The Standing Committee on Teacher Education North and South (that is one very long name!) conference was in Armagh City this year. I was delighted to be invited to take part.
There was a pre-conference audience for researchers with Etienne Wenger-Trayner, “Communities of Practice” expert. This went on for quite a long time longer than planned, because of his interest and willingness to tease out participants’ questions and comments. The discussion was illuminating, especially for the newer researchers. Thanks for this gift, SCoTENS committee.
I was taken by how many times Teachmeet was mentioned by speakers in the afternoon plenary session. In particular Margery McMahon’s listing of TeachMeet, Pedagoo and teacher blogs as ‘bottom up’ CPD, during her pitch before a panel discussion. Sidebar: The alphabet was being seriously juggled during this conference – we had CPD, PD, PL, and finally TL. Later, over dinner, I heard CPL. (C for continuing, P for professional, L for learning, T for teacher). Their use is all a little higgledy piggledy at the moment, in a sort of Betamax-VHS way.
The Friday morning workshop with John Peto (from the Nerve Centre, Derry) and Brendan Tangney (of Bridge21 in Trinity College), Dublin had some good discussion around learning. And I was delighted with my 3D printed model of the Lusitania.
Mealtimes were a treat – it was great to meet and catch up with some good people – so, Marie Therese Killen, Mairin Glenn, Catriona McDonagh, Siobhan O’Sulivan, John Peto, Seamie O’Neill and Annette Kearns, thank you for the great company.
Conor Galvin of UCD hosted a round table of invited doctoral researchers, each at a different stage of their work. In “flipping the seminar”, Teachmeet (or #DocMeet?) style, he’d asked each of us to do a micro-presentation, but also to prepare in advance a simple formative assessment of one of the others’ written summary, ‘two stars and a wish’ style. Conference guest Etienne Wenger joined to listen to each story, and add his tuppence worth to the feedback. This was a very powerful session – the depth of the passion of the researchers as they told their stories to date was very encouraging for a beginner. The collegiate feedback was generous and incisive.
Thank you, SCoTENS, for the invitation to take part; this community of generous and bright people is a serious support system, and access to it is very much appreciated.