Parent Engagement as Power: Empowering Children, Schools and Societies


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Updated on September 9

The book of abstracts is now available


Please read and be ready to provide the result of your choice during registration on the first day of the conference. Thank you!

European Research Network About Parents in Education, the University of Gdańsk, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Education, and the Foundation for the Development of the University of Gdańsk

warmly invites

scholars, researchers, students and education professionals to the 12th biennial ERNAPE conference to be held
at the University of Gdańsk,
Gdańsk, Poland

18th September to 20th September 2019

  • Conference call for proposals opens: 10 September 2018
  • Conference call for proposals closes: 24 March 2019
  • Final decisions: 31 March 2019
  • Early Bird Registration deadline: 31 May 2019
  • ERNAPE Conference: 18, 19, 20 September 2019


Unn-Doris K. Bæck works as a professor of sociology at UiT Arctic University of Norway, Department of Social Sciences. Bæck’s main research interests lie within the fields of sociology of education and sociology of youth, with a special focus on social inequalities. As for methodological approaches Bæck have worked extensively with mixed methods approaches and she is also interested in comparative research.

A main research interest is home-school cooperation and parental involvement in school and the effects on student outcomes in different schooling contexts. She has investigated this from the perspectives of students, parents and teachers, and currently also focusing on teacher education. Bæck has also conducted a number of studies on educational and occupational preferences, choices and trajectories, especially focusing on youth residing in rural settings.

Bæck is research group chair of the research group “Space and Time in Education”. She is involved in several international research networks and was chair of ERNAPE from 2015-2017.

At present, Bæck is managing a research project on the interconnections between social practices of schools and students' social and cultural resources in different contexts, titled “RUR-ED Spatial Inequalities and Spatial Justice in Education”.

Please see Bæck’s web site for further information and an overview of publications and projects.

Stefano Castelli, Diploma in Oriental Studies (Hindi), MA in Philosophy, Post-graduate specialization in Social Psychology, PhD in Psychology, is presently an associate professor of Work and Organisational Psychology at the Department of Psychology of the University of Milano-Bicocca.

A Chartered Psychologist and Psychotherapist, he has joined the Academy after a long professional and entrepreneurial experience as a management consultant in large multinational companies, where he acted also as a trainer for managerial education. His work focused mainly on alternative dispute resolution, organisational re-engineering and managerial training in both public and privately owned organisations, with a special interest for merge & acquisitions. He has been extensively lecturing in Canada, USA, South America and in many European States.

Active in ERNAPE since the very early days, he served as President in 2011-2013, organised the Milano conference in 2011 and is the founder of the International Journal about Parents in Education. In the field of Home School Community Partnership his main research interests are on teachers’ stress, on integration of migrants, and on the ethical and epistemological foundations of this Partnership. He favours mixed-method studies, where quantitative techniques mingle together with statistical analysis of textual data and other qualitative approaches. He has done field work with street children in Guatemala and India.

Continuing an early, but still ongoing interest for Indian cultures and for their interconnections with current neoliberal trends, his most recent publications include the curatorship of Yoga, teoria e pratica (Yoga, theory and practice), 28 voll. Milano: RCS/Corriere della Sera, 2017-2018, probably the most extensive work ever published in the subject.

Professor Gill Crozier DPhil FRSA
Professor of Education
School of Education
University of Roehampton, London

Gill Crozier is Professor of Education, former Director of the Centre for Educational Research in Equalities, Policy and Pedagogy (2012-2015), School of Education, University of Roehampton, London, UK, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and currently Chair of the European Research Network About Parents in Education 2017-2019.

As a sociologist of education she has researched and written extensively about parents/families and school relationships, young people in urban schools, and access to and participation in higher education. Her work is underpinned by a deep concern for social justice and is informed by the analysis of race, class and gender and the ways these social locations and identities intersect and impact on life chances.

    Recent publications:
  • Changing Pedagogical Spaces in Higher Education. Diversity, Inequalities and Misrecognition (2017). London and New York: Routledge. SRHE series.
  • Race Matters: urban education, globalisation and the 21st century. In William Pink and George Noblett (eds) (2017) The International Handbook on Urban Education. Springer Publications
  • Peer relations in higher education: raced, classed and gendered constructions and Othering (2016) Whiteness Journal. Download citation
  • Schools and Family Relationships: engaging with diversity, enriching young people’s educational experiences. In H. Jacques, C. Timmerman, et al. (eds) (2016) Youth in Education. The necessity of valuing ethnocultural diversity London and NY: Routledge.
Karen Ida Dannesboe, PhD, ass. Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark
Her main research interests concern the relationships between children, family and the state. She has done ethnographic studies of children, school and family and is currently involved in a research project on families and early childhood education and care institutions. She is co-editor of the book "Doing good parenthood - ideals and practices of parental involvement" (2016).
Eddie Denessen is professor of Socio-cultural Diversity and Differentiation in Education at Leiden University and associate professor of Educational Sciences at the Behavioural Science Institute at Radboud University, Nijmegen.

Eddie Denessen got his PhD in 1999 on sociocultural differences in attitudes towards education in the Netherlands. He focused on the relations between social class backgrounds, religious and political values with perceptions of ‘good education’. These relations can help to understand processes of choice, selection, segregation, inclusion and exclusion in schools.

After his PhD, he developed his expertise in various related domains, such as educational inequalities, teacher expectations, differentiation in schools and classrooms, school choice, cultural ethnic segregation, and parental involvement in education. He has published several empirical research papers, book chapters, conference papers, and a review study on parental involvement, the effects on student outcomes and school and teacher effects on parents’ involvement that was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

In his research, he applies multidisciplinary analyses of education, with a focus on the societal effects of day-to-day education practices. His work is rooted in theories on educational inequalities, scientific pragmatism and sociocultural and critical theory. In his empirical work he employs quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Since 2018, he is chair of the Education & Society division of the Dutch Education Research Association.

