European Perspectives. It offered a diverse format for learning that included interesting key speakers and presentations, but as well as small group conversations on doctoral themes of the participating researchers. The group approach to discussing conceptual and specific issues among doctoral students is a practice that is common in how NAFOL operates, it provides high level of support and encourages peer collaboration, therefore this element was highly appreciated by the participants. Additionally, it was essential to see how doctoral networks can transform and better support the process of doctoral studies and achieve better quality by using a simple form as small, mixed research groups facilitated by engaged and experienced supervisors.

Beside this, EDiTE-NAFOL conference also introduced interesting keynote content including the input of Hannah Grainger Clemson, the Schools Policy Officer of the European Commission, who talked about the complexities of the European teacher policy, as well as Valéria Csépe, the president of the Hungarian High Education Accreditation Committee, who talked about the national higher education provisions. As the theme of the conference was focus on the doctoral education, the programme included voices from “fresh doctors” and their experiences in completing their doctoral journeys, a session on research-based teacher education and a reflection on how doctoral studies are done in the two networks, EDiTE and NAFOL. Next to this, the participants were provided input on angles and trends of doctoral education in the USA and EU, as well as an informative session on academic writing by Patricia Thomson.

In a slightly different light, EDiTE Summer School continued from 13-15 June and it involved a number of parallel sessions. On the first day, a workshop on writing took place parallel to project meetings of the managerial boards, while the afternoon was dedicated for the researchers’ forum that was discussing emerging opportunities and issues. On Thursday, the summer school participants had an opportunity to see a model class that implements Complex Instruction Programme techniques in Molnár Ferenc School and talk to the teachers, pedagogical advisors and the principal about their approaches and school strategies. Second day was also dedicated to discussing and learning about different strategies in presenting research, and parallel joint supervisory sessions, while the last day included an element of working with data software, thematic analysis and theoretical discussion on transformation in education. Apart from the serious content, EDiTE community also had some fun, as during the last evening together (on Thursday) there was a facilitated fun teambuilding workshop that included music and instruments.


EDiTE Open Lecture: Prof. Irma Eloff on the Contrasts and Contradictions of the South African Educational System

On 29.05.2018, EDiTE UIBK organised an Open Lecture with Prof. Irma Eloff from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, who is currently a visiting researcher at the University of Innsbruck. Prof. Irma Eloff’s speech titled „Learning from contrasts and contradictions: South African educational challenges within the global context” engaged the audience in reflecting on the tensions and opportunities of education in an emerging democracy. She showed the key features of the current South African system by investigating contrasts such as apartheid and hope, inspirational leaders and corruption and dysfunctional and high quality schools. She also presented a few South African educational research projects centring around social innovation in such a contradictory context and the current debates that take place in South African education, for example, the importance of decolonising the curriculum, wellbeing throughout the lifespan, multilingualism, free higher education and fighting poverty and inequality. The professor also connected these local trends to the global by drawing parallels between her local South African and global UNESCO activities. Prof. Irma Eloff was inspired by the idea of EDiTE – the establishment of a joint doctoral programme focusing on teacher education in Europe – and embarked on a mission to set up something similar in Africa. She is now involved in conceptualising a doctoral network between five universities across Africa. EDiTE is grateful for Prof. Irma Eloff for such an inspiring lecture and is curious to follow the progress of the future doctoral network!


Prof. Irma Eloff presenting the South African educational system


Prof. Irma Eloff’s  open lecture hosted by EDiTE UIBK


Maiko Stürz (left), EDiTE Project Coordinator; Prof. Irma Eloff (middle); and Eveline Christof (right); Head of the Department of Teacher Education and School Research at UIBK, happy about the EDiTE Lecture

EDiTE at CESE 2018

The Comparative Education Society in Europe (CESE) organised its biannual conference at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia. The theme of this year’s conference was entitled ‘Identities and Education: Comparative Perspectives in an Age of Crisis’ and brought together around 300 scholars dealing with comparative education from around the world. The conference programme with all abstracts can be downloaded here: https://www.cese-europe.org/2018

EDiTE was represented by ESR Vasilis Symeonidis, who presented findings of his doctoral research in the working group of ‘Governance, Nation State and the New Transnational Order’. His paper ‘What makes a ‘European’ teacher? A comparative study of teacher education reforms in Austria, Greece and Hungary from a Europeanisation perspective’ sparked discussions around issues of European governance and teacher education. Participants of the session were interested to hear about policy developments in the respective countries, as well as about the teacher policy ideas that the EU is promoting through various diffusion mechanisms.

The conference provided great opportunities for networking and future collaborations, while Cyprus and its capital city of Nicosia proved suitable locations for exploring identity and education!

EDiTE Lecture with Prof. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe: The Changing Paradigm of Inclusive Education

On May 16 – 18. EDiTE Students at the University of Lower Silesia had the exceptional opportunity to participate in two seminars and a conference with Prof. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe from Arcadia University, who is an expert in Educational Inclusion. On the 17th of May 2018, Prof. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe gave a public lecture with the title “The Changing Paradigm of Inclusive Education”. Prof. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion among invited guests from Poland, who contributed with personal experiences on inclusion and inclusive education to the discussion. The conference was organized by IISCE (International Institute for the Study of Culture and Education). The day before and the day after the conference EDiTE researchers had the honourable opportunity to have two seminars with Prof. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, and to discuss challenges related to inclusive education – the social construction of identities, the participation of people with disabilities in education, gender stereotyping, racial profiling, etc.

During the Doctoral Seminar on inclusive practices students gained insight to a variety of learning strategies and experiences, and became familiar with current inclusive education theory, practice, advocacy and legislation in the United States. The course emphasized the perspectives of individuals with disabilities and of diverse identities, to ensure access equity and quality education for every student.  During the seminar students engaged with a critical pedagogical lens to study, understand, and address matters of disability, race, gender, identity and expression, sexual orientation, class, and any other minoritized identity, their intersectionality, in the pursuit of equity and social justice.