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Should Pedagoo be more activist?

This is a question which has been on my mind since Saturday’s fab #PedagooGlasgow event. Pedagoo exploded in its first two years and was potentially turning into a million and one things, which I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with. Following a period of illness and relative inactivity on my part, I decided to try and reinvigorate Pedagoo by putting many of these ideas to one side and focusing on our core business – positively sharing classroom practice. This has been, and is being, achieved through our twitter, our blog and our events without the need for any fancy structures, bank accounts, committees, paperwork etc.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really beginning to feel that the community is really returning to its vibrant best. There are loads of fab events across the UK, lots of brilliant blog posts and #PedagooFriday just keeps on growing. But there were a few comments made on Saturday in Glasgow which made me ponder if we could and should perhaps be doing more to more actively fight the forces of negativity…not least David Cameron’s rousing opening speech (and largely unrepeatable closing speech!)

Could we perhaps be getting out there a bit more and making the positive case for progressive reform in education? Part of me is drawn (and terrified) by this idea…which is why it has dominated much of my thoughts these last few days.

Ultimately though I think I’m coming to the conclusion that we keep doing what we’re doing. We’re changing the game here and we don’t need to play by their rules. Fighting fire with fire normally doesn’t achieve much in my experience. Let’s instead continue to focus on developing and sharing our classroom practice positively and professionally and as a by-product perhaps we’ll influence the wider picture. After all, Pedagoo is about showing what’s possible…not saying what’s wrong.

Unless however, you disagree. What do you think? Should Pedagoo be taking a bigger stand in wider educational debates? If so, what exactly is Pedagoo and who would take this stand? I think perhaps we just don’t fit in to the past models of professional associations, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and if we try and change Pedagoo to make it fit more easily, there’s a chance we might break it…


  • Reply Elizabeth Imende-Cooney |

    Great blog and great question. I think you’re right to be concerned about how easily a community can morph from what it initially was formed for and around into something else entirely if it isn’t making a conscious effort to maintain a certain identity. I think teachers ought to be proud and protective of what Pedagoo is and should be wary, as you are here, of what Pedagoo might be tempted to become. I side with you: keep the main thing the main thing and let that influence who and what it will as a by-product rather than as a new or separate mission. There are so few organisations, events and initiatives within education that are willing or able to put other competing commitments aside and keep a razor sharp focus on the teaching and the learning. Pedagoo can so Pedagoo should.

  • Reply Diane Leedham (@DiLeed) |

    I don’t know much about Pedagoo – sorry! But certainly English teaching associations like NATE and LATE are firmly focussed on sharing practical strategies and practice. LATE in particular is a local grass roots teaching organisation run by/for London English teachers (though anyone is welcome to travel in and join in!) We do 3 or 4 Conferences a year. Maybe a loose confederacy would be a good way forward? If we link up on twitter I could share some contacts? You definitely have the funkier name though. No question.

    • Reply fearghal |

      Thanks Diane. You’ve not heard of Pedagoo? Where have you been hiding? Check us out: Pedagoo.org and @pedagoo on twitter. We’re not really anything like a professional association at all…more like a loose collection of teachers online.

So, what do you think ?