Eddie Denessen participated in most of the ERNAPE conferences. In his contributions he addressed implications of culture differences in education parental involvement and educational policies, effects of teachers’ perceptions of parents’ involvement on academic achievement, interactions in parent-teacher conferences, and teacher education for parental involvement.

Limin Gu is associate professor and works as senior lecture at the Department of Education of Umeå University, Sweden. Her main research interest is home-school cooperation and parental involvement in education, and the pedagogical use of ICT in different educational settings. Gu’s current research projects deal with ICT applications in home-school cooperation in Swedish schools that aims to explore and gain knowledge about the changing patterns and characteristics in relationship between family and school, home-school communication and parental involvement supported by digital technologies. Design, implementation and evaluation of the use of various digital technological tools to improve online teaching and learning in higher education is her another area of interest that combines her teaching and research. Gu is also the convener of the Nordic network “Families, institutions and communities in educational contexts” affiliated to NERA.

Dr. Raquel-Amaya Martínez González is Professor of Research Methods and Assessment in Education in the Department of Education Sciences of the University of Oviedo (Spain). Coordinates the Research Group "Educational Intervention in the Family, the School and the Social field (IEFES)."

Priority research lines:
1) Positive Parenting, 3) School-Family-Community Partnerships; 3) Emotional Education. In these lines she develops international and national projects and publications.

She has received the National Award for Educational Research from the Ministry of Education and Science for her research on the educational processes that take place in the family and its impact on the education and academic performance of the children.

She also received the José Lorca Award for the Defense and Protection of Children's Rights granted by the Principality of Asturias for her Program-Guide for the Development of Emotional, Educational and Parenting Competences, published by the Spanish Ministry of Health and Social Policy, General Directorate of Social Policy, Families and Children.

  • Member of the Expert Group on Positive Parenting of the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality and of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP).
  • Member of the European Research Network About Parents in Education (ERNAPE) (, and the International Network of Scholars on School-Family-Community Partnerships (INET), USA, (
  • Convenor of the European Educational Research Association (EERA) in the Network on Communities, Families, and Schooling in Educational Research (

Professor, Chair of Department of Social Pedagogy at the Institute of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Gdansk, Poland.

Maria Mendel, Professor, Chair of Department of Social Pedagogy at the Institute of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Gdansk, Poland. The academic career of Maria Mendel entirely going on at the University of Gdansk: Ph.D. in 1994 (dissertation about parental involvement and educational partnerships), associate professor in 2002 (achievement in the field of social pedagogy, community development, and community education); full professorship since 2009 (humanities and social sciences). Her former and current functions: deputy director of public primary school in Gdansk (1985-1989), funding mother and director of non-public primary school in Gdansk (1989-1998), deputy director of the Institute of Education at the University of Gdansk (1996-2002), director of the Institute of Education at the University of Gdansk (2002-2008), Pro-rector for Educational Matters at the University of Gdansk (2008-2012). She was the Chair of the ERNAPE Conference 2003 in Gdansk.

Her research work is focused for years on relationship between human subject and space in which (s)he acts. This relationship is socially important, especially in the light of subject-based forms of social life and processes of its democratization. Some of her research and studies regard directly the social-spatial dimensions of parents and education, and the school as a place in which parents act. She has written over 200 scholarly publications, incl. 7 original monographs and 24 other books of which she was editor, co-editor or co-author. Her publications disseminate the idea of spatial justice, social equity and social cohesion in educational context. She developed there theoretical concepts such as pedagogy of place and pedagogy of the common places (2006, 2007, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2017), educational partnership and parental identity in the socio-political context (1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2013, 2016, 2017).

    Selected publications in the area of parents and education (in English):
  • School, Family, and Community Partnerships in a World of Differences and Changes, Stefano Castelli, Maria Mendel, Birte Ravn (Eds.), Gdansk: University of Gdansk Publishing Company, 2003
  • Semiotic Consciousness and Discourse of Power in Education. Parents in School Life: Educational Perspectives between Open and Hidden Fields of Meaning, International Journal of Applied Semiotics, 2003, vol. 4, no. 1 (9:27)
  • Polish Minischools. Microhistories of Democracy and Portraits of Parental Involvement, International Journal about Parents in Education, 2012, Vol. 6, Number 1 (69:79)
  • Authoritative and Class-Sensitive Parents: Parental Identities Shaped through Personal and Political Transitions, International Journal about Parents in Education, 2013, vol. 7, no. 2, 91-99
  • Parental Identity, Lifelong Learning and School, Malta Review of Education Research, 2016, vol. 10, no.1, pp.145-168

Associated Professor

Address: Department of Education
University of Cyprus, P.O.Box 20537, 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus
Telephone: +357 22 89 29 53
ax: +357 22 89 44 88

Graduated in 1982 from the School of Philosophy, University of Athens, Greece. Supported by the National Scholarships Foundation, she earned an M.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Stirling, Scotland and a Doctorate in Sociology of Education from the University of Cambridge, England. Her thesis concerned a comparison between deviance patterns within and without mainstream educational settings, which was a new approach for the UK, bridging for the first time Special and Mainstream Educational settings and combining traditional psychological and sociological research methodology. In 1989 she became a Research Fellow at the Centre for Educational Development Appraisal and Research, (C.E.D.A.R.), University of Warwick, England. She moved to Cyprus in 1992 to take up a lectureship in the Department of Education, University of Cyprus and is one of the founding academic members of the University. In 2003 she became an Associate Professor in Inclusive Education and in April 2008 was elected Associate Dean for the School of Social and Educational Sciences, a post she still holds today. Her research and teaching in School Diversity, Inclusive Education and Educational Policy has broken new ground in the area and has set the relevant educational policy and research agenda in Cyprus for the last 20 years. Her former students hold University posts in Cyprus and abroad.

