Every year, ESERA summerschools for science education PhD students are held. At a summerschool, students present their research work to a small group of seven other PhD students and to two experienced science education researchers. They then have opportunities to discuss their work in depth over the course of a week. They also hear about the other PhD projects in their group and contribute to the discussion about them. There is also a poster session where everyone discusses their work with all who are interested and where they get written feedback on their poster from a group of science education researchers. Lectures and workshops are also provided by experienced educators – and there are social events.
The maximum number of students attending a summerschool is 49, with no more than 18 staff members. If more than this number apply, then participants are selected to ensure diversity of countries and research traditions. Also, in order to create optimal opportunities for discussion, and to enable the summerschool to contribute to students’ progress, applicants should not be too near the beginning or end of their PhD work. Applications are welcome from any PhD student who is a member of ESERA.
Experienced researchers and supervisors can apply to attend the summerschool as a member of staff. Their roles will include co-coaching a group of seven students, making a plenary presentation to everyone and/or conducting a workshop. All staff participating in the Summerschool must be members of ESERA. Previous experience at PhD supervision is a desireable qualification, but staff do not need to currently have a PhD student under their supervision.
The first ESERA Summerschool was held in Zeist, the Netherlands, in 1993. A second Summerschool took place the following year, 1994, in Thessaloniki, Greece. Since then, Summerschoolshave been held at two year intervals until 2017 when by vote of the membership, yearly summer schools were tried. The trail was in České Budějovice, Czech Republic at the site of the 2016 summerschool with the same organizing group and facilities. The goal was to test the viability of a yearly summerschool without the added confounding of a new location. In 2019 a second trial of a yearly summerschool will be held, this time at a new location. The ESERA Board will make a final decision as to whether to continue yearly summerschools or revert back to the tradition of one in alternating years with the ESERA conferences.
ESERA summer schools
2018 Jyväskylä, Finland
2016 ČeskéBudějovice, CzechRepublic
2004 Mülheim, Germany
2002 Radovljica, Slovenia
2000 Gilleleje, Denmark
1998 Marly-le-Roi, France
1996 Barcelona, Spain
1994 Thessaloniki, Greece
1993 Zeist, Netherlands (Report)