Building a Network
Third network seminar: Saturday 12th March 2016
Our third seminar took place at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge on Saturday 12th March from 10.00 am - 12.30 pm. The central focus of the seminar was the language of ability. With the help of some recent articles, we revisited some of the pervasive effects of ability labelling and its many associated practices. We used the articles to help elaborate transformative ways of thinking about learners and learning, linking participants' ideas and experiences to core ideas and principles in Learning without Limits.
The articles were:
- Mark Boylan and Hilary Povey (2016) 'Ability Thinking'. In Leslie, D. and Mendick. H. (eds) Debates in Mathematics Education, London: Routledge. http://shura.shu.ac.uk/9135/1/Povey_ability_thinking.pdf.
- Rachel Marks(2013) The blue table means you don't have a clue: the persistence of fixed-ability thinking and practices in primary mathematics in English schools. FORUM for promoting 3-19 comprehensive education, 55 (1)
- Patrick Yarker (2011) Knowing your mind: teachers, students and the language of ability. FORUM 53 (2)
First network seminar
On Saturday 13th June, we held our first seminar, inviting all those who have contacted us expressing an interest in being part of a network. The 25 people who attended included primary and secondary teachers, head teachers, a school governor, teachers representing clusters of primary and secondary schools, researchers and academics. Most of the time was spent in small groups, so that people could share their reasons for wanting to be part of a network and discuss together how they were developing their practices.
We also talked about what support a network might be able to provide. There was much interest in continuing to meet, perhaps once a term.
Since 2004, a network of people committed to developing understandings and practices has begun to grow, through participation in two additional projects:
Transforming Learning Capacity: working with others: A study of strategies used by educators in a variety of different contexts to foster dialogue with colleagues and stimulate developments in practice associated with the ideas of Learning Without Limits.
ESRC seminar series: Linked to the previous study, this seminar series was designed to bring together educators from different HE institutions, schools, LAs and other professional contexts to share practices and explore theoretical connections between Learning Without Limits key ideas and concepts and those of other important researchers working in related areas.
Leadership for Learning Cambridge Network
You may also be interested in joining the Leadership for Learning, Cambridge Network, which is concerned with learning, leadership and their interrelationship. Members receive news bulletins and information about events, seminars and opportunities to engage.