Research Interests

  • Special and Inclusive Education
  • Educational Policy and Social Justice
  • Partnership in Education
  • Qualitative Research Methodology

Selected Publications

  • Symeonidou, S. & Phtiaka, H. (2012) Teacher Education for Inclusion: from Research to Praxis, Athens: Pedio (in Greek)
  • Kouppanou, A. & Phtiaka, H. (2009) From the margin to the typhoon’s eye: The Education of the Deaf in Cyprus, Athens: Pedio. (in Greek).
  • Phtiaka, H. (ed.) (2008) Do join us for a cup of coffee: Home-school relations at the edge of difference, Athens: Taxideutis, (in Greek).
  • Phtiaka, H. (ed.) (2007) Special and Inclusive Education in Cyprus, Athens: Taxideutis, (in Greek).
  • Phtiaka, H. (2006) From separation to integration: parental assessment of state intervention, International Journal of Sociology of Education, Vol.16, No. 3, pp. 175 - 189.
  • Phtiaka, H. (2003) The Power to exclude: Facing the challenge of Inclusive Education in Cyprus, International Journal of Contemporary Sociology, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 139-152.
  • Phtiaka, H. (2002) Teacher Education for a new world, International Journal of Sociology of Education, Vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 355-376.
  • Phtiaka, H. (2001) (guest editor) Special Education in the Mediterranean, Special Issue of the Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies on Special Education, Vol. 6 (2).
  • Phtiaka, H. (1999) Disability, Human Rights and Education in Cyprus, in Barton, L. & Armstrong, F. (eds) (1999) Disability, Human Rights and Education: Cross Cultural Perspectives, Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
  • Phtiaka, H. (1997) Special kids for special treatment? How special do you need to be to find yourself in a special school? London: Falmer Press.

Birte Ravn, senior research professor, retired.
Ph.D. Cultural Sociology and Education
Department of Educational Anthropology
Danish University School of Education

Main research areas:

The relationship between parents, children, teachers and the local community within a Danish and International comparative framework. This has in particular been concerned about the cultural context of learning and education; the affective dimensions of learning; teacher professionalisation.

1994 Founder of The European Research Network of Parents in Education (ERNAPE) and the Nordic one (NORNAPE). Chair of these until 2005

    Main research (and development)projects:
  • 1978 - 1980: The Task of Teachers and Schools to inform and co-operate with Parents
  • 1983 - 1987: Co-operation between Parents and Teachers - a Challenge to Teachers
  • 1987 - 1991: Schools as local Cultural Centres – a nationwide development project
  • 1994: The locally Anchored School
  • 1998 - 2000: "Education and National Culture: a comparative study of pupil attitudes to secondary schooling in England, France and Denmark" (ENCOMPASS) together with English and French researchers. See "A World of Difference? Comparing Learners Across Europe
  • 2006-2012: "School-home co-operation, a cultural given - a multi-sited ethnografic study" (Who called it co-operation? Only in Danish)

    Some publications:
  • 1994: Expectations about Parents in Education (Ravn/A. Macbeth edit.) EPA publication (not available any longer?)
  • 1995: "Involving children and Parents" in Children's Services: Chaping up for the Milleniu¬m. Supporting Children and Families in the United Kingdom and Families in the United King¬dom and Scandinavia. Edit. B. Cohen and U. Hagen, University of Edinburg
  • 1996: “Current Trends in Political and Pedagogical Conditions for Family, Community and School Partnerships in Europe” in Challenges to European Education: Cultural Values, National Identities, and Global Responsibilities. Edit. Thyge Winther-Jensen. Peter Lang, Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften.

    English preface, introduction and summary to the Nordic anthology: "Between home and school - A democratic democratic community of interest?" - Editors of the Nordic anthology: "Mellem hjem og skole 2 - Er et demokratisk fællesskab muligt?": P. Arneberg and Birte Ravn. (1995, 1996) Unge Paedagoger.
  • 2002: “The Cultural Context of Learning and Education in England, France and Denmark – as a basis for understanding educational change” Journal of Educational Change, 3: 241-261. Kluwer Academic Publish
  • 2003: "A World of Difference? Comparing Learners Across Europe" (Osborn, M. et al. Open University Press)
  • 2007: Learning Beyond Cognition (Kryger & Ravn) Danish University Press
  • 2012: Hvem sagde samarbejde? Et hverdagslivsstudie af skole-hjem_relationer. Dannesboe, Kryger, Palludan, Ravn. Århus Univerrsitetsforlag

Associated Professor

Loizos Symeou is Associated Professor in Sociology of Education at European University Cyprus where he teaches Sociology of Education and Qualitative Research Methods in undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate courses. He is the Dean of the School of Humanities, Social and Educational Sciences. He holds degrees from the University of Cyprus (B.Ed.), the University of Sydney (M.Ed. in Teaching Studies), and the University of Cambridge (M.Phil. in Educational Research, and PhD in Sociology of Education). His areas of interest and publications are in the sociological investigation of school-parent-child relationships and how these link to cultural and social capital theory. Dr Symeou has worked on a number of research projects involving teachers, parents and children. Recent work includes a study on homework, and a study on the educational experience of Roma children and families. Dr Symeou has published his work in academic journals, edited books and a monograph.

