This year sees the third St Albans School Forum on Education (SASFE) on Saturday 12th May. An energetic conference with a small-scale and very human touch; delegates are not there to make up the numbers but are part of a forum. SASFE is very much built on the successes of conferences such as the Schools History Project, TLAB, Pedagoo and other events of that ilk. There is no hidden agenda, no corporate branding and it is not-for-profit. We simply put on an event hosted by teachers, for teachers, listening to and learning from our peers. Taking the best aspects of a TeachMeet and combining an overarching theme with plenty of time to stop, think and discuss what is being presented. Conversations flow throughout the day (they might even end up in pub after the official event is over!) and hopefully impact on actual teachers in classrooms over the country.
Our theme for 2018 is ‘Questions and Questioning’ with keynotes from Drs Caroline Creaby, Nick Dennis and Bettina Hohnen, as well as three seminars from a variety of figures in education. Tickets for this event are just £27 and this includes on-site parking, refreshments and lunch. To preserve the smaller-scale feel of the day places are limited, so if you are interested please book tickets via TicketSource (booking fee applies) or get in touch via email.
In the past SASFE has tackled ‘Assessment and Feedback’ and ‘Learning Relationships’. This year’s theme looks to explore the importance of questions. Teachers ask questions all of the time, it is an ever-present weapon in the armoury of teachers around the world. What could be more apt than starting to question questioning? Chris Moyse’s excellent series of Research in 100 Words posters features ‘Ask Questions’. In it he surmises that the most effective teachers ask pupils to explain how they answered a question, honing in on the thought process rather than just the final answer. Come and join us to question questioning itself. It is the delegates that really make the conference so worthwhile; I do hope you might consider coming along and experiencing SASFE for yourself.
Thoughts from SASFE17: Education is in good hands
Thoughts from SASFE16: The Conversation
Forum on Education is a teaching and learning conference being hosted in St Albans on Saturday 28th May.
I remember clearly the spark that generated my renewed passion for teaching and learning. It occurred at the inaugural Teaching, Learning and Assessment conference at Berkhamsted School in March 2013. Throughout the day I was both comforted by agreement and challenged by differing views. More impressively my eyes were opened to hardworking teachers willing to give up a day of well-earned weekend. Spark after spark of enthusiasm and possibility on show all around. Post-conference the spark started to catch. The incandescence of Twitter – with its myriad ways to interact, view and discuss education – swiftly followed and the glow became brighter. Then bursting into flames and bringing forth this very blog: tlamjs being a homage to the Teaching, Leaning and Assessment of TLAB. Numerous times my curiosity and appetite for information and discussion has been sated by interacting with and sharing ideas online with a huge host of active educationalists and teachers. The fire was fed oxygen from discussion, debate and agreement. Continuing to burn, even illuminating colleagues and friends along the way.
It is this luminosity that I hope Forum on Education will bring to its delegates, twinkling beyond to the children and colleagues they work with. A day to provide the spark for thought and reflection. The intimacy of the conference eschews the grandstanding of some events, the smaller number of delegates as a catalyst to allow more in-depth conversation to occur. Allowing conversations the oxygen to crackle into life, the flames fanned through discussion and burn throughout the day. There will be no shortage of sparks. Just look at the line-up of speakers, leading figures in education. Many have already achieved recognition for their contributions. Others are more than on their way to be the leaders of the future. This combined heat igniting a veritable feast of educational pyrotechnics that will take hold, influencing and aiding the learning of students, both now and in the years ahead.
With just under two weeks until Saturday 28th May there is still time to book a ticket to be part of the day. Act quickly as due to the nature of the day places are limited. I do hope you will be able to join us as the sparks fly upwards.
Header picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons