My name is Emma Winder and I am a teacher from Auckland currently teaching a Year 2/3 hub at Stonefields School. Below I summarise the concept of the Educafe approach, as shown in the time-lapse video above.
These were all questions I was pondering when I came up with the idea of EduCafe.
How do we get cross sector, face to face collaboration in education? How do we discuss the really poignant issues and the big questions? How do we move beyond traditional professional development where the fount of all knowledge is at the front of the room to drawing on the collective knowledge within the room?
These were all questions Aucklander Emma Winder was pondering when she came up with the idea of EduCafe. With initial support from knowledgeable and connected colleagues, Mark Osborne and Jeff Johnstone, and sponsorship from generous supporters the event has been a real success.
EduCafe is based on the World Cafe style of discussion, which centres around a welcoming environment and small group discussion related to a poignant or provocative question. It hinges on the idea that potential answers to the problem are within the group of people and, through discussion, ideas will be crystallised, debated and potentially put into practice.
Big questions pertaining to educational improvement and current issues are discussed in depth, such as:
How do we ensure devices in our classrooms aren’t “thousand dollar pencils”? What place do devices have in the classroom? What is the pedagogy that sits behind the use of these devices to ensure they are used productively?
Feedback from participants has been positive. People value the opportunity to connect with others outside of their sector and realm of experience. They have commented on the positive experience of a healthy, robust debate and the networking opportunities. We look forward to future events and continued discussions.
For more from Emma:
Emma has expertise in the following areas:
- Future focused, 21st century teaching and learning
- e-learning – from the basics of web 2.0 tools, blogging and Tweeting to evaluating teaching practice to transform learning
- facilitating discussions around difficult questions
- creativity and being “in your element” at school
- personalisation of learning and application of assessment for learning practices
- modern learning environments in traditional, single cell classrooms