Professor Emerita Unniversiity of Lisbon, Portugal

Director, Master on Intercultural Education at the Scchool of Psychology and Sciences of Education, where she has lectured for more than twenty years, Researcher at the Institute of Education of the same University.
Pedagogical supervisor of the Ministry of Education.
Member of the Scientific Board of School of Education “Joao de Deus”.
Chair of the 9th ERNAPE Conference in Lisbon in 2013. President of ERNAPE from 2013 until 2015.
University of Lisbon, Portugal, Ph. D. in Sciences of Education.
Boston University, U.S.A. Master of Education.
Author of several books and inumerous articles on Parental Involvement, Home~School Relationships and Literacy Development, published in five different countries. Guest Editor of the IJPE, 2013, vol.7, N2 on Families, Schools and Communities: New Trends for a Future with Equity.

Pedro Silva, Ph. D. in Sociology of Education, is Associate Professor at the School of Education and Social Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal. His research interests lie in the areas of school-family relationships, sociology of education, intercultural education and mediation, ethnography, and ICT and education.

He is author/co-author of several books and scientific papers in the field of school-family relationships. He is member of the Steering Committee of ERNAPE (European Research Network About Parents in Education) and Co-Convenor of Network 14 (Communities, Families, and Schooling in Educational Research) of EERA (European Educational Research Association).

He is also a member of the following research centres: CIIE (University of Porto), and CICS.NOVA.IPLeiria (Universidade Nova de Lisboa/Polytechnic Institute of Leiria).



University of Gdańsk: Maria Mendel (Chair of LCOC), Patrycja Łaga (Assistant to the Chair of LCOC), Marcin Boryczko, Dorota Bronk, Marek Ejsmont, Dorota Jaworska, Alicja Jurgiel-Aleksander, Dorota Klus-Stańska, Katarzyna Kmita-Zaniewska, Alicja Komorowska-Zielony, Lucyna Kopciewicz, Beata Kosmalska, Piotr Kowalczuk, Piotr Kowzan, Mateusz Rutkowski, Jolanta Sokołowska, Małgorzata Szpunar, Jolanta Wojciechowska, Alicja Zbierzchowska.

University of Silesia: Maciej Bernasiewicz

Opole University of Technology: Agnieszka Kossowska

Association for Education and Family "Węgielek": Katarzyna Kurzyca

Maria Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw: Danuta Uryga, Marta Wiatr

University of Lower Silesia: Hana Cervinkova, Ewa Kurantowicz, Monika Rusnak

We are delighted to announce a Call for Papers, Symposiums and Posters for the 12th biennial ERNAPE Conference which will take place in Gdańsk, Poland, September 18 – 20, 2019.

The message embedded in the name of our network is that parents are part of education. If we follow Theodore Brameld’s saying that education is power, we should see parents as sharing and shaping its force. The ERNAPE conference, to be held in Gdańsk, will be devoted to exploring the multiple meanings of parental engagement, power and empowerment.

This broad issue has a complex nature that needs to be examined. On the one hand, we should see parents as citizens whose engagement is crucial in acts of direct democracy: from their “voting with feet” while they make decisions concerning the choice of educational institutions, to their sustained work in social movements and organizations like Our Cities—Our Schools, Sanctuary Schools, Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, etc. This points to the complex relations between private lives and political activism. As schools have become subject to controversial policies, like those connected to urban marketing or gentrification and school closures, being a parent shows its political face in a direct way probably unknown to previous generations.

One should speak, in this context, of new ways of understanding parental experiences. Not only are the notions of struggle, success or defeat linked to the parent—child relations, concerning issues of upbringing, support or care, being a parent in the time when schools are sites of political struggles the results of which affect the education of children, parental defeat or success gain a political dimension as well. Many researchers have recently recognized this problem; in the context of neoliberal urbanism, for example Pauline Lipman [High Stakes Education (…) 2004; The new political economy of urban education (…) 2011].

There are histories and narratives of spectacular success, as well as those of anger and disappointment to be shared, and we hope to reflect on them and to learn from them during the meeting in Gdańsk. There are sustainable local community schools emerging as the result of parental engagement and self-organization; there are schools that, owing to the engagement of parents in their close cooperation with teachers, local activists and municipalities, truly become shared spaces where one does not have to teach about democracy but where democracy is enacted and experienced. We do not expect or wish to see such complex experiences being told as idyllic and easy, but nor as utterly hopeless; that they are dichotomized between triumph and despair. Following Gert Biesta [Becoming public (…) 2012; The Rediscovery of Teaching, 2017], one may say that all meaningful education implies some interruption, that it involves friction, or collision with otherness. In a sense, meaningful education shares this feature with democracy, which is unthinkable without conflict.

    Contributors may want to address any of the following thematic areas but are not restricted to these:
  • Power in parenting: parents’ ways of empowering children, schools, education, communities and their democracies
  • The family, school and community modi co-vivendi
  • Parental involvement, community engagement and parents’ engagement: classic and new paradigms
  • Parental Involvement and Inclusion
  • Parents, culture and education (contemporary versions of parenting, “good” parent discourses, and modes of “parents in education”; parents as active or passive social and cultural agents; parents in media discourses and in other public arenas; etc.)
  • The equity issues in/and/or through home-school-community relations
  • Parent(s) nowadays: portraying the dynamic construct in the various frames of different environments, cultures, politics, ideologies, etc.
  • Parental engagement today: what for and why?
  • The varieties of the contemporary parent engagement
  • “The end of public school” and the ways parents face it / act in it / change it (school closures, privatization, etc.)
  • Parental grass-root movements, democracy and education (discourse, dialogue and politics of interruption)

You are warmly invited to participate in this conference and submit an abstract for a paper, a symposium, or a poster. The submission of abstracts is between 10 September 2018 – 24th February 2019.

