This last week saw an explosion of pent-up frustration. It started with an argument sparked by a prominent edu-tweeter and then rapidly moved on to a critique of researchED.
You could almost sense the release of pressure. All of a sudden, armchair pundits everywhere were having their say on what researchED should be and how it should be run.
Since the initial diffuse criticisms, it has emerged that there are those out there who value different things. To them, researchED is ‘positivistic’, too critical of teacher education and too concerned with a narrow view of ‘what works’. They would prefer it to pursue and promote their own priorities rather than those of the people who run it and organise it all. And you can understand why. After all, researchED is pretty successful.
As a grassroots movement, researchED is capable of mobilising teachers on their precious weekends to come and listen to researchers and fellow teachers discuss the practical application of empirical education research. It has now grown into an international movement, running conferences in different continents. And it has achieved this without charging $600 a ticket thanks to partnering with a range of people and organisations who see its value.
Who wouldn’t want a piece of that?
Well, I have an idea. Don’t be disheartened if researchED doesn’t promote your agenda. Instead, why not consider starting a movement of your own? For instance, there could be a pomoED that is largely uninterested in practical applications and ‘what works’. Instead, it could focus on dialectic, critical pedagogy and all that kind of caper. Organisers would be free to monitor presenters’ ethnicities and genders in whatever way they saw fit.
All you would need to do is find the right partners, put it out there and see what happens. I’m sure that there are plenty of teachers literally dying at the thought of an opportunity like this.