This week I'm inviting you to join my writing programme for D&T teachers. Its set up for those who will be presenting at the PATT39 conference in June 2022 but I want to invite more of you to come along and join my community of D&T writers.
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If you've listened to previous podcast episodes you'll know that I'm really passionate about the ante teachers and the D&T community writing about the subject. I don't think there's enough of it going on and I've done quite a bit of work to support teachers and other researchers in design and technology to share their practice. A few weeks ago, I shared on the podcast, some exciting news, or I thought was exciting about a program that was being sponsored and funded by edge foundation and HME to support five design and technology teachers in presenting their research at the international PAC conference, which is happening next June. It's a hybrid conference. So it's online and also in Newfoundland Canada. Now I was really excited about this because I know there's lots of barriers to people writing about their work and writing about design and technology. I joke that one of the reasons that I found it difficult to write when I came into work in higher education, was that there really all I'd ever done was write school reports for year sevens, eights, and nines, but also write the odd governance report, but really just annotate sketches. Kind of having to learn how to write full sentences properly. And paragraphs was, was a little bit novel to me. And I say that slightly tongue in cheek, but there is some truth in that. And so for us in design and technology, while defending an arguing and being able to critique designs and the place of designs and the unintended consequences of different products, Becomes natural because of our training and our practice, no experience writing those down in a coherent way. Doesn't necessarily come as naturally as say, our colleagues in history or English or other subjects where written form is the more common way of communicating things about this. So that's why over the last 10, 11 years, I've done a lot to develop myself under those in the D&T community. And they're sharing that. Why do we the community about getting into writing and how to write about research about the subject? So some of you may have attended a one hour workshop. I did earlier this academic term to help people get writing. You might have listened to the podcast where I've talked about how to get writing. And you may have also, as I said, heard me talking about really excited about the program that I've set up to work with these teachers, to publish their research. So, what I'm doing now is I'm actually going to open up that program and we've already met once the group of us who are going to present hopefully at the PATT conference, but we've got five more workshops planned that start in January. There are about actually, so what's next, we've got our idea. We've got our data, we've done our analysis. or we've got our critique. How do we create that into a substantial. Article that might be between three and 6,000 words long, which kinda sounds like a lot. But if you think 3000 words, 250 words, a paragraph that's only 12 paragraphs. I won't go into more breakdown about how that actually becomes the only thing that you've got left to write about what you're writing about. But if you come along to take part in the program, then, you can, you can hear more about how I help you make writing about design and technology and writing about your research. More manageable. And an accessible and how you can have a community around you to help doing that. So one of the people on the program, for example, in the last 48 hours has sent a group of us, their abstract. So the 250 words, but it's a really good start. They've outlined their project. They've set their case out about their work. And when we're giving critique, we're sharing our thoughts about how to make it even better than it already. So I'm inviting people to come along to this program. I will, in the next couple of days, put some notices on event, bright with details about each stage and, and signing up in essence, the program is free. However, I will be setting it up that if you want to make a donation to help with the running costs, that would be great, but that's not a barrier. That's not a reason why you shouldn't come along. I spoken to podcast a few weeks ago about how I'm trying to run the podcast now, as it's a, not for loss, I'm not interested in making a profit out of the podcast, but I do, try and run it as a not for loss. I've been doing that at the moment out of my own pocket. So if you contribute to the program, then it will go into the running costs for the podcast. Let's go back to the thing that I'm really wanting to share with you and hoping that more of you will come along and join in with is a five session program is going to run on Wednesday evenings, half past seven till nine o'clock. There'll be time for writing in most of the sessions. We will be starting. The first one is on the 12th of January 7:30 PM. That's UK time. And in that session, we're going to be talking about how you outline your articles. So whether it's 3000 words or 6,000. So do come along, do come with an idea. We have to come with some data that you've analyzed. You know, what your study is, you've done the work. This is about how do you get out there? So it's a perfect program for people who have done a master's and they've done some work around design and technology, or they're doing a doctorate, or they've done some research within their workplace and they want to share it with a wider community and I'll be working with people on the program to help you do that. I want to go into a little bit more detail about why I think this is important. Why do I think it's important that as designer technologist, who's maybe first method of communication. Isn't too right? Why do we need to do this? Well, I think we need to do it for a number of reasons. I think we need to do. Because I think it's, uh, a duty almost to share our research, Cheryl work with the wider D&T community, you know, to get it out there and to get those conversations going within the community. I know there's an awful lot of good practice going on around this. I know an awful lot of D and T teachers are doing research are trying things out. and I think you kind of need to share that and I'm putting that call out for you to share it because I get regularly emails, tweets messages on Facebook. LinkedIn, people asking me, honestly, I'm looking for some research about, who's done some stuff in design and technology about let's think about some hot topics at the moment. Retrieval practice, knowledge, organizers, geocoding. And I have to kind of say, well, I don't know of anything. That's public. So, if you're doing that sort of work in your schools, then I kind of think