Prof. Carmel Borg Ph.D (Toronto), FRSA
Faculty of Education
Department of Arts, Open Communities and Adult Education
University of Malta

Professor Carmel Borg is a former head of department and dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Malta. He lectures at the University of Malta and internationally, as honorary visiting professor, in curriculum studies, critical pedagogy, sociology and politics of education, and community and adult education. He has presented locally and internationally, often as keynote speaker, and published extensively in several languages around the foregoing issues. Professor Borg is a public intellectual and community activist, promoting education as a liberatory experience. He is the Director of the MRER Project and Chairperson of the National Observatory for Living with Dignity, a research entity within the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society. Professor Borg is the editor of the Malta Review of Education Research (MRER) and of the Education Research Monograph Series (ERMS). He is also associate editor and reviewer of several other peer-reviewed, international journals. His latest book (co-edited with Michael Grech) is entitled The Pedagogy Politics and Philosophy of Peace: Interrogating Peace and Peace Making, published by Bloomsbury in 2017. Professor Borg is also a poet and an author of children's literature.

Authentic Parent-Professional Partnership in Higher Education – From Theory to Practice.

In an earlier piece Borg and Mayo (2006) argued that in the present neo-liberal climate, parental involvement, promoted as 'active democratic citizenship', is to be interrogated, particularly in political contexts characterised by a minimalist state and the seemingly unstoppable march towards the privatisation of basic services. A fundamental step in the direction of reclaiming a moral imagination that hosts an authentic parent-professional partnership is based on the notion that human beings are in a continuous process of becoming, and that this process is communitarian, collective and organic rather than individualistic, competitive, hierarchical and fragmented. Within this framework, critically engaging the world and searching for multi-layered and rhizomic, possibilitarian encounters constitute two core activities in the process of becoming more human; a process that is transformative for the parents and for the institutions that engage in such processes because it welds collective reading of the world with ongoing communal action.

Critical engagement with the immediate ecology of parents as a fundamental process of communal emancipation is key to challenging the ‘culture of silence’ (Freire, 1996) that characterises traditional professional-parent relationships; a culture reproduced through hierarchical pedagogical engagements and fuelled by the privileging of professional esoteric knowledge.

The curricular experience of genuine communities of learning, where professionals and parents are concerned with mutuality provides ample opportunities for reflection, peer-tutoring, cooperative learning and action. Within such contexts, professionals and parents experience democracy and rediscover life beyond deficiency, consumption, performativity, competition, capital and the market place.

The keynote speech revisits the concept of parental-professional communities of learning as one form of authentic community action, with the view of promoting the concept as an opportunity for parents to engage in curriculum development in higher education. The presentation will provide insights into a newly-designed course for education professionals. The course was co-designed with parents and will be co-conducted with parents. The design of the course is meant to foreground parents as protagonists rather than token producers of knowledge. The course is also meant to help prospective professionals to do collaboration with parents in the most difficult of social and economic circumstances.


  • Borg, C., and Mayo, P. (2006) Learning and Social Difference: Challenges for public education and critical pedagogy. Boulder, Colorado, USA: Paradigm Publishers.
  • Freire, P. (1996) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Penguin Books.

Hana Cervinkova is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Education at the University of Lower Silesia (ULS) in Wroclaw, Poland. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from New School for Social Research in New York in 2004 and her Habilitation degree in Educational Studies at ULS in 2013. In her research, Cervinkova focuses on transformation processes in Central Europe with particular focus on education, citizenship, memory and urban space. She has authored and co-authored more than 50 scholarly books and articles and is known for her innovative ethnographic and action research. Between 2015-2019 she was the national coordinator of the international project European Doctorate in Teacher Education (EDiTE) at the University of Lower Silesia (Horizon 2020, MCS Actions, ITN) and in her current ethnographic research project she focuses on school-based citizenship education in Poland. Cervinkova is the author and director of award-winning academic programs in Central Europe in partnership with North American universities. Her course (co-authored and co-taught by Dr. Juliet Golden), Negotiating Identities Across Europe’s Borders, was awarded the 2016 Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design by the Forum on Education Abroad. Between 2004 and 2011, in addition to her academic work, Cervinkova was active in the public sector in Poland and is is recognized for her work in historic preservation, especially the implementation of a major revitalisation project in the UNESCO World Heritage site, Centennial Hall in Wroclaw.

Toward Inclusive Imaginaries of Belonging: Poland’s Parents and Schools on the Frontlines of the Struggle for Educational Equity and Justice

In this paper, I focus on the experiences and the role of parents in the transformation of Polish schools into inclusive educational settings. I will argue that the ideals of educational inclusion enforced through the UN and EU membership policies, hold the potential for perhaps the most radical change toward equity and social justice in the recent democratic history of Poland. Educational inclusion postulates the right of access to mainstream education for all children despite the variety of their needs and background. In Poland, this policy requires the recognition of diversity in the context of a country whose national imaginary (formed in the 20th century by the history of violent cleansings of difference during the Nazi and Soviet occupations) is dominated by concepts of uniformity of belonging and citizenship (Cervinkova 2016). While national leaders and majority of citizens in public opinion polls desire to maintain the country’s seemingly homogeneous character (e.g. by rejecting the EU quota system concerning the relocation of refugees), globalization processes advancing through EU policyscapes (such as the policy on educational inclusion) and material and ideational global flows (Appadurai 2006, Carney 2009), are making diversity a fact that can no longer be ignored. Schools are on the frontlines of the historical change: they must grapple with the need to find ways of working with children and youth of diverse background and experiences (children of immigrants, including returning Polish migrants, children with varied sexualities and gender identities, children with disabilities, etc.). Despite their declarative compliance, research shows that schools are generally poorly prepared for the dramatic change that full educational inclusion represents for the school community (Pogodzinska, 2013; Wagner, 2018), pointing at the widespread resistance of teachers, school leadership and parents of children without special needs to the challenges of inclusion (Kubicki, 2017; NIK, 2017; Zadrożny and Silny, 2015). The paper builds on the approach to schools as “primary sites for the creation of new political dispositions and identities” (Levinson, 2011, 290) and considers the parents’ fight for educational inclusion in the context of the larger struggle for inclusive national imaginary in post-1989 Poland.

