Wednesday, 3 April 2013

A word about #PedagooLondon... at long last

Too much has happened over the last month; it's prevented me from recording a few thoughts on the day... but what a day it was! I'm unlikely to forget it for a long time yet.

The lasting impressions are, quite randomly:
- I loved the vibe and ethos of the day, its coherent message;
- people enjoyed it;
- participants got something out of it, an idea, a thought, a reflection, or in a few cases, confirmation that SOLO is not for them;
- presenters seemed to enjoy delivering their sessions and engaging in conversation with colleagues;
- it was a non-ego day;
- I loved the whole day and feel quite proud of what we put together;
- I remain awed by the generosity of colleagues, awed by the willingness shown by some many to come along to London on a Saturday and take part in a CPD event that was resolutely by teachers, for teachers, awed by the good humour, enthusiasm and warmth shown by so many people;
- I feel like I have made a good number of friends in the process, some to whom I feel indebted and eager to return any favour I can.

And I could gush in this way for a while longer...

In brief, much has happened since but it is still fresh in my memory.

The wiki:


Right, let's try a proper write-up:

It was with trepidation that I left the house on Saturday 2nd March, headed for the Institute of Education in London, where Part 1 of #Pedagoo London would enfold shortly. It had been a labour of love organising it. Inspired by #Pedagooxmasparty organised by Lisa Jane Ashes in Newscastle, I was keen to develop a similar format for a TeachMeet. The spirit of Pedagoo TeachMeets is firmly focused on professional collaboration and discussion. I wanted colleagues to enjoy a day of reflection as much as anything else.  I wanted participants to feel the 'buzz' I had felt at my first TeachMeet - this feeling of reclaiming our sense of Agency and taking the reins of our own professional development, this feeling of being amongst like-minded colleagues keen to develop their practice, not by nodding blindly at new ideas but by engaging in a professional dialogue and asking challenging questions. And above all, this happens at ground level: teachers talking to teachers based on their own experience, reading, reflection.

The day was split in two.
Firstly the afternoon devoted to longer presentations and/or workshops and since attendees had had a chance to choose their sessions in advance, I really hoped that they felt that different needs had been catered for. The whole thing would be framed with an opening keynote by Keven Bartle, (summing up the day beautifully with his Trojan Mice/Guerilla teacher idea and "bottom up' approach to PD and recapturing professional autonomy - watch it here), and a plenary by John Tomsett sharing impressions of the day, highlighting the importance of professional collaboration beyond the walls of one establishment (and more and more through social media) and sending us off with a smile at the thought of a day well-spent.
Secondly, there was an evening TeachMeet, a more traditional affair, with colleagues sharing an aspect of their practice in a short presentation. I had loved Lisa's evening TeachMeet at Blake's in Newcastle as it was warm, intimate and in a licenced place! We opted for a pub and a limited number of attendees and I am so glad we did. Some of the presentations can be watched here, here and here (have a look at the playlist)

For me, both parts of the day were successful thanks to the quality of the presentations. Everybody whom I had approached said they would take part despite many of them feeling very nervous. I was awed once again by the enthusiasm, commitment, generosity and friendliness of these educators. And I like the breadth of topics on offer, and especially the fact that, as someone who attended put it, you could go from one session on strategies to organise effective group work (Rachael Stevens' excellent Box of Tricks presentation) to another in which Tom Bennett took his usual pleasure in denouncing group work as pointless (and probably harmful - scrap that, deadly...) But this is important too; to find oneself in the middle of an echo chamber would be fairly misguided in terms of professional development!

For the afternoon sessions, the brief was clear: I had asked speakers to share "tried and tested pedagogy" from their own classrooms, particularly something that they felt had had a clear impact on their pupils' learning. Alternatively, I had asked presenters to discuss an area of pedagogy for which they were responsible at their school and to present ways in which they were developing it. Central to each sessions should be discussion time. I wasn't disappointed by the quality of the sessions on offer! Below are some links to different blogs and sites which are more eloquent than I could ever be.
I hope you take the time to investigate some of them.

It was a fantastic and inspiring day. I am particularly pleased that so many attendees took something away from it and implemented it in their own classrooms the following week. Many wrote or tweeted to explain that they had adapted an aspect of their planning or their Scheme of Work as a direct result of attending #PedagooLondon. And this leaves me with a broad smile. This is exactly what Pedagoo is about.

Now to start planning the next TeachMeet.... Hope to see you there!

The brilliant and ever-reliable Leon Cych (@eyebeams on Twitter) not only provided filming equipment on the day but also interviewed many people for their thoughts and impressions. He has usefully pulled it all together here:

Martin Burrett (@ICTMagic) put together a Pedagoo Tweet Archive for which I am incredibly grateful:

And here are lovely Karen's reflections on the day:

and Kenny Pieper's reflections:

Other links:

Punk Learning at Pedagoo London - Tait Coles' session

Alex Bellars' Prezi: Depth

Athena Pitsillis' Trajan Columns session

Gordon Baillie's session:

David Fawcett's session:

Chris Waugh's post and presentation:

David Didau's post and presentation:

John Tomsett's session:

Tom Bennett's reflections on the day:

Extract from Lisa Jane Ashes' session:

Extract from Aleisha Woodley's session:

Extract from Laura Sutherland's session:

Extract from Tom Bennett's session:

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