Adapting to change
One of the consequences of the pandemic has been the need to reimagine and redesign the ways that we work.
For CollectivED the Centre for Mentoring Coaching and Professional Learning based in the Carnegie School of Education this included redeveloping a national conference into an online event. Working with our partners Growth Coaching International and Instructional Coaching Group a one day conference became a month of professional learning through knowledge exchange with 250 participants and almost 30 contributors. Our focus was ‘Better Conversations, enhancing education one discussion at a time’, and participants were teachers, leaders, coaches, mentors, researchers and teacher educators from all education sectors.
The conference content was converted into twenty video-based conversations released across four weeks to create a gentle pace for engagement, with opportunities for feedback and discussion provided through the online platform. The knowledge exchange culminated in a live celebration of professional practice and learning with keynote speakers and participatory discussion sessions. Over the four weeks we got glimpses into the forms of engagement by participants. Some shared with each other on twitter that they were cooking family meals while watching the videos or listening to the conversations while they waited for their kids after school. Others talked about how emergent ideas were being discussed by their staff teams. The format was both dynamic and inclusive, and as one participant said, it completely removed her ‘fear of missing out’.
Professor Rachel Lofthouse, Director of CollectivED, reflected on the event with appreciation, “CollectivED has ambitions to break down barriers that exist in education, between sectors, between practitioners and researchers and between professionals working in different roles. We do this in the belief that education that works for all needs to be based on conversations with purpose, and that diffuse expertise needs to be shared in safe and productive spaces. We were thrilled that despite the pandemic interrupting normal service CollectivED was able to create just that.”
Rachel Lofthouse is Professor of Teacher Education in the Carnegie School of Education. She has a specific research interest in professional learning, exploring how teachers learn and how they can be supported to put that learning into practice.