Joyce L. Epstein, Ph.D. in Sociology from Johns Hopkins University, is Director of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships and the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) and Professor of Education at Johns Hopkins University. In 1995, she established the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS), which provides professional development for school, district, and state leaders to develop research-based programs of family and community involvement (see

Dr. Epstein has over one hundred fifty publications on family and community involvement including School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action, 4thEdition (Corwin Press, 2019), and a textbook for college courses for future teachers and administrators entitled School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Preparing Educators and Improving Schools, 2nd Edition (Westview Press, 2011). Dr. Epstein was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in 2009 and received the 2009 Elizabeth Cohen Award for Applied Research from AERA’s Sociology of Education Special Interest Group. Her current research focuses on how district and school leadership affects the quality of school-based programs of family and community engagement and results for students. In all of her work, she is interested in the connections of research, policy, and practice

Pent Up Power: How Can Policies on Partnerships be Implemented to Improve Schools, Engage All Parents, and Increase Student Success?

This presentation begins with a social fact: Children do better in school if their parents are engaged in their education. This fact, proven in decades of research, reveals two dramatic and unacceptable inequalities—unequal parental engagement and unequal student success. The confirmed finding poses critical questions about equity: How might all parents be engaged in their children’s education at school and at home? If they were, would more students succeed to their full potential?

There are many foci and components of family engagement, but one topic that concerns every parent every day is the happiness, health, well-being, and success of their own child. Official policies on family and community engagement are “on the books” in most countries, agencies, and schools. The policies tend to state that home, school, and community share responsibility for children’s education. Typically, policies set goals for a welcoming school climate, two-way communications between and among teachers, parents, and other partners in education, and working together on behalf of children. Too-often, however, official policies on family and community engagement are not enacted and, therefore, do not produce the intended results. Action steps are misunderstood; program development budgets are unfunded; leadership lags; old patterns of delayed action persist; and inequities abound. What to do?

This presentation will “unpack” the problem statement and identify the persistent inequities that must be addressed in new research—basic and applied. We will discuss lessons learned in over 30 years of research, fieldwork, and active networking on whether and how good policies can be implemented to improve schools, engage all families, and increase student success in school.

Adam Jagiello-Rusilowski, PhD is a social entrepreneur, youth and teacher trainer, researcher and higher education executive. He studied English Philology and Educational Psychology at University of Gdansk, Creative Dramatics at University of Northern Iowa, Social Innovation and Community Development at Columbia University and INSEAD Business School. He ran 3 youth NGOs, was Ford and Ashoka’s (Innovators of the Public) fellow, worked as an expert in inclusive education for Soros Foundations in Eastern Europe, European Cultural Foundation in Amsterdam and UNWRA in Gaza Strip. His research interest is the impact of drama and innovation pedagogy on youth resilience, educational self-efficacy and diversity-related competencies. His key publications include:
  • Students’ and Higher Education stakeholders’ concepts of resilience in the context of innovation camps, Konst, T., Jagiello-Rusilowski, A., Dyskursy Młodych Andragogów, vol. 18 (2017)
  • Drama for developing integrity in Higher Education, Jagiello-Rusilowski A., PALGRAVE COMMUNICATIONS, Humanities, Social Sciences, 3 (2017)
  • Improvisation in revealing and developing hidden competences, INTED2016 Proceedings IATED Digital Library, Jagiello-Rusilowski, A. , INTED2016 Proceedings IATED Digital Library, 2125-2131 (2016)
  • Developing Diversity-Related Competencies, Adam Jagiello-Rusilowski, in: Internationalizing Higher Education: Critical Collaborations across the Curriculum, (Lee, A., ed.) Springer, Boston/Rotterdam 2015
  • Intercultural competencies of Polish and Kazakh teachers explored in their Facebook profiles, Jagiello-Rusilowski, Immanchiyev Z., Problemy Wczesnej Edukacji 1 (11), 56-68 (2015)

Parents as facilitators of educational resilience

In this interactive presentation the concept of educational resilience will be explored as the capacity for perseverance in learning under challenging conditions and the ability to predict a causal relationships of own and learning community efforts to prevent or capitalize on failure. The process of building resilience will be “experienced” dramatically by the audience and volunteer conference participants through 6 scenes about educational challenges or critical moments of learning. Each will offer insights into the role of parents in establishing and maintaining positive self-esteem of their children, reducing some risk factors, fostering key competencies and helping with children’s sense of cohesion, meaning, values and attitudes.

Volunteers will randomly chose one card from a deck of cards, with the highest card representing the most resilient student in a group. The group will behave in ways that reflect their characters’ perceived social support, self-efficacy beliefs and abilities to persevere through making meaning, hope, faith etc.. The drama participants will think about 10 hypothetical situations presented by the keynote speaker. In characters they will take one step forward, back or stay on their imagined continuum of education. The outcome of drama and sociometry will be discussed by the presenter and commented by the audience. Some good educational practices will be analyzed with example of research projects led by the presenter ( Art for Social Change, DICE, ARTPAD).

Lucyna Kopciewicz is a Professor of Pedagogy at University of Gdansk, Poland. She received her Habilitation degree at University of Gdansk in 2008 (humanities and social science) and full professorship in 2015 (social sciences). In her research, she focuses on transitional educational processes with particular focus on learning, social justice and democratic culture. She has authored and co-authored 80 scholarly books and articles. Her main research interests lie within the fields of sociology of education and gender studies with a special focus on socialization and materiality of learning in family and school cultures. Her current research project deals with mobile technologies, new generation, changing patterns of socialization and parenting. It seeks to contribute to the study of how mobile technologies reflect and transform established learning practices at home and school settings.

