Monday, 23 May 2016

researchED Melbourne 21 May 2016

This weekend saw the researchED world tour arrive in Melbourne, Australia and hosted by the Brighton Grammar School.  As per usual, there was a range of fabulous speakers, drawn from academia, schools and think-tanks and I was lucky enough to see and hear:

  • Professor Patrick Griffin on Collaborative Teacher Teams and Student Growth
  • Professor Geoff Masters on Schools and Learning Organisations
  • John Bush on Creating the Conditions for Evidence-Informed Practice
  • Ray Swann and Improving the Quality of Decisions in Schools using Evidence
  • Deborah Netolicky, Chris Munro, Jon Andrews and Corinne Campbell on Impacts and Challenges of Coaching in Australian Education Contexts
  • Dr Anthony Dillon on The Applicability of Positive Psychology to Indigenous Australians
Indeed, if you would like to read more about researchED Melbourne a number of attendees have already written blogposts ( which to be be frank are far better than anything I can write).  So have a look at the words of 

As for me, I have three observations.

First, there is much criticism of social media as being a divisive medium - yet researchED is a tremendous example of how social media can be used to physically bring professionals together.  Not only does Twitter help colleagues from individual countries come together but it creates conditions whereby colleagues from across the globe can come together and consider the things that matter.  And from my experience of researchED events held in Australia, America and Scandinavia - the similarities between interests and needs of teachers across the world are far greater than the differences.

Second, maybe schools need to re-think the scope of their professional learning communities.  Given the ease with which contacts can be made with colleagues around the world and who are willing to share their time and expertise, school professional learning communities which are made up of exclusively of individuals from within the same school (and country) may well be underdeveloped.  School professional learning communities need to give some thought to how strategically they can access expertise and insight from outside the school.  Indeed, it would be interesting to think what would be the conditions necessary for successful Joint Professional Development, where that JPD spanned the globe.

Third, at sessions like researchED, when you are presenting you have to be aware that your words can sometimes be reaching a world-wide audience before you even finish the sentence. In my session was on What Would a Curriculum to Develop Evidence-Based Practitioners Look Like? (which looked to develop themes I had explored previously on both  Sunday 3 April 2016  and Sunday 21 June 2015), one comment I made during the session appeared to set the fingers tapping away on smartphones both during the session and subsequently with a number of likes and re-tweets.

And finally, researchED relies on individuals giving freely of both their time and expertise - so  a big thanks must go to Ray Swann of Brighton Grammar School and his team of volunteers, who did so much work in the background to make the researchED Melbourne such a big success.


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