Founding of the Association

At the beginning of the 1990s, Czech society was undergoing fundamental transformations, which were also reflected in the state of Czech science and hence of education. At that time, educational science was in a rather dismal state, with low prestige, isolated from the development of education abroad, empirical research was lacking, there was no educational dictionary or handbook of research methods in education, there was a lack of young researchers, etc.

Research in the field of education was considerably underdeveloped, fragmented, episodic, and uncoordinated. Although certain research activities had been carried out, and many of them of high quality, there was an urgent need on the part of many experts to exchange information with each other, coordinate professionally, and actively grasp the process of all the expected changes in education. The idea of creating an organizational platform for the development of Czech educational research was initiated.

At the beginning of 1992, the first preparatory meeting was initiated by a group of enthusiastic experts in education and psychology, and a broad professional community was addressed. This is what the initiator of the idea of setting up a scientific society, the founding member of the Association and its first President, the Honorary President prof. Jan Průcha said about that time (Průcha, J. How and why we created CAPV [Jak a proč jsme vytvořili ČAPV]. Plenary speech at the jubilee 20th CAPV Conference in Prague 2012):

“At the beginning of 1992, I reached out to several colleagues whom I trusted, both as a professional and a person, and who were willing to participate in establishing an association. I also sent out letters to various educational institutions, informing them about the forthcoming association, its objectives, and offering collaboration…”

On 21 May 1992, a constituent meeting was held to create CAPV, with an admirable attendance of 160 experts, mostly from university institutions, but also practicing teachers. This day is considered the birth of the Czech Educational Research Association. The members of the first Executive Board were: Petr Byčkovský, Jaroslav Kalous, Jiří Mareš, Stanislav Navrátil, Jan Průcha (elected the first President), Stanislav Štech and Eliška Walterová. The first major event of the newly established association was the 1st National Conference on Educational Research, which took place the following year (1993) at the Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague. The importance of the first conference was underlined by the participation of the then Minister of Education Petr Piťha, the Rector of Charles University Radim Palouš, and the Dean of the Faculty Jiří Kotásek. The conference proceedings were published, which, apart from the contributions made, also contained the CAPV Memorandum upon which the participants agreed. The text, among other things, also highlighted a key idea for the future functioning of the Association:

“The revival of Czech educational science and research must come primarily from the researchers themselves. It must grow from their own initiative, constructiveness and diligence.”

In the following years, national conferences were held annually in various places, usually at the Czech Faculties of Education. The rule of rotation of the conference venue leaves room for networking among Czech educational researchers in various institutions. CAPV is a founding member of the European Educational Research Association EERA. The proceedings of all the CAPV conferences are always published. Doctoral methodological seminars have become a part of the national conferences since 2000. The Association fosters youth engagement by recruiting new members. In recent years, an electronic newsletter has also been published. The CAPV members include renowned authors of a repeatedly published educational dictionary, educational encyclopedia and a number of quality research and methodological publications.