Annual Meeting 2024 in St. Gallen

          «Belonging & Connecting»

This year's meeting will be titled «Belonging & Connecting» and take place on January 10th and 11th 2024 in St. Gallen. The meeting will be jointly organized by the Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences and the Thurgau University of Teacher Education.

The question of belonging has become more important in postmodern mobility. Studies show that the experience of belonging is important for children's agency, development, evolving identities, and their overall well-being. Therefore, in recent years, researchers in a variety of fields, including psychology, education, human geography, social sciences, migration studies and political sciences, have shown increasing interest in exploring belonging. Overall, it seems that belonging is a multidimensional concept that has been used to refer to a variety of issues at different levels. However, this is all linked to the question of how to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for young children in different settings (e.g., educational institutions, families, communities, health programs).

We are very pleased to have two experts as keynote speakers at the conference who will share their expertise on children's perspectives on belonging in educational settings and on the impact of belonging on the integration of refugee children:


Dr. Jaana Juutinen (FIN) | Faculty of Education and Psychology | University of Oulu

Prof. Dr. Nicole Ives (CA) | School of Social Work | McGill University, Montreal


In addition, the recent discourse on family-centred networking in Switzerland raises the challenge of how different disciplinary approaches and professionals in different settings can connect and work together for the benefit of all young children (and their families), particularly those with special needs or refugee children. We are delighted that our partner Alliance Enfance has already committed to a workshop to discuss how family-centred networking could bring together professionals from different disciplines and settings.

We also have the opportunity to publish a special issue in the open access Journal Swiss Psychology Open. If you are interested to submit the full paper of your conference presentation for this journal after the conference you can indicate your interest when submitting your abstract.


Date and Venue:

Wednesday and Thursday | January 10th and 11th 2024
OST-Ostschweizer Fachhochschule:
Rosenbergstr. 56, Fachhochschulzentrum (the only high-rised building behind the train station)
CH-9001 St. Gallen


Organizing Committee

Prof. Dr. Maren Zeller | Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Dr. Bettina Grubenmann | Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Dr. Sonja Perren | Thurgau University of Teacher Education
Prof. Dr. Carine Burkhardt Bossi | Thurgau University of Teacher Education
Karina Iskrzycki | Thurgau University of Teacher Education
Johanna Lieb | Thurgau University of Teacher Education
Olena Schopf | SSECR