2018 was a milestone for us at researchED: five years since our first conference in Dulwich, London, and no one could have predicted where it would take us. In the last year alone, we’ve been to New Zealand, Pretoria, Toronto, the Netherlands, Sweden, Philadelphia, and dozens of other places in the UK and beyond. The national UK conference sold out at 1300 attendees, with a waiting list of 600 more. In 2019 we’re not slowing down, with all of those countries on our event list, plus many more cities and countries: Dubai, Cape Town, Vancouver, Geneva, and more to be announced. It seems teachers and educators around the world are waking up to evidence.
What has struck me most about this global conversation is how international the dilemmas are that educators face. Different cultures and nations lead to different contexts; but the human dimension is universal. This presents us with a terrific opportunity: to share our collective wisdom as a community of practice to drive the quality, standards, efficiency and morality of what we collectively do.
We live in interesting times, at an intersection of unprecedented communicative powers where conversations are dense, instantaneous and international. Where once a teacher’s voice reached the back of the room at best, now ‘around the world it flies in the twinkling of an eye’. If we can hook this new agora to structured evidence, experience, reason and wisdom, then there are prizes to be won for everyone. If we don’t succeed then we face more of the same for decades to come: more folk teaching, more inequity, more waste and the same outcomes for the same children.
But I have hope we can choose the former. Never before has the international education community been so animated by the need to root its craft in evidence. And that’s what researchED stands for. I hope you enjoy issue 3.
Founder of researchED