The 41st Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA) Conference 2013 was held on March 7-9, 2013 in Reykjavik, Iceland. NERA is also knows by its Scandinavian name Nordisk Forening For Pedagogisk Forskning (NFPF).
The conference took place at the University of Iceland in their Department of Education and at the Hilton in Reykjavik. There were about 700 participants at this conference; most of whom were Scandinavian. The keynote speakers all spoke at the Hilton, while all of the other presenters spoke from the University buildings.
Despite the two locations, the set-up was quite nice. The Hilton sat about a ten minute walk from Department of Education, allowing participants to breathe some fresh Icelandic air and take a short break from the talks. What I particularly enjoyed though was that the Keynote Speakers spoke for the first half of the day on Thursday and Friday, leaving the second half of the days and all of Saturday to the other presenters. This was beneficial in that many people listened to the keynotes and then were able to either listen to more talks or go site seeing in the afternoons.
There were four Keynote Speakers: Dr Anna Stetsenko, Dr Kristiina Kumpulainen, Dr Diane Reay, and Dr Kristjan Kristjansson. To see their (and all of the NERA participants’ abstracts) click here. To see their actual presentation slides click here.
Stetsenko concentrated her talk on the theories of development and learning, provided a historical background to theory and where we are today with theory, and then challenged the audience to use more theory within their research.
Kumpulainen spoke on the processes of learning and how we go about constructing learning, especially in relation to connected learning.
Reay gave a depressing (in her words) talk on the state of education in England, paying particular attention to elite schools verse common schools and the similarities and differences between those two educational systems.
Kristjansson presented on the idea of morality in education, especially from a theoretical and philosophical perspective, ending his talk with trying to recruit partnerships from the audience on developing what “moral education” means, as well as trying to set up ways to test moral education.