Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Great non-Debate

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about holding DebatED events where educators could meet, informally and debate educational issues. I would love to see a return to a format similar to that adopted in the early days of the TeachMeets* without the corporate entry. It was a call to arms to get out of Twittersphere, into the pub and engage more teachers without the limitations of 140 characters. So far there's me, @thebadpedagogue, some guy from a Canada and 'Paula'. 

So, imagine my delight to discover that ResearchED was hosting such an event that would also be live streamed from the pub. Sitting down in front of my laptop, beer in hand and Sloppy Guissippe** in the oven I watched and waited for the panel to starter debating. And waited. And waited.........

Losing interest in the self-congratulatory fanfare I switched my focus to Twitter where the #reEdmas was starting to trend. Call me a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracist all you want but I started to notice that many of those tweeting were self-identifed 'trads' or certainly leaning in that direction. And then I read this:



Now, I know this was tongue-in-cheek but stocked up on a couple of swigs of Kaliber I retorted:



Although slightly over-zealous and not at all reaching for the bucket I did find it interesting to call something a debate which didn't involve debating. Thankfully good old Basil Fawlty was on hand to help in his usual flirtatious manner:



I see. But then that's not a debate, is it? 


Right, I see. I have no issue with this but don't market something as a debate that's actually a discussion bewteen like-minded people. 



Oh, sorry, it wasn't marketed. That's right. A free invitation-only event hosted by ResearchEd and sponsored by big edu-business Pearson. Fair enough but I thought it was reasonable to ask why, as far as I could tell, there were no progressive educators on the panel.....



Though most teachers I know don't identify as either prog/ trad they do care deeply about educational issues and to suggest otherwise is at best misguided and at worst horribly arrogant. 

So, I ask again, who's up for doing this properly? The Great DebatEd.....


* The last TeachMeet I attended there were more edu-business presenters than teachers. 
* * The pizza burnt during this melee. 

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