‘Unconferences’: from practice to praxis in informal professional learning contexts

Δημοσιευμένα: Σεπ 21, 2023
unconference professional learning social interaction
Christina Preston

This paper presents a developmental project focusing on the ‘unconference’, a generic term for informal virtual meetings used in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events. In an ‘unconference’ the learning agenda is decided at the grassroots of the education profession: the power relationships in traditional conferences between expert speakers and learners are destabilised. Teachers in England have led the development of two kinds of ‘unconference’: the TeachMeet that concentrates on the craft of the practitioner and the international MirandaMod, a themed unconference that encourages a focus on ‘praxis’ - the melding of learning theory, pedagogy and practice. This paper investigates the MirandaMod model that reflects the complex, social, intellectual and practical process of professional learning and facilitates this under three headings: the opportunities for teachers to record changes in their beliefs and understandings in relation to changing practice and developing skills; the variety of locations and modes that reflect different cultural contexts for learning; and, the potential for professionals to re-evaluate their identity in relationship to their role and their pedagogical observations. MirandaMods also enriches social learning over time when face-to-face meetings are limited because of economic restraints.

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