Saturday, 4 February 2017

#debatEd: Process and Purpose

I've been sitting on the idea of hosting a weekly Twitter edu debate for a while now. If I'm being honest, the only thing that's stopped me is the worry that no one would get involved. Yep, just me debating with myself and probably losing in the process. But, in the words of Frank Turner, 'no one gets remembered for the things they didn't do'.......

The process:

#debatED will involve a weekly debate on a Tuesday evening between 8.30 - 9pm where one motion will be debated. I originally thought about proposing two however after a few helpful comments I can see that this is probably too ambitious within 30 minutes. The focus will change each week and might include areas such as funding, leadership, pedagogy, SEND, curriculum etc. To take an arbitrary example, the motion might be 'pupils should not be taught sex education until Year 9'. This will hopefully generate debate with some people arguing for and against but also putting forward alternative narratives. I don't intend for the motions to be controversial per se but I do hope they will promote interesting and challenging debates. 

Once the debate has ended a poll will be created (lasting for 1 hour) asking people to vote for or against the motion. The #debatEd will then be shared via Storify. 

The Purpose:

Every day I follow interesting discussions and debates on Twitter. I just thought it might be worth trying to have a weekly platform where there is focus on one aspect of the wider educational debate. I see this as being quite distinctive from #UKEdChat as it's not about discussing education but rather debating it. That said, it needs to be respectful. This is not to say everyone needs to agree but it'd be good to debate ideas rather than berate people. The main purpose is to stimulate debate around educational issues. There is no political agenda as the @ed_debate account will be politically neutral. Consequently, none of the motions will be reflections of my own beliefs/ values. 

I'd love to see this develop into real face-to-face events. Education is far too important to be left to MPs to debate in their cosy little chamber. It's the people at the chalkface that need to be given a voice and a platform. This will hopefully go some way to providing that. I'd also love for other educators to moderate and propose motions on a range of topics. If that's something you'd like to do then please please do get in touch. 

Anyhow, it would be great to see you getting involved on Tuesday 9th February at 8.30pm. It'll be about budget/ finances however I'm not going to post the motion until 8pm on the day. I could do it sooner but where's the fun in that......

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