RISE Annual Conference 2020

Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford, UK
Picture of the Inamori Forum at the RISE Annual Conference 2018 at the Blavatnik School of Government

Call for Papers

Deadline Friday, 27 March 2020

We invite you to submit a paper for, or express your interest in attending, the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) Programme Annual Conference (see the 2019 Annual Conference event page).

Countries made dramatic progress on schooling goals with systems that were coherent around the expansion of schooling. To achieve learning goals, systems of basic education need to construct relationships of accountability and support that are coherent around expanding learning for all —and these do not currently exist in many countries. RISE is seeking to diagnose why such incoherencies exist, and to propose therapeutic solutions that are evidence supported, analytically grounded, and contextually adapted.

The 2020 RISE Conference will cover both diagnostic and therapeutic themes. Presentations will draw on research undertaken in RISE countries: Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam. In addition, we are issuing an open call for papers from researchers working on these and any other developing countries.

Submissions are invited in any area of research relating to education systems, including all themes at past RISE conferences. Papers touching on the following topics are particularly welcome:

  • The Teaching Profession – What system factors account for the divergence between formal rules and regulations, and the norms that shape behaviour of front-line educators, often in ways that contradict the formal rules?  How do professional norms mediate education system reforms? How is the teaching role viewed in society, and how does this impact the ability to attract and motivate effective teachers?
  • Instructional Practices – What system factors account for the lack of pressure or incentives to use the most effective (evidence-based and resulting in more learning) instructional practices in the classroom? Lack of information? Lack of accountability? How is politics shaping variation in instructional practices within, and across, education systems?

Full papers should be submitted by noon GMT on Friday, 27 March 2020 to rise@bsg.ox.ac.uk. Ideally, the paper will be at (or close to) the stage of submitting to a working paper series. More preliminary work and/or abstracts will be considered for inclusion, if space allows. There is no maximum or minimum word limit, or required format. If you are interested in attending the conference, please visit the RISE website and fill in the online form. Email correspondence can be directed to the RISE communications team (rise@bsg.ox.ac.uk). Authors of accepted papers will be notified no later than 24 April 2020. RISE will reimburse the cost of return travel and up to two nights’ accommodation in Oxford for all presenters. General attendees will be notified of a place at the conference from May 2020.

Download the Call for Papers (PDF)

RISE Conference Themes 2016-2019 (Call for Papers)

  • Information and Assessment (e.g., What changes occur when key actors in the system—civil servants, principals, teachers, parents—are given better information about learning outcomes? What is measured, how well, and how is this information used?)
  • Financing and Resources (e.g., Do schools lack access to credit and/or support services? What changes occur when any such constraints are relaxed? How are schools funded by government, parents, and communities?)
  • Teachers (e.g., How can the education system support individuals to become effective teachers and ensure that the best teachers remain in the schools that need them? How are teachers recruited, and how are they trained and supported?)
  • Curriculum (e.g., Is teaching taking place at the right level? What is being taught in classrooms? Which curricula and teaching methods are proving in/effective?)
  • Governance (e.g., How do system features such as the degree of school autonomy and stakeholder engagement affect teacher behaviour, and learning outcomes?)
  • The Political Economy of Reform (e.g., What are the key political obstacles to adopting learning-oriented education reforms, and how have some systems overcome them? What problems of implementation arise during piloting and at scale, and how can these challenges be tackled?)
  • Demand for Education (e.g., What are stakeholders demanding from education systems? Can stakeholders provide demand-side accountability that drives up education quality?)
  • Alternative Modalities of Provision (e.g., What role, if any, should non-state actors play in school finance and/or management? Can private schools, or public-private partnerships, be an effective alternative to conventional state schools, and if so, how should they be designed, governed, or regulated?)
  • Learning Inequalities and Social Mobility (e.g., How should we measure learning to draw meaningful comparisons across groups and countries, and over time? Where do learning inequalities exist, and why? How, and to what extent, can more equitable learning contribute to better life outcomes?)
  • Innovation (e.g., Are education systems generating, evaluating, and scaling system-wide innovations in learning, and if not, why not?)