ECER 2011 - European Conference on Educational Research

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Konferenz: European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2011). Berlin, Deutschland. Internet: European Conference on Educational Research

Termin: 13. - 16. September 2011


Berlin – as a focal point for the political unification of east and west Europe, with its historical contributions to the modernization of central Europe, as a multicultural capital of a European state, and as one of the largest cities in Europe – provides all suggestion to discuss Urban Education.

Cities are greenhouses for educational change and educational reform all over the world and also in Europe. Cities have always been regarded as leading elements in Europe; they are modern, progressive and networked. They are producers and traders; they are medium for political and cultural development.

In history cities bundled the hopes as well as the doubts concerning educational matters. On the one hand cities had been appreciated as places of modern and urban lifestyles; on the other hand they had been suspected to bring forward uniformed ways of living.

In recent times social change triggering educational reactions is concentrated in city regions. National and international migration movement aims at cities. Demographic changes lead to aggregation as well as disaggregation in the population’s structure. In cities social, economic, and cultural diversity are challenges for politics, civil society, and everyday life.

Not only are cities burning glasses of societal change and its educational consequences; they also provide remarkable resources to bring societal and educational change on a political agenda in order to shape them proactively. The possibilities to mobilise public interest, the density of institutional structures and the presence of representatives of different societal interest groups make cities a most lively political arena – also in respect of education.

Cities’ educational systems contain institutions and organisations on all levels of formalised education from early childhood care to university. They also contain variations of educational organisations which emerge under the conditions of cooperation, competition, and innovative dynamics. Not least cities are in most case a cultural medium for new initiatives of informal education. All in all cities draw attention away from the formalized political agenda and bring civil society in the foreground.

The European Conference on Educational Research 2011 will take place at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.



  • Prof Dr Jaap Dronkers, Chair International comparative research on educational performance and social inequality, Maastricht University, Netherlands
  • Prof Elisabet Öhrn, Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Prof Saskia Sassen, Department of Sociology and Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University, USA