Bookmarked Going Rogue: Teachers designing their own conferences as a transgressive act (Philippa Nicoll Antipas) by CI_Jamie (

In this post, Philippa Nicoll Antipas re-considers conferences as sites for teacher professional learning and development. She details her PhD research project Plan D, a game-like collective activity whereby teachers are supported to go rogue and design their own professional learning and development needs.

Philippa Nicoll Antipas explores how we might do a conference for teacher professional learning and development (PLD) differently. She argues that we need to breakaway from “somebody deciding to share what they’re interested in, in the hope that you’ll find it interesting too.” A review of the literature highlighted that too few decide for too many, in response she came up with a different model where teachers design their own conferences based on their own needs. This model came in the format of a board game-like collective activity.

There are four layers to the d.conference collective activity, known as Plan D. In the first layer, teachers consider what they already believe about effective PLD. In the second layer, teachers consider their professional learning needs, and the learning needs of their students in order to decide what the purpose of their d.conference is. The third layer gets more ‘nuts and bolts’: who will speak at the conference; what the schedule of the event will be; what the learning at the conference will look like. Finally, in the fourth layer, teachers reflect on the decisions they’ve made whilst playing, and commit to sustaining their professional learning beyond their d.conference.

The process is as important as product.

This reminds me of a piece from Sean Michael Morris reflecting on education conferences.

We need to critically examine all of our assumptions about conferences. How they are run. Who leads them. What kind of learning should happen there? Why are they convened? What is the gathering meant to accomplish? What is the pedagogy for conferences now, in a landscape where keynotes should be something more than talking heads, where organizers who are white and male need to cede not just the stage but the design of events to make way for new ways of knowing, teaching, and learning? Where expertise does not win the day, but a willingness to ask does?

people make conferences, as well as my wonderings about starting the learning prior to the conference.