I have been in higher education for a term over two years now and the one thing I continue to struggle with it finding a platform/medium through which to have a discussion with teachers about classroom practices. One of my jobs is to undertake and then write up research – and to be honest I really enjoy the academic rigor of doing that and achieving a peer-reviewed publication is fantastic. Yet I also wonder who I’m ‘talking’ to when I write this stuff? I know I am talking to a handful of fellow academics who read the journals regularly. I know that my work may be picked up by other academics (or more probably their postgraduate and undergraduate students) when it falls under their gaze for a project (or assignment). But what about teachers?
In the summer I went to the association for Physical Education’s (afPE) national conference and many of the faces were familiar ones from higher education. Otherwise the delegates were from industry or local education authorities but very few appeared to be teachers. I was there to lead a session on “games-making” but only had three delegates interested in the work I was doing and had prepared – it just didn’t fit into their agendas. Now that is my fault (I guess I didn’t judge the audience - as what excited me didn’t excite them) but I am still left perplexed. Ben Jones (@benpaddlejones) and I recently had a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal in Australia but I wonder how many teachers have read it. What’s its impact factor? Less than one teacher in 100,000? Or is that being too optimistic?
So my question is what forum exists that teachers (Physical Education preferably from my perspective) can talk through? Twitter does seem popular but 140 characters and the continual time stream make the sense of conversation difficult to follow. Facebook? Is this the right medium given that it was original set up as a ‘friends reunited’ platform? Can PEPRN be a place even for a handful of international conversations?
Therefore my two calls to action for this blog are as follows:
1) Please comment on this blog or one of the others blogs or discussions on PEPRN and help me to understand where I might have the conversations that I crave.
2) Tweet me, DM me (@DrAshCasey) or email me (Ashley.Casey@beds.ac.uk) the address of your blog and I pledge to start to comment on your blog posts as we need to create a community that support one another.
(Blog 3 in my 30-day blogging challenge)