you need to get it out there and share it because people want it. People want to read about what other D and T practitioners are doing to be able to build on it, to join that conversation. So that's one reason why I think you need to do it is to build up that body of knowledge about the subject. It's great to put stuff out on Facebook or a blog about. Or even podcast, but actually it kind of doesn't last as long as they're written article. So that's, that's one reason that it continues. And the reason rather that it continued. To be accessible beyond your work, beyond where you are situated. It also means if you publish it in the right place, an international audience can engage with your work. So you're not just adding to the conversations in this country. You're adding to conversations and you're joining conversations with people in other countries. Another reason is I think it keeps, it keeps us subject to life in the minds of people beyond design and technology. And what I mean by that is a lot of these, fads, new ideas that are coming out that may or may not fade, coming from general education or. And are generally being interpreted by non D&T colleagues. So from history, English, maths, and science, and then what happens in schools I'm seeing is that D&T teachers are expected to adopt these practices without always being encouraged or facilitated, engaging, and critiquing these new ideas. And so what that means is that it's very difficult for a D&T teacher who works on their own or who doesn't have that community around them, of going this doesn't feel right for D&T, but I don't know why, and I don't have anybody to talk to about it by publishing things. It means. You're supporting those colleagues who are on their own and also giving them something to debate with their colleagues in schools, in other subjects who feel well works for history. She worked for D&T without understanding the nature of D and T. So it helps keep the subject alive in the minds of people beyond design and technology, because they see. That this work is being done in the D&T community. People are strategic, critiquing it, challenging it, accepting it, showing ways forward in a more objective way I'm using that very carefully about, about objective. And then that leads on to, and I suppose I've already talked about this earlier about quitting. it is too easy when you're too easy, if it be the wrong phrase, but when you're in a school and it makes it sound like teachers just roll over, I really know you don't and you are working really hard and being challenged from lots of sites about the subject that by having other people writing about these things, again, it adds to the critique about why some things. Do or don't work in design and technology and it gives a greater credibility. I believe around the subject. I'm not saying the subject isn't credible. What I'm saying is if we don't have. Some written work about things that are happening today as a result of, for example, research ahead or another wave of, ideas that are coming through growth mindset. For example, if we don't have work, whether it's short or longer term that is critiquing the efficacy of these things within. Design and technology, then it becomes very difficult to challenge robustly. And then also to lead what is happening in terms of practice across schools, because what happens is then design and technology. Is being challenged, it's pedagogy by the pedagogy of other subjects, rather than the pedagogy of D&T, challenging the pedagogy of other subjects, which I think is really what we need to be about. And it's really, we do have that happening in the subject. Teachers are practitioners. You are critiquing your work. And now I'm challenging. You let's get it down on paper. Let's build up that body of knowledge that anybody can access from anywhere. That then becomes part of that community to show that design and technology is actually leading the way in terms of pedagogy, in terms of ideas about the nature of education and what it's for and its purpose. And when I talk about putting it out there in, in ways that are accessible, Then, if you're gonna write and publish, I'll be writing for things like the PAC conference, because their papers are all made available, freely available, or the designer technology international journal managed by the designer technology association. Okay. Edited by professor K stables. Yeah. That's publicly accessible and it's not behind a paywall. And then it makes it available for everybody and makes us an open community, which is what I think we need to be doing to share this research so that I don't get so many emails or tweets to say other. So where can I find this research? Because people know it's there. They know it's come from the D&T community. They know it's credible. And it adds to the body of knowledge about the. I think you can probably hear how passionate I am about this and how much I really do believe in it and believe it's important. But I also recognize the challenges about writing and having space to write, which is why I'm inviting you to join us on our program about how do we write about our work and what are the different stages. And so each workshop will take you through a different stage about how. Work your research up into a place where you can publish it and share it with the community to increase the strength and the power of the authority of what we do in design and technology that demonstrates that we are a credible subject that has new knowledge and new ideas that can shape other subjects. As ever thanks very much for listening. And I also want to say, as I end this week, thank you very much to the lovely people who responded to my call last week when I said I needed your help. I put a call out, asking for testimony. To support my application to become an associate professor. I talked in last week's podcast about why I'm doing this. So I'm not going to repeat it today, but I just want to say, thank you very much. The people who've written, I am deeply humbled by what people have said, and I've printed them off. I'm going to go through them and kind of hold onto what people say, because it's very easy. And I know all of you will find this similar. In our day-to-day lives when things are happening so fast that we forget to stop and think, do you know what I've made some good progress this year? And so those lovely comments that people have made have been really helpful and have given me that moment, and I'm asking you. See my work benefit you. Then if you could also consider just writing a short testimonial, a couple of sentences, that would be fantastic. And likewise, I'm doing the same for other colleagues within the design and technology community that we build up our strong community around research and sharing practice. As I said, I'm going to stop now. So thanks ever so much for listening and I'll be back next week with the final episode for 2021.