The first meeting of this proposed new network was convened, with the support of I4P, on 21st March 2018. Over 30 people from across all three faculties attended; a number of people also were interested in the event, but not available for the meeting. People at all stages in their research were represented, from GTAs/PGRs to professors.

It was clear that there was significant interest in coming together in a new network, focusing on the values, purposes and methodological issues in our research, despite widely varying substantive areas of expertise. Much of the discussion focused on:

  • Principles/visions/aims for such a network
  • Operation of the network
  • Naming of the network

The discussion about principles took most of the time, as people felt it was a key defining feature of the proposed new network.  There was general agreement that the network should embrace research that:

  • Is emancipatory
  • Is interdisciplinary
  • Promotes community engagement and real-world issues, linking scholarship to reality
  • Is democratic, and challenges the status quo
  • Is pluralistic
  • Is humanistic

There was a clear will for the Network to be properly convened, under the auspices of I4P. A second meeting will therefore take place on 16th May 2018. It will be held in B002 from 12.30 – 3.00, and will consider the ways in which the network operates, and the formal naming of the network by its members. Following this, we will seek to set up a website, and plan events for the year ahead.

Dr Mary McAteer is the Director of Professional Learning Programme in the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University.

Read more about I4P Research clusters and networks