The theme of the three day Spring school (from May 30 – June 1, 2012 in the University of Porto, Portugal) was to strengthen the relationships between curriculum research, policy and practice. The Spring school brought together European curriculum ‘nestors’, doctoral students, early career curriculum researchers and professionals with research involvements within member institutions of CIDREE. In total 38 participants of 15 different countries participated.

In preparation to the spring school, participants mapped out the relationship of policy-practice-research in their country and prepared a couple of key points/recommendations for increasing the relevance of curriculum research based on selected reading materials (to be found on the website)

On Wednesday, May 30th, 2012, all participants were welcomed with music of the Tuna (choir) of the faculty. During the first two days, the three keynote speakers, Jan van den Akker (SLO and University of Twente, the Netherlands), Mats Ekholm (Karlstad University, Sweden) and Uwe Hameyer (Kiel University, Germany), introduced and illustrated an additional layer/perspective to the discussion (policy-, practice- and research-related) and coined a subset of statements and questions. After each keynote, a referent, respectively Kirsten Sivesind (University of Oslo, Norway), Kay Livingston (Glasgow University, Scotland), Ana Mouraz (Porto University, Portugal) reacted on the keynotes and raised some additional issues. The statements and questions raised by the keynote speaker and referent were discussed in small working groups and results were collected.

During the final day, participants were grouped into three teams with a keynote speaker and a referent chairing the discussions. Based on the results of the first two days, each participant presented an ‘elevator pitch’ on his or her current work and the main lessons learned/ideas for improving the relevance of it. In this way participants worked collaboratively towards a list of recommendations for increasing the relevance of curriculum research in general and their own research activities more specifically. The main aim of building and strengthening relationships has been accomplished. The discussions will be continued in upcoming ECER conferences and can potentially lead to collaborative publications on the issues addressed. It is intended to offer a second course in 2013.

The programme committee consisted of representatives of:
EERA Network 3 Curriculum innovation: Nienke Nieveen (chair),
University of Porto: Carlinda Leite, Ana Mouraz, Preciosa Fernandes,
University of Twente: Adam Handelzalts,
CIDREE: Jan van den Akker

For more information, please contact Nienke Nieveen, n.nieveen(at)

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