Selected publications:

  • Mathematics education, democracy and social justice, in. Educational challenges in the cultural space of the European Union .ed. by Sylwia Mrozowska, Tomasz Besta, Aleksandra Zgrundo, Gdansk 2013.
  • Mathematics failures in girls and ethnic minorities in the perspective of questions about ideologies in education, Problemy Wczesnej Edukacji/ Issues in Early Education, 2013, no. 4, 15-31.
  • Smartfon i tablet w dziecięcych rękach. Być dzieckiem, nastolatkiem i rodzicem w kulturze mobilnej [Smartphone and tablet in children’s hands. Being a child, being a parent in mobile culture], Gdańsk 2016: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Katedra.
  • Dorastanie bezprzewodowe. Technologie mobilne i gender w rodzinnym polu socjalizacyjnym [Wireless adolescence: mobile technologies and gender in the arena of family socialization], Rocznik Lubuski, 2016, Vol. 42, 37-55.
  • Is technology a magic wand? When tablets' affordances meet teaching practices: insights on didactic design, The New Educational Review, 2018, Vol. 51, no. 1, 78-90.
  • Title:
    Mobile mothers, mobile children: mapping emergent learning practices in family cultures

    I will present and discuss results of empirical research focused on children’s learning and socialization in digital culture which has become a part of their family culture.

    In recent years, an increasing number of research studies explored the potential and the outcome of the use of mobile technology in socialization and education. These studies focused on learning efficiency, improvement of learning outcomes, and motivation. The research works approached technology as a “supplement” to the established learning practices used for the purposes of the traditional educational goals. Alternative type of research works explored the potential and implications of new tools and the new materiality for everyday teaching and learning practices, the transformation of pedagogy, and the shaping of new digital competences. My research is related to the last type of assumptions.

    Family space determines the developmental, social, material, and economic aspects of children’s family life. It is in this space that children spend most of their time. Therefore, we could say that the digital culture is subordinated to ‘parental filtering’ and for this reason my work is mainly focused on family learning cultures understood as areas of practices organizing the children’s access to the mobile infrastructure and the new learning opportunities.

    Adopting critical–radical educational theories, it is easy to get under an illusion that technology privatised on the family ground is a powerful learning tool and that home-based ‘digital education’ is able to equip children with better competences than the culturally-lagging Polish school, especially that modern technologies are extensions of human senses and flexibly fit into the natural cognitive practices. Mobile technologies involve a promise of unlimited access to the entire world, which the children may have ‘at their fingertips’. Can the new material conditions for learning be a challenge to the traditional, transmissive model of learning dominating in Polish schools? Can tablet technology give rise to conflicts between traditional and emergent learning practices? Can technology ‘shake’ the non-democratic structure of Polish school?

    • Bougsiaa, H., Cackowska, M., Kopciewicz, L., Nowicki, T. (2016). Smartfon i tablet w dziecięcych rękach. Być dzieckiem, nastolatkiem i rodzicem w kulturze mobilnej [Smartphone and tablet in children’s hands. Being a child, being a parent in mobile culture], Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Katedra.
    • Corsaro, W.A. (2015). The sociology of Childhood. California: Sage Publication.
    • Hjorth, L., Burgess, J., Richardson, I. (2012). Studying Mobile Media: Cultural Technologies, Mobile Communication, and the iPhone, New York: Routledge.
    • Plowman, L. (2015). Researching Young Children's Everyday Uses of Technology in the Family Home, Interacting with Computers Volume 27 (1): 36–46.
    • Plowman, L., Stevenson, O., Stephen, C., McPake, J. (2012). Preschool children's learning with technology at home, Computers and Education, 59 (1) 30-37.
    • Radesky, JS., Schumacher, J. Zuckerman, B. (2015). Mobile and interactive media use by young children: the good, the bad, and the unknown. Pediatrics.135,(1):1–3.
    • Rakow, L., Navarro, P. (1993). Remote mothering and the parallel shift: Women meet the cellular phone, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, nr 10 (2): 144–157.
Pauline Lipman is Professor of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Director of the Collaborative for Equity and Justice in Education, a university-community collaborative research center.

Her interdisciplinary research focuses on race, class, and political economy of urban education, particularly the inter-relationship of education policy and urban restructuring and radical social transformation. Pauline is the author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports.

Her book, The New Political Economy of Urban Education: Neoliberalism, Race, and the Right to the City (Routledge, 2011), argues that education is integral to neoliberal economic and spatial urban restructuring and its class and race inequalities and exclusions as well as to the potential for a new, radically democratic economic and political social order.

Her previous books, High Stakes Education and Race, Class and Power in School Restructuring, received American Education Studies Association, Critics Choice Awards.

In 2011, she received the American Education Research Association Distinguished Contribution to Social Contexts in Education Research, Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013 she was elected a lifetime member of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

An activist scholar, Pauline Lipman is also active in community campaigns for equitable and just education. As a core member of Teachers for Social Justice, she has been involved in struggles against school closings and education privatization and for an elected school board, sustainable community schools, and racial justice in education in Chicago, in coalition with community organizations, parents, and the Chicago Teachers Union.

Parents as protagonists for a just educational and social order: What is at stake in a moment of deep social crises, xenophobia, and authoritarianism?

This paper argues that education is co-constitutive of the neoliberal economic-political order and its crises and is a critical site for resistance to neoliberalism, racism, reactionary nationalism, and xenophobia. I begin with the stakes of the present moment: the conjuncture of profound economic, political, social, and ecological crises and resurgence of blatantly xenophobic, white supremacist, nationalist, anti-democratic agendas, on one hand, and new resistances, solidarities, social imaginaries and emerging counter-hegemonic programs, on the other. I trace this polarized moment to the protracted structural crisis of capitalism, the consequences of globalized neoliberalism, and legacies of colonialism, white supremacy, ethnic hatreds and xenophobia that variously permeate our societies.

