No question, attending researchED’s NY conference last May had a huge impact on me. After spending almost 20 years subject to education’s bad-to-infuriating professional learning, the conference — its speakers, its quality of debate & ideas, its intellectually serious but irreverent spirit, all of it — was like a huge ray of light onto my career. (Plus, I got to actually meet and talk to people whose work I’d read and admired for a long time: Dan Willingham, Daisy Christodoulou, Karin Chenoweth, Ben Riley, etc., etc.)
Most of all, though, I appreciated seeing people puzzling over the things that I spend so many chapters in my book arguing for as what should be the main improvement focus for the education enterprise: improving practice by building the right understandings in educators and not, rather, assuming huge numbers of educators are fundamentally inept, spending scads of money & time to smack educators into line (or outright replace them), or seeking to innovate all our kids into better learning situations.
Needless to say, then, I’m excited beyond words to be hopping on a plane Thursday for another researchED event, their national conference in London. I’ll be speaking (on matters related to Education Is Upside-Down‘s chapter six), but I’m even more excited for the learning. In the past few months I’ve gotten to know a lot of the conference’s speakers via social media — and as much as they’ve impressed me there, I figure they’ll make me dizzy when not hemmed in by things like Twitter’s character limits.
If you zoom in on the timetable attached to this post, you’ll see that I have a lot of tough choices to make with my day scheduling. Simply, the lineup is an embarrassment of ed-thought riches. If you’d like to help me by sending suggestions, please do. I’ll happily take notes and report back. More next week!