Welcome to the 2021 International Practice-Focused Research in Education Conference (IPFREC), the first to take place. The inaugural IPFREC, sponsored by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), is taking place in conjunction with the ETF’s annual Practitioner Research Conference, now in its sixth year.
Welcome to the 2021 International Practice-Focused Research in Education Conference (IPFREC), the first to take place.
The inaugural IPFREC, sponsored by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), is taking place in conjunction with the ETF’s annual Practitioner Research Conference, now in its sixth year. The two conferences are organised and delivered by the University of Sunderland Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (SUNCETT) in partnership with the ETF, the government- backed national workforce development body for the Further Education (FE) and Training sector in England.
IPFREC 2021 will be held at the University of Sunderland’s premier, riverside Sir Tom Cowie Campus . This international conference is dedicated to encouraging international, disciplinary and interdisciplinary discussion and debate about the relationship between practice, theory and research across the discipline of education and in education-related disciplines including, philosophy, sociology, psychology and policy development.
5 - 6 July 2021: Beginning Researchers’ Conference
6 - 8 July 2021: Main Conference on Practice-Focused Research in Education
2021 Conference Theme
Shifting Horizons of Educational Practice, Theory and Research
International Conference Aims and Objectives
The intention of the first International Conference in Practice-Focused Research in Education 2021 is to bring together teachers, researchers and educators across the professions, as well as members of the policy community, interested in educational evaluation, curriculum development and the improvement of educational practice.
To date, debates in the field of education about the relationship between educational practice, theory and research have tended to rely upon simplistic binary positions that have led to unhelpful divisions. These are in danger of closing down the spaces in which new partnerships and configurations of educational practice, theory and research might flourish. This first Practice-Focused Research in Education conference challenges such binary narratives and offers alternatives that can contribute to the building of new forms of practice in education and new relationships in educational practice, theory and research conducted in a shared social space.
“Practice is improved, modified and transformed by its genuine practitioners and it advances only so long as they maintain a commitment to extend and develop it.”
Participants are invited to interrogate the role, nature and value of practice-focused research in education and in other disciplines and subjects in order to examine its potential as well as its limitations in improving practice, contributing to the development of theory and extending understandings of different forms of educational research.
This international conference encourages teachers, researchers, academics, policy and education professionals working in the UK, Mainland Europe, the United States, Asia and across the globe to share ideas and research at the intersections of practice, theory and research in education and in related disciplines. The event aims to facilitate partnerships across national and disciplinary borders through international, disciplinary and interdisciplinary discussion and debate in order to: tackle challenges, develop professionally, share opinions, find solutions, explore opportunities and identify possibilities in moving ideas and understandings of educational practice forward.
A further aim of the conference is to reposition the place of practice-focused research in current debates about what constitutes worthwhile educational research and expose inevitable tensions between approaches to education which start from the top-down and move from outside-in.
One of the conferences main objectives is to begin to shift horizons of understanding about the nature of educational practice, theory and research. The nature of practice in the conduct of any form of life, including education, is complex, routinely under-researched and often profoundly misunderstood. Practice is made by people and it is changed by people over time. It is improved, modified and transformed by its ‘insiders’, its genuine practitioners and it advances only so long as they maintain a commitment to extend and develop it.
From this perspective, taking education as an example, far from teachers being passive consumers of educational knowledge produced by others (often in the form of ‘recipes’ for good practice), teachers are in fact creators of new knowledge as well as - in some cases - generators of and contributors to educational theory. This is one of the reasons why the relationship between educational research and educational practice cannot be reduced to the simple application of knowledge, gained from research conducted by others.
In addition, the new learning involved in putting an idea, concept or theory from educational research into educational practice is a process of inquiry and therefore an important and legitimate form of educational research. What is perhaps distinctive about educational practice is that it has a moral dimension which at its best aims to change the world we live in for the common good.
In this context, practitioner-researchers in education have the potential to contribute to the development of educational theory and the improvement of educational practice through their engagement in educational research. They might also provide resources to help us to think in different ways, imagine and realise new solutions to educational problems in practice. Additionally, practitioner-researchers in other disciplines, vocations and subjects have the potential to contribute to the improvement of practice and the development of theory, through engagement in research in the sites and contexts in which they work.
Call for Contributions
Prospective authors are invited to contribute to and to help shape the conference through submission of research abstracts, papers and posters. High quality research contributions describing original and unpublished results of conceptual, constructive, empirical, experimental or theoretical work in all areas of practice-focused research are warmly invited for presentation at the conference. Selected high quality papers will be invited for publication in a Peer Reviewed Book of Conference Proceedings
Keynotes, Speakers and Special Events
Paul Kessell-Holland Education and Training Foundation
Dr Gary Husband (Visiting Professor for the University of Sunderland)
David Russell CEO Education and Training Foundation
Professor Gert Biesta, University of Edinburgh
Dr John Johnson ArtEZ University of Arts , Netherlands
Dr Tony Charles Platform A Art Gallery, Middlesbrough
Professor Maggie Gregson, University of Sunderland
CALL FOR PAPERS
Abstract Submission Deadline: 7th May 2021
Registration opens NOW!
Conference price is now only £70
The IPFREC Conference Committee invites researchers, teachers, education and policy professionals and education leaders to submit proposals in the following topics...
Topic 1: Challenging Dichotomies in Education
Topic 2: Relationships Between Practice, Theory and Research
Topic 3: The Nature of a Practice and the processes and the stages in which a practice improves.
Topic 4: Assessment in Practice
Topic 5: Curriculum design and development in practice focused Education
Topic 6: Educational Evaluation and Educational Improvement
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