A big thanks to Sussex University Education Team who hosted their 1stAnnual Education Research Conference on Tuesday 7th July, 2015.
At the end of a long day for everyone involved it was great to experience the range of research that is being carried out by schools across the South East region.
There were teachers and leaders from schools, colleges and the university, representing all different stages of a career in education making it a positive learning experience for all involved. It emphasised the prime importance of connection in education, and indeed in any profession.
I once heard a bank manager say that they ‘hated’ networking meetings but I suspect what they really meant was that they intensely disliked the idea of going into a room with the mission being to collect as many business cards as possible from people who were trying to achieve the same outcome. Limited objective equals limited personal and professional investment.
The Sussex Research Network is a great example of how well-considered networking can work so well. Although it has been established for just one year, it has purpose and it has research leaders who are teachers committed to researching practice through a Masters qualification framework.
At the beginning of the conference we were encouraged to learn about ourselves, our schools and to be aspirational in the quality of our work and it struck me isn’t this what we want for our pupils too? One of the most interesting conversations for me was when we discussed whether the pupils in one school knew what their teachers were doing: ‘Yes, and they think it’s cool’ was the response. When we learn something new, we are back in the process of learning, it gives us insights once again into that learning journey. With thought and informed reflection it can enable us to connect with those we teach and show them that we are all learners, even if we are in different places on the map of learning.