A new 28-page DEMOS report, DIY Professionalism, looks at the future of teaching and identifies a need for more space for professional dialogue and reflection. Perhaps what we’re seeing with educational blogging is that latent demand finding an outlet, enabled by the emergence of easy-to-use blogging tools?
DEMOS don’t consider the role technology might play, preferring instead to make analogies with water-cooler conversations.
The water-cooler has become a powerful metaphor as a central junction box in the hidden wiring of workplace conversations. It’s where events’ real significance is worked out. To support the skills and confidence DIY professionalism demands of staff and to connect up their experiments with professional roles and protocols,teaching needs more of these kinds of conversations.Conversations around the water-cooler require three things; a place to meet and talk (the cooler), shared experiences and rituals to talk about (an un-missable television programme, the Christmas party) and a sense of connection and recognition. As we have seen, teachers today lack something of all three. The focus of school reform on the ‘what and how’ of delivery has limited spaces for professional dialogue and reflection. (DIY Professionalism, John Craig and Catherine Fieschi, May 2007 Page 25, link )
Educational blogging can clearly enable these conversations in a way that meets some of the DEMOS requirements:
- a place to meet and talk
- shared experiences and rituals
- a sense of connection and recognition
The report includes many useful proposals that could help with development of our on-line community in East Lothian.