Neoliberal logics of capital accumulation and anti-democratic governance (intertwined, in the U.S., with white supremacy) have driven the economic and spatial restructuring of cities and profound economic, social, and spatial inequalities. I have argued that, in the U.S., urban education policies are co-constitutive of neoliberal urban restructuring, (Lipman, 2011), the shrinking and commodification of the social state, and racialized/spatialized politics of disposability, visited particularly on African Americans (Lipman, 2015). Undermining critical thought and democratic participation in schools is also central to neoliberalism’s anti-democratic political project. In this moment, public education is a locus of the crises of the neoliberal order, including the crisis of social reproduction (Fraser, 2016), and the municipal state’s attempt to discipline the public through fiscal austerity (Peck, 2012), subordinating the lives of “surplus people” to fiscal solvency and subjecting them to intensified state violence (Pulido, 2016) and “organized abandonment” (Gilmore, 2008). These practices have given rise to an education justice movement, with parents as key actors. Led by people of color, opposition to closing and privatizing public schools and education budget cuts is unsettling neoliberal hegemony. I draw on the campaign for Sustainable Community Schools in Chicago to argue for parents (with community members, educators, and students) as authors of critical, humanizing education visions and practices of social solidarity and contend that parent protagonism necessitates penetrating the roots of the crisis and joining with democratic social movements for a just alternative to the existing social order.

  • Fraser, N. (2016). Contradictions of Capital and Care. New Left Review, pp.99-117.
  • Gilmore, R. W. (2008). Forgotten places and the seeds of grassroots planning. In C. R. Hale, Ed. Engaging contradictions: Theory, politics, methods of activist scholarship, pp.31-61. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Lipman, P. (2011). The new political economy of urban education: Neoliberalism, race, and the right to the city. New York: Routledge.
  • Lipman, P. (2015). Accumulation by dispossession: Closing schools and state abandonment of communities of color. In B. Picower & E. Mayorga, What’s Race Got To Do With It: How current school reform policy maintains racial inequality. Peter Lang Publishers.
  • Peck, J. (2012). Austerity urbanism: American cities under extreme economy. City, 16, 626-655.
  • Pulido, L. (2016). Flint, Environmental Racism, and Racial Capitalism. Capitalism Nature Socialism, 27(3), pp. 1-16.
Professor of Philosophy of Education
Department of Education, Practice and Society
UCL Institute of Education
University College London

Judith Suissa is Professor of Philosophy of Education at UCL Institute of Education, London. Her research interests include anarchist theory, utopian theory, radical educational traditions, critical philosophy of race, and parent-child relationships.

Selected writings
Suissa, J. (2006). Anarchism and Education; A Philosophical Perspective. Abingdon: Routledge
Suissa, J., & Ramaekers, S. (2012). The Claims of Parenting: reasons, responsibility and society. Contemporary philosophies and theories in education. Dordrecht: Springer.
Suissa, J. (2006). “Untangling the mother knot; some thoughts on parents, children and philosophers of education”. Ethics and Education, 1 (1), 65-77
Suissa, J. (2010). “How Comprehensive is Your Conception of the Good? Liberal Parents, Difference, and the Common School”. Educational Theory, 60 (5), 587-600
Ramaekers, S., & Suissa, J. (2012). “What all parents need to know? exploring the hidden normativity of the language of developmental psychology in parenting”. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 46 (3), 352-369
Suissa, J. (2013). “Tiger mothers and praise junkies : children, praise and the reactive attitudes”. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 47 (1), 1-19
Suissa, J. (2014). “Tough Love and Character Education; Reflections on Some Contemporary Notions of Good Parenting”. Pedagogical Culture, 1, 115-131
Suissa, J. (2015). “Character Education and the Disappearance of the Political”,. Ethics and Education, 10 (1).
Suissa, J. (2019). “Anarchist Education”. In C. Levy, M. Adams (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Anarchism. Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillan

Children, parents, and non-parents: To whom does the future belong?

In this paper, I will look at how different narratives about "the future", and about who has a "claim to" or a "stake in" the future are intertwined in complex ways with underlying political ideas and imaginaries. This paper is based on my recent collaborative work with my colleague Rachel Rosen, at UCL.

I will begin by exploring some popular political discourses that position "childless leaders" as unfit to hold political office, in contrast to leaders who, as parents, are seen as having a stake in the future of society that renders them more trustworthy. These discourses raise questions about the relationship between (non)parenthood, childhood and claims to the future, which in turn lead to a discussion of the assumptions underpinning our social and political values and institutions, as well as assumptions about children, adults, and the different and often conflicting subject positions they occupy within contemporary societies. Whilst certain subject positions may be popularly understood to have a particular claim to the future (e.g. the child as the embodiment of the future or the parent adult who raises a child to carry their family interests into the future), such claims may imply undercutting other agents’ claims to the future. Uncovering the conceptual and evaluative underpinnings of these discourses reveals complex and often contradictory ideas about the degree to which “the future” is or is not a collective project of our own making, and about which voices play a role in imagining and shaping it. At the same time, tying our stakes in the future to generational continuity of the family revolves on the individualistic assumption that our only stake in the future is for our own kin-based and self-serving interests.

I will draw on utopian theory in suggesting some different possible ways of conceptualising a more collective - and maybe a more disruptive - notion of intergenerational relations and the future, as a political project towards social justice and public good.

Honorary patronage
Media Patronage
Gdańsk: Parents-Conscious City


12th Biennial Conference of the European Research Network About Parents in Education (ERNAPE), 18-20 September 2019


Gdańsk, Bażyńskiego street, no. 4