Recently I joined 1400 educators at ACEL’s International Conference titled ‘New Imagery for Schools and Schooling’ in Sydney. It was an outstanding conference in all respects. The quality of the input was amazing. Peter Senge gave a presentation that I believe set a benchmark in its content and delivery. This was my experience throughout the conference.
We, as a profession, are lucky to have the intellectual capacity on show at conferences such as these. What I found outstanding was the honesty of the presenters who named the challenges we face in delivering schooling in today’s world. They tackled the issues squarely without blame or excuses and provided concrete strategies and practical directions.
My second observation was the obvious rigour in the research that underpinned the positions of presenters. These were not the shallow musings of academics removed from the day to day reality of schooling. This was quality thinking based on sound evidence and excellent theory.
Finally, I was heartened to see there is an obvious “narrowing” of the gap between the “theory makers and the practitioners”. The workshops, led by teachers showed the same rigour – referenced to good literature and evidenced-based theory. The dialogue and debate were robust and strong and I was proud to be a part of it.