Educational conferences can be prohibitively expensive for ordinary teachers, and often focus on abstract theory delivered by professional academics with very little hands-on classroom experience. Such events often appear more concerned with making money than with genuinely improving the quality of education being delivered within schools.
In contrast, "Practical Pedagogies" comes out of the belief that the best teacher-training conferences are delivered by practising teachers, for the benefit of each other and their students, as not-for-profit events.
It was on this basis that Practical Pedagogies 2015 took place at the International School of Toulouse, France last October. Teachers from all over the world delivered upwards of 100 sessions to each other and to visiting delegates in a vibrant, friendly and enriching event lasting two days. Hot lunches, refreshments, an evening restaurant meal after day 1 and a bar tour after day 2 provided social opportunities for carrying on the conversations with old friends and new acquaintances.
The feedback was so positive and enthusiastic that we have decided to do the whole thing all over again this year. Session proposals were invited via Twitter in January 2016, a programme was drawn up in February, and delegates have been encouraged to book their places since March.
Russel Tarr, conference organiser (@russeltarr)