TEAN Conference Review
TEAN annual conference in May 2021 was in a new fully online format. With a new executive committee in place (meet them here), including a new president Lisa Murtagh and new conference chair Pippa Leslie, it was all change! However, the well-established network and culture of TEAN has survived and thrived through the pandemic with popular online webinars culminating in a lively, provocative online conference.
An urgent and essential keynote from Professor Vini Lander was a call to action for teacher educators to step-up our personal awareness and knowledge around whiteness and the tools of whiteness. We need to embrace our responsibility to help student teachers develop better understanding of race and racism so that they can become catalysts for hope and change.
A complementary and provocative keynote from Professor Ian Thompson focused on how many schools are responding to the needs of students who have experienced sustained social disadvantage. He highlighted policy frameworks in England that have created perverse incentives to not meet these needs within a competitive and performative context.
In addition to the keynotes a wide range of research presentations, evaluation of innovative practice, lightning talks, round table and poster and pitch sessions provided a rich menu. With careful scheduling and chairing of sessions the conference achieved its aim of setting aside 50% of the available time for questions and discussion.
To view the conference programme please click on this link
In the post conference evaluation delegate survey, respondents scored 88% ‘strongly agreed’ and 12% ‘agreed’ to the statement: The conference was useful to me in terms of professional learning. At TEAN we do work hard to make conference welcoming and supportive but we also want critical discussion, so it was pleasing to get 65% strong agree, 18% agree, and 12% tend to agree to the statement: The conference offered opportunities for critical friend challenge. The round tables were popular and one comment pointed out: The round table presentations were an excellent opportunity to enable many voices to be heard, collegial experiences to be shared in a supportive space and useful practices to be exchanged. Another comment in the survey captured the general feeling: Overall, a wonderfully enriching conference, fantastic hosts, speakers, and presenters. I would summarise it as ‘two days of nourishing knowledge and practice exchange’.
The primary focus of the Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN) is to provide a professional development network for university-based teacher educators. Our focus is on sharing research and innovative pedagogical practice in teacher education. We also welcome teacher educators based in colleges and schools but acknowledge that they have their own independent associations and networks. A call for proposals will go out in September for TEAN conference 2022 and we would love to see you there – hopefully face to face but if not then online.
Emeritus Professor Pete Boyd
TEAN Committee Member