Crossing Lines: Research and Policy Networks for Developing Country Education

By Noel F. McGinn | Go to book overview

EUROPEAN NETWORK FOR RESEARCH ON LEARNING AND INSTRUCTION

Noel Entwistle

The European Network for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) was established in 1985 "to promote the systematic exchange and discussion of ideas within the domain of instructional and educational research, as well as research on industrial training." It is a multidisciplinary society, but the membership reflects the predominant involvement of psychology departments in much of Europe in this area of research. In Britain, Holland, and the Scandinavian countries, education departments are much more involved in empirical research than elsewhere. Besides the countries of Western Europe, members are drawn from most of the Central and Eastern European countries, although currency problems mean that special arrangements have had to be made to encourage their involvement.

The founding of EARLI was made possible by financial support by the Dutch Council for Educational Research (SVO), which continued until the number of members enabled it to become self-sufficient. No help was forthcoming from the European Community (EC), in spite of considerable efforts to find such support. By now EARLI has over 750 members and has established an academic journal, Learning and Instruction, besides a newsletter, EARLI News, which has been produced regularly since 1986. Members also are invited to join one or more of fifteen special interest groups ( SIGs) with the intention of creating groups of researchers who communicate regularly and promote collaborative research studies. Some of the SIGs have been lively and have circulated their own information, but it has proved difficult for the executive committee to ensure activity in all the groups. National correspondents have also been appointed to help in the networking of information, again with variable success.

The most successful work of EARLI to date has centered around the biennial conferences, which have been held in Leuven, Tubingen, Madrid, and Turku, with the fifth conference held in Aix-en-Provence in early September 1993. These conferences have proved an excellent way of promoting contact between re-

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