I volunteered at The World Transformed festival in Liverpool. This has rapidly developed into one of the most exciting events in the UK political calendar, and has put ‘political education’ back on the agenda. About 6000 people attended over the four days of the festival.
What I like so much about TWT is not just the range of speakers and topics that are covered, but the way in which it involves different kinds of political discussion, deliberation, and agenda-setting – alongside cultural events and social activities.
The biannual Networked Learning Conference took place this year in Zagreb. NLC is a small but very high quality conference where the emphasis in not on technical issues but on critical perspectives and theorisation of the role of technologies in learning. This year there seemed to be particular emphasis ‘on the political’, broadly defined, with papers discussing the ways in which technology trends like big data and learning analytics aligned with surveillance and control, and how educators might respond to and resist this. My colleague Fran Tracy and I presented a paper on Student Inquiry, Networks of Knowledge and Linked Data which discussed how our experience of developing semantic web applications, and how critical digital literacies might underpin broader politicised inquiry.
The picture is of the Church of St Mark in Zagreb, with its rather splendid tiled roof.
The book “Quality in Early Years”, to which I was a contributor, has now been published by McGraw-Hill. The book discusses government policy and educational research related to the day-to-day challenges facing those who work in early years settings. Each chapter has reflection points and practical activities designed to encourage Early Years professionals to question existing practice and develop their own understandings of quality.
I contributed several chapters: on frameworks and standards (jointly with Emma Slaughter); on international perspectives on quality in early years; and on research.
You can read more about the book and order copies here: http://www.mheducation.co.uk/quality-in-the-early-years.