researchED DC: Tickets Available Now!

No surprise if you’ve read this space, I’ve believed for quite a while that a practice-focused, classroom-up approach to reform is our enterprise’s best hope for meaningful and lasting improvement. (Chapters 7-9 of my Education Is Upside-Down, in factdiscuss the limitations I see in the beliefs/methods of the structural reformers currently dominating the US reform conversation.)

That said, it’s actually very hard to find US organizations that are practitioner-driven and tightly focused on improving instructional practices. For example: several practitioner-based orgs exist, but they more likely exist to influence policy or to ‘elevate teacher voice’; education orgs that are practice-focused, conversely, are more likely to come from outside the classroom, lacking the perspective necessary to properly effect change; etc., etc.

With all such in mind, I’ve waited my whole career in education for an organization and practitioner community like researchED, the British nonprofit dedicated to improving educators’ research literacy. Having attended and spoken at multiple researchED conferences and, as a result, plugged into a social-media-powered network of educators who continually push my thinking and guide me toward notable ed research/ideas, I’ve seen its power and potential up close. (Incidentally, quite a few others around the world are as taken by researchED as I am: in addition to the variety of conferences offered in the UK, the organization has recently hosted conferences in Sweden, Australia, and Amsterdam.) And, subsequently, I’ve done a lot of thinking (wishing?) about how a similar grassroots effort can take off in the US.

And thanks to researchED founder Tom Bennett’s openness, we’ll be seeing another of their conferences over here in the fall — 29 October, that is, in Washington, DC. I’ve been lucky to have a hand in organizing it, and I don’t mind telling you that the initial lineup is quite amazing (and growing — write me if interested in speaking). Confirmed speakers so far include the likes of Dylan Wiliam, Benjamin Riley, Annie Murphy Paul, David Didau, the Learning Scientists, Robert Pondiscio, and many more. (I managed to sneak myself in there, too.)

If interested in tickets or learning more about the speakers & session emphases, check out the event site. Please, too, be in touch if you have questions about the organization or the event. I’d sure love if you’d consider coming to experience it for yourself.

Advertisements

4 comments

  1. Thanks for posting this–I plan on attending now!

    I just finished your book and enjoyed it, finding myself nodding “yes” an awful lot. A couple of things that came to mind:

    –while you take proessive ed to task, it would be interesting to focus more on the alternatives from a pedagogical standpoint–teacher centric approaches, direct instruction, explicit instruction–many of the things that Greg Ashman highlights in his blog.

    –Danielson’s Framework is pernicious in making the problem worse. I appreciate the pages spent on it, but it is rapidly becomming the standard teacher evaluation instrument across the US. A more direct hit on this would be useful–in particular it’s lack of a research-based foundtion, despite its advertisements.

    –The ed schools need to get away from teaching so much pedagogy over content knowledge. Too many graduates are indoctinated into the progressive educational pedagogy, but lack a firm foundation in their field of study. We need to get away from ed majors with minors in their fields to the opposite: majors who are passionat about their fields with minors in ed. You rightly focus on the content knowledge aspect which gets left behind–I might suggest a part of this issue is that the teachers themselves don’t feel confident in the material and do not get prof dev opportunities to expand their content area knowledge.

    Otherwise, thanks for taking the time to produce your book and to keep your blog! I hope to meet you in October!

    1. Thanks so much, David. I agree, much more space could have been given to each of the pieces you mention. In those sections I decided to forego the rabbit holes for flow’s sake, I guess. Perhaps I’ll take those on a bit more in future works. 🙂 For now, someone like Greg Ashman pretty much speaks what’s on my mind and in smaller, more regular doses. (He’s a machine, very thankful for him.)
      Thanks so much for reading, David. Be in touch, I hope to meet you at researchED!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s