From March 7th to the 9th, I was at the 41st Annual Nordic Educational Research Association Conference in Iceland (click here to read about the overall conference and the keynote speakers). The 41st annual conference website is found here.
There were about 700 people, mostly Scandinavians, at this conference. In order to present at this conference, the research must be completed either in a Scandinavian country (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, or Denmark) or the presenter must be connected to a Scandinavian institution.
Since I am a PhD student at Uppsala University, I applied and was accepted to present in a symposium. A symposium is where three or four different researchers give presentations about their own research, normally with the symposium having similar talks.
My research was completed on Head Start preschool teachers and their willingness to stay or leave their employment; therefore the other people who presented with me, also discussed similar themes.
I presented a preliminary analysis on the Lead teachers in 10 Head Start preschool programs in a talk entitled “Simple Requests to Maintain High Quality Teachers- A Qualitative Study on Preschool Teacher Retention.”
There were two Finnish researchers who also presented within the same symposium as me: Sanna Honkimäki and Anne Martin. They are from the Finnish Institute for Educational Research at the University of Jyväskylä. Their research was entitled “Teachers moving to other jobs? Interviews of former teachers in Finland. Much to my surprise, they found very similar results as I did on why teachers would leave the teaching profession–where teachers are stressed, overworked, underpaid, and even in Finland, feel under-appreciated.
Another presenter, a PhD student named Anna-Carin Bredmar, in our symposium was from the Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies at the University of Göteborg (Gothenburg). Her presentation was called “Teachers’ experiences of work enjoyment as an atmosphere–An empirical lifeworld phenomenological analysis.” Her talk was very interesting, as the Finns and I spoke about the negative aspects of the teaching profession, Anna-Carin Bredmar discussed the positive (enjoyment) side of teaching–aka–what motivates teachers to get up and show up for work every day.