researchED 2013 is a national conference for teachers, researchers, and anyone interested in evidence-based education. How can evidence best be used to inform the way we teach? What does and doesn’t work? What do we mean by good evidence, and how do we recognise it? What type of research is meaningful, and what are the boundaries – if any – to the enquiry?
The theme of the conference is simple: working out what works. How we discover this, and how to answer the questions above, might be less so. For too long, teachers in schools and those working in research have been strangers to each other, or have often been at odds with one another. Many teachers complain of the tension between what they are told works, and what appears to work in the classroom. The appetite for educational research has often been blunted by the experience of fashionable research of questionable provenance.
But there are armies of scientists, psychologists, statisticians and academic organisations already working towards the goal of working out what works. Their efforts are often drowned out by the din and static of fantastical claims and snake oil, commercial interests and cargo cult science.
This conference seeks to bring teacher and researcher together. To draw out the best of the practitioner’s experience and the analyst’s theory, and produce something better: evidence based education that actually fits the classroom, rather than attempts to make the classroom fit it.
researchED 2013 started out as a grassroots project; everything about it has been created by people who love education, love teaching children, and who have given their time for free because they want to be part of a conversation that will help children succeed. Everything, from website design, to administration to speaker participation has been pro bono. The conference is entirely non-profit, and that’s the way it’s going to stay. We either do this because we care about the intrinsic goals of learning, or we don’t do it at all.
On September 7th 2013, a collection of some of the UK (and beyond)’s best researchers, writers, teachers, school leaders and academics will come together and talk about where we are now, and where we go next. There will be keynote presentations from world experts, challenging debate panels, practical sessions, and most importantly, collaboration between the often non-overlapping magisteria of school and laboratory.
I’ve been staggered by the generosity of all contributors; I’m equally staggered by the appetite for evidence based education that this conference has uncovered.
Come along, and be part of the conversation. Dress code: interested.
I look forward to seeing you there