Reading Time: Approx 3mins
The first conference of its kind in the North East brought together an assortment of thought leaders from the contemporary education scene.
They were there to present to an audience of enthusiastic, geeky-about-education, passionate teachers and other education professionals. All this at the beautiful (even in the rain) Durham School which hosted the day.
As Deputy Head at the school, I was particularly keen for the event to go well, and as an ‘edu-geek’ myself I was excited about the prospect of seeing Rob Coe, Sarah Donarski, Kris Boulton and many more without having to travel hundreds of miles.
The event kicked off, after words of welcome from Headmaster Kieran McLaughlin and Helene Galdin-O’Shea from researchEd, with Professor Robert Coe of CEM talking about assessment and how it might not be telling us what we think it is. This is a recurring theme with Prof Coe and it was one that ran throughout the day and stimulated much of the post-conference discussion (argument? Maybe, but always good natured).
Later in the day, we heard from Gary Jones and Adrian Simpson on effect sizes and why things might not be as clear-cut as we had imagined. Recently published articles have discussed Hattie’s meta-analyses and why they may be telling us something other than what is the most effective intervention.
Gary and Adrian made this point strongly, backed up with examples and counter-examples. Do meta-analyses pass the dipstick test? They thought not, if the original experiments did not have the same initial conditions and comparisons.
Add this to Stuart Kime’s talk ‘What every teacher needs to know about assessment’ and the day’s focus on assessment, its validity and how we should respond to what it tells us (or what we think it tells us) was becoming clear. Stuart’s talk was standing room only which shows the depth of enthusiasm amongst the delegates to understand more about this fundamental part of our professional life.
My other highlights of the day were a fascinating discussion with Sarah Donarski on whether verbal or written feedback was more likely to improve pupils learning (in case you are wondering, they are both useful in their own way) and Kris Boulton’s talk on Direct instruction. It seems that the ‘old fashioned’ chalk and talk methods of teaching are very close to methods that are scientifically verified and backed by years of research (so close in fact, that I would challenge anyone to tell them apart).
We hosted 150 delegates, mostly teachers from Durham City and the surrounding area, as well as the twenty speakers, who came away feeling energised and enthused by the ideas and issues discussed.
Each speaker presented something thought-provoking and challenging, and we appreciated the time they had given to the event.
All that remains is to look forward to researchEd Durham 2019!
On 4th June 2019 in Durham, CEM will be hosting The Big Evidence Debate with presentations by Dylan Wiliam, Larry Hedges, Prof Coe and many more