From 20th to 23rd February 2011, the third consortium meeting has been held in Bologna (Italy). Again, the young researchers group met one day earlier among themselves. This time the key issue was methodology of comparative analysis. The main meeting itself was opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Education of the University of Boliogna, Prof. Dr. Roberto Farné who welcomed the project consortium and – together with the Bologna GOETE unit – secured optimal working conditions for the three days meeting.
The agenda was structured by three parts: the first one was a presentation and debate of a first product of the project, the state of art report which is intended to contextualise the project in current research trends while also drawing together contextual information from the countries and national education systems involved in the project; the second one included assessment of the progress of the empirical work, i.e. the comparative analysis of teacher training curricula, the individual survey with students and parents, the institutional survey with school principals and the case studies; the third was the planning of the last empirical work package: the analysis if high level governance and of current educational discourses in the eight countries.
While it is still too early to report first results, a striking pre-finding was the fact that in a series of countries (especially in France, Germany and the UK) researchers found it very difficult in entering and involving schools. Many school principals tend to refuse participating in research due to feeling overburdened by too much research going on in schools and taking their time in a situation in which increasing monitoring and assessment imply increasing pressure. This situation has created a slight delay with regard to data collection in some of the countries. Nevertheless, data collection is expected to be completed by the time of the next meeting which is scheduled, 30 June to 3 July in Turku (Finland) (except fort he expert interviews conducted with regard tot he high level governance analysis work package).