SERA Conference 2022

Reconnecting educational research, policy, and practice

The SERA Annual conference is an important event for the educational research community in Scotland. The three-day conference, to be held at the Ayr campus of the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), and it takes place on Wednesday 23rd November to Friday 25th November. Our conference invites researchers and practitioners working in Scottish and international research contexts to share their insights under the theme of Reconnecting educational research, policy, and practice. Contributions discussing new research possibilities, new forms of contexts for learning, and new types of collaboration among academics and practitioners are welcomed.

Pasi Sahlberg (2012) discusses, through his ideas of the Global Reform Movement (GERM), that across the globe many countries attempt to improve educational outcomes by attempts to identify ‘what works’ through research, which in turn, gives rise to simplistic policies that, in turn direct practice. There are instances where such simplicity is challenged, however: for example, pedagogy/ies that originate from marginalised, indigenous, or radical perspectives provide opportunities for the (re)alignment of educational aims, intents, and outcomes towards approaches that seek to develop the ‘whole person’, ‘the community’, or ‘new directions for the country’. Often challenges stem from research that rejects approaches such as randomised controlled trials instead promoting alternative methodologies including community activism, participant voice, action research, etc. These approaches eschew simple interpretations of research, its links with policy and practice and offer alternative visions for research/policy/practice matters.

The 2022 SERA Conference offers educationalists an opportunity to contribute to ongoing discussions about how research, policy, and practice might now be out-of-kilter since the events of 2020/2021 and how the education community might reassert its place in the research/policy/practice relationship. This Conference is particularly relevant in that education systems have needed to be adaptable and creative in their responses to the increasingly dynamic, complex, and fluctuating nature of society and the world.

The conference theme welcomes original and critical contributions from scholars and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines and educational settings that explore a rich and diverse view of education and learning as a means for supporting a multiplicity of life-projects, engaging knowledge, relationships, and the imagination.

Details about the 2022 SERA Conference submission and registrations protocols are provided in this section of our website:

This marks a return to a face-to-face offering for the Scottish Educational Research Association following the events of 2020/2021 (and onwards). A cordial invitation is sent to all who wish to join us in Ayr to discuss questions such as:

  • What types/forms/functions of research would best serve education going forward from 2022?
  • What might policy offer to the educational community, broadly conceived, to enable the latter to grow and flourish?
  • How does policy relate to research and how might research be better aligned with the needs of all?
  • What practice/s are needed to make the most of the research/policy nexus so that educational outcomes might better engender success for all?
  • Is the educational mission of equality still realisable and if so, what is needed from educational systems across the world?
  • If education is to be sustainable, how should research/policy/practice intertwine?