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What is the best conference you have attended or CPD you have been part of? and why?

Since I have recently got back from AIESEP conference in Limerick I thought it would be interesting to share the conferences or CPD programmes you have attended and what ones have been most beneficial.

For me, as a teacher, the sports college conference was the best I attended.  The conference contained small workshops, sometimes practical, facilitating lots of innovative practice to be shared which had actually been used in physical education departments.  I often learnt little from one day courses that contained ideas that hadn't been tried and tested, didn't provide knowledge of how to apply them, were a repeat of what I learnt during my teacher training or courses that had little relevance to my school.

From a research perspective AIESEP has been the best.  I learnt from educators worldwide and the conference has broadened my knowledge of physical education.  Again, this conference had workshops, symposiums and lots of opportunities to discuss ideas, thoughts and innovations with those who have applied or supported teachers making changes to physical education. 

Vicky Goodyear
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On Tuesday 28 June at 10:42 Vicky Goodyear said
@pauldavidmac suggests Teachmeet and #clvfestival at Cram School this year was quality. Great to meet teachers sharing same views on learning
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On Tuesday 28 June at 12:35 chris tamborra said
Vicky, CPD looks promising. Here in the States with each state having own curriculum our professional development is usually you go to state HPERD confernce and attend a series of 1 hour workshops that provide lots of activities to bring back to school to improve your bag of tricks with kids. 4 Great Physical Education is offering a 3 day grad class at Gillette Stadium home of the NFL's New England Patriots. The focus of the class is on opening up the gymnasium, where we use social and emotional strategies to establish an environment where all children can be successful. The course is August 8, 9, and 10. Very close to Boston and the famous beaches of Cape Cod. Visit www.frec.org for registration look for the course "Establishing the learning environment in physical education for k-5 educators.
Ashley Casey
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On Thursday 30 June at 09:48 Ashley Casey said
CPD for me meant a one-day course undertaken off the school site with a good lunch and early finish. Most of mine were to gain certificates for the school i.e. first aid, lifesaving, minibus driving and nothing about pedagogy. My best "CPD" experience was when I engaged in long-term professional learning as a teacher-as-researcher in my own classroom and my own school with the students I worked with day-to-day and year-to-year. In this way each day was an experience that I could reflect on and learn from my teaching. For me we need to move beyond the idea that knowledge can be packaged and sent to different locations. It needs to be personalised. Your idea Chris of undertaking a three day course gives educators more opportunities to internalise your ideas and reflect upon them and their appropriateness for their context. Their individual journey through your ideas will be very important...good luck and welcome to PEPRN.
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On Thursday 30 June at 11:37 Helen Ives said
CPD - from a 'non education background'. I take personal responsibilty for my CPD - in that it's not wholly about one day courses, conferences and seminars. Professional development happens everyday and I feel that too many people only see a day out / conference attendance as the only time they are getting CPD. My best CPD has been not from conferences or days out, but from colleague discussions, debates and challenges. Yes I have a number of 'critical' friends that I have established through my network of professional and social relationships but i have taken responsibility for that. I do appreciate the 'time out' in that it's not time out but an opportunity to network, become informed and share experiences. I have been 'let down' by a large amount of CPD where there is a 'lowest common denominator' approach or that it's been put together because there is a gap in a market - complimented by the facilitators gap in knowledge. I suppose now i have harsh approach to CPD in that I will leave if I'm not achieving one of two things- extension of my network (people) or contribution to/ extension of my knowlege levels. However that said, when I do organise CPD in my workplace - there is a great lunch (as I know that's what influences the feedback form), it's set in a great location (getting them out of school environments and it adds to them feeling 'valued') and that there is a limit to the amount of power point, that an external speaker comes in - olympians/ academics/ CPD providers (vetted and ensuring they are the right kind of provider). Barriers for many that I have spoken to is that they can't implement what they learn in the CPD to practice in their schools - they don't have a voice, no matter how loud they shout they are not heard. My favorite CPD - verbal and practical application in the same workshop, personally and professionally challenged. But have to say the best is where I have connected with the speaker, the content and the rest of the audience. Sadly these haven't been in education but in business and government opportunities - but maybe that's because of my personal background of sitting in the interface between the two fields.
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On Thursday 30 June at 20:57 chris tamborra said
Thanks Dr. Casey appreciate the words of encouragement. Helen agree with youre words too conferences are ok but my best professional developement is when I get together with my closest colleagues and we share ideas and points of view. Thinking this group will become a very good professional development for everyone invloved with Vicky, Dr. Casey and everyone else involved lets keep up the good work
Vicky Goodyear
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On Friday 22 July at 04:18 Vicky Goodyear said
Since I have recently attended another conference and I am currently at Tsukuba summer institute in Japan I have chosen to further my points on this discussion. Again I am seeing the benefit of international conferences and learning from people around the world. When I am in the UK I believe my perception of physical education is very narrow. Conferences wake me up and I consider the bigger picture and different perspectives. I am wondering your preference for conference attendance. Do you prefer international conferences where you have to travel abroad to collaborate with colleges worldwide, or do you prefer attending conferences within the context of your field and country? Is this related to cost of travel and how well are you supported by this form of professional learning?

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