Image by David Gilmour

I just thought I’d do a little post mainly thanking absolutely everyone involved in TeachMeet Pedagoo❤Libraries in Edinburgh yesterday, but with a few other thoughts too. As I travelled into Edinburgh on the train my nerves grew and grew, but I needn’t have worried. The venue was fantastic (thank you to Edinburgh Libraries), everything was ready to go on time (thanks Colm, Kirsty and David), folk got stuck in from the start and helped out welcoming everyone arriving (thanks Dave and Kenny), and most importantly of all…the workshops were fantastic. Many many thanks to all the workshop leaders who put themselves out there to share their practice…and also to everyone else for coming and joining in with such enthusiasm.

Obviously, it’s a little stressful putting together an event such as this but it makes it all worthwhile once I get to sit back and eavesdrop on the conversations in the workshops. There was clearly a high level of professional dialogue and the word of the day seemed to be passion.

The evening event was more of a challenge this time…at tmSLFringe we just went to the bar in the evening. This time I wanted to have a bit more structured sharing so we sat around one big table in the function room of a nearby pub and took turns sharing our practice for two minutes each. It was an experiment, but in the end I thought it worked well and was worth doing. We certainly had a fun evening and shared some interesting ideas.

For my two minutes in the evening I was planning to talk about something along the lines of my thoughts on risk…but I changed my mind once we got talking about Curriculum for Excellence. I kind of wished I hadn’t now as I don’t think I explained my point as clearly as I could have.

I think CfE is, by and large, a great thing. It is an opportunity for teachers who wish to innovate and improve their practice. I still remember the sense of permission I felt when I first read BtC3. However, CfE inevitably has its issues. There is a tendency to place the blame for those issues on others such as Senior Management Teams, Local Authorities, Education Scotland, SQA, Scottish Government, etc. Whilst all of these stakeholders have played their part in making CfE what it is, both positively and negatively, I find it disempowering to the teaching profession to pass all of the blame for any shortcomings in the curriculum to others.

We wrote Curriculum for Excellence in the form of seconded teachers and SQA appointees and we are the ones implementing it daily. AV Kelly makes very interesting points in The Curriculum about the fundamental role teachers play in the implementation of a curriculum but I worry that we won’t make the most of this potential until we stop always blaming others and accept the curriculum as our own, warts and all, and make it work for our learners.

And that takes me neatly back to Pedagoo. Part of the idea behind Pedagoo was to create a community where teachers can take control of our practice and professional development which ultimately impacts on the implementation of the curriculum. Pedagoo is a coming together of educators who are passionate about making the curricula we have work for our learners, and that couldn’t have been more evident than yesterday.

Thank you all again.