November 2019

Lecture at the 11th German-Israeli Frontiers of Humanities Symposium organised by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Jerusalem, Israel, 17-20 November 2019

In this lecture I focused on “solidarity-engagements” observed in several DAS schools in the study to illustrate how young people learn to be ‘global citizens’ across several locations. I critically engaged with project-work, programmes and extra-curricular activities which connected students from different schools with ‘others’ located across a variety of boundaries: socio-economic, local, national, regional, continental. I revealed the complex, ambivalent, and messy nature of global citizenship education in practice (Szakács-Behling et al, forthcoming 2020) and ended the talk by reflecting on the possibilities as well as challenges of forming painstakingly self-reflective ‘critical global citizens’ (Andreotti 2014) afforded by the practices we observed in German Schools Abroad.

February 2019

Presentation at the annual conference of the Section Intercultural and International Comparative Education (SIIVE) of the German Society for Educational Science (DGfE), “Beyond the National? Educational Perspectives”, University of Wuppertal, 21-22 February 2019

In this presentation we addressed a key methodological dilemma of researching transnational phenomena in education: how to capture transnational phenomena adequately if our research tools remain firmly anchored in methodological nationalism? A full reconceptualization of the object of study is necessary in order to make the shift towards a methodologically transnational agenda, which in our view means not only researching the transnational but also transnationalising the research. We elaborated on the strategies we used to achieve this goal by drawing on the design and findings of the globalDAS project.

September 2018

Working Group/Panel discussion at the Annual Conference of the School Research and Didactics Commission in the School Pedagogy Section of the German Society for Educational Science (DGfE), “Transnational Perspectives on School and Education”, European University Flensburg, 09 – 11 September 2018

  1. Szakács Behling, Simona; Keßler, Catharina I.: “Researching the Transnational vs. Transnationalizing the Research? Towards a Methodological Turn
    This paper a key methodological turn in researching transnational dynamics in education. Drawing on globalDAS empirical data, the paper proposes to conceive of DAS not just as schools ‘transported’ from one national context to another, but as institutions embedded in complex relational contexts. This allows for researching transnational dynamics by trans-nationalising the research and thereby changing our ways of seeing our research.
  2. Macgilchrist, Felicitas; Bock, Annekatrin: “Global citizens and the media infrastructures of transnational education
    This paper considers how infrastructures shape DAS – and schooling more broadly – as a fourth key element of ‘transnational educational spaces’ along with practices, artefacts, and symbols.
  3. Spielhaus, Riem; Kuchler, Christian: “Educating Cosmopolitan Elites in Egypt
    This paper focuses on the historical and contemporary contexts of German schools in Cairo. Attended largely by children of Egyptian cultural, political and/or economic elites, these schools not only educate the country’s future leaders, but also contribute to the creation of transnational communities

May 2018

Paper presented at the 28th Conference of the Comparative Education Society in Europe (CESE) “Identities and Education: Comparative Perspectives in an Age of Crisis”, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, 30 May 2018

Drawing on the typology of global citizenship models informing educational programs developed by Oxley & Morris (2013), initial findings from the project were presented grouped into four ‘threads’ of ‘transnational engagements’ observed in the everyday practices of the schools: eco-, social, political, and critical – articulating ‘thinner’ or ‘thicker’ conceptions of global citizenship. The findings were critically appraised and anchored in current theoretical debates in comparative education – most notably within discussions about institutionalization and local appropriations of global norms.

March 2018

Poster at the 26th Congress of the German Educational Research Association (DGfE-Deutsche Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft), Universität Duisburg-Essen, 20 March 2018

The poster presented the results of the project for the first time to an informed audience, with the aim of sparking debates and discussion that would push the interpretation of findings further. The poster included: (1) a brief description of the project; (2) preliminary findings supported by visual excerpts (e.g. photos); (3) tentative conclusions leading to the construction of a main argument stemming from this research.

globalDAS Poster

Presentation held at the „Comparative Perspectives on Internationalization in Schools“ Conference at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 6 March 2018.

The presentation drew from the conceptual design of two separate research projects, both of which bring into focus specific forms of schooling located in-between national and transnational organizational forms at the intersection of European and German educational spaces (globalDAS and the author’s own work on ‘Transnational Solidarities’ in the European school space). A comparison between three types of schools was drawn, schools which share an officially promoted European (trans-national) ethos  as well as a special connection to Germany (mostly through bilingual teaching of German and English) but are at the same time located within specific local configurations. Theoretically, the contribution engaged with Sabine Hornberg’s ‘transnational education spaces’ and investigated to what extent this concept is useful in comparing schools of these types empirically.

November 2017

Presentation held at the Winter School of the Comparative and International Education Commission of the German Educational Research Association and the International Cooperation in Education (ice), „Den Vergleich deuten – Reflexionen auf die internationale Perspektive. Methodische und methodologische Fragen der internationalen und vergleichenden Erziehungswissenschaft“. DIPF, Frankfurt am Main, 30 November 2017.

This contribution aimed to: (1) reflect on methods of interpretation and comparison of ethnographic data collected in vastly differing localities, but with similar institutional particularities; (2) bring these reflections to bear on the design of a follow-up study in DAS, which we see as excellent research sites for comparative education research offering unique methodological opportunities and challenges. The presentation focused on two key dilemmas. First, how can the “unit of comparison” conundrum be best addressed through case-selection in terms of comparing schools (not countries) with similar structures, ideals, and logics of operation but different anchorings in local histories and contexts as well as with differently ‘transnational’ school publics. Secondly, we interrogated whether the concept of ‘transnational educational spaces’ borrowed from the sociology of migration by C. Adick (2005) and S. Hornberg (2009) proves useful in making sense of the complex overlaps between the local, national, and international contexts in which DAS conduct their daily activities. In the end, we reflected upon the possibilities afforded by a multinational, interdisciplinary project team itself in overcoming methodological nationalism.