At the upcoming international afternoon tea, participants discussed the topic of institutionalization of educational research on a European level.
Anikó Fehérvári (scientific associate and director at HIERD), Gábor Halász (Professor at ELTE and scientific advisor of HIERD), József Kaposi (director general of HIERD) and Attila Varga (scientific associate and head of department at HIERD) were the invited guests of the event. Krisztián Széll (researcher at HIERD) moderated the discussion focusing on the state of national and international educational research.
Anikó Fehérvári gave an account of the work of the Hungarian Educational Research Association (HERA), the European Educational Research Association (EERA) and the current international purposes and practices of educational research, emphasising the importance of cooperation between national research networks and organizations. She recalled the establishment of EERA and HERA and told that HERA evolved with similar purposes and systems as international organizations. The annual European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) 2015 was of high significance in the history of the Hungarian host organization. Anikó Fehérvári also introduced the technical details, the principles and conditions of the realization of research networks and introduced the next research project. She emphasised that the main purpose of the organization is to connect practice with research and the real and meaningful participation in preparing the decision-making process of educational politics.
Gábor Halász recollected memories from the beginnings of Hungarian educational research. Among other things he told that in 2009-2010, a strategy concerning national educational research and innovation system was completed after an extensive, preliminary evaluation, analysing the system of Hungarian educational research (using the same method as other countries based on government orders). On the other hand, 3-4 years ago, Gábor Halász was asked by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to make an analysis on the teaching of learning, namely on global educational research. In relation to EERA, he added, that its establishment in 1994 was preceded by a complicated and rough process. In Anglo-Saxon countries, the blooming of educational research in the 1960’s was followed by a confidential crisis. Researcher communities felt that educational research is under a constant attack. He mentioned that preliminary studies of the period aimed to develop the effectiveness of educational research, in which the European Commission played an important role. He also discussed the difficulties of the formation and institutionalisation of networks, because researchers who believe in a new paradigm always have to convince others to create networks along this new paradigm and institutionalize the new concept.
In his comment on the present of educational research, József Kaposi approached the topic from educational politics. He introduced the practice of decision-making from the aspect of educational researchers and highlighted the community’s effort for a closer cooperation, which would help decision-makers recline on real and relevant results of educational research.
Attila Varga shared his experiences on the cooperation of educational politics and research. He told, it is not enough to write studies or give recommendations in order to make difference in educational politics: one must become a politician, too. He stressed that it cannot be expected from researchers to transfer their research result into politics, this is not their responsibility and these roles have to be separated. He also introduced the functioning of HERA and EERA, which serve as background for researches. Then he analysed the growing international importance of sustainable development and the problems of sustainability.
The afternoon tea ended with the conversation of the panel speakers and the audience.