When Peers Meet On Purpose, For A Purpose #18 #cong22
TeachMeet is an unconference format in which teachers create opportunities to meet and exchange ideas at a convivial gathering.
Having spent the last few years exploring the TeachMeet phenomenon, one thing learned is a central experiential significance to those who partcipate is that it is PURPOSEFUL.
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- Do The Right Thing;
- Do The Thing Right;
- Make The Road By Walking;
- Don’t Wait For Permission
About Mag Amond
Mags Amond is a retired second level teacher who is in the endgame of her part-time PhD at the School of Education in Trinity College Dublin. Mags has been a long time volunteer in the Computers in Education Society of Ireland, a teacher professional network which celebrates its 50th year in 2023.
Contacting Mags Amond
By Mags Amond
As is CongRegation, TeachMeet is an unconference, a participant-driven event. It began in Scotland in 2006, now it is global. Imagine a hybrid of Barcamp and Pecha Kucha, rooted in Open Space Technology ( see openspaceworld.org). This is a social gathering overseen by an MC, at which nanopresentations on classroom practice are given by volunteers in random order, interspersed with conversation, optional activities and usually with refreshments shared. Although they are informal occasions, chaordic in atmosphere, there is a serious professional tone to the stories of participation I read and heard and analysed when I explored the TeachMeet phenomenon. Yes, people were there to meet socially with peers, but they also had deeper motives – seeking to improve themselves; offering to share practice that had worked for them; arranging to bring the same opportunities to other teachers.
The experiential significance of TeachMeet for participants, from analysis of interviews with participants, show that it is personal, practical, political, and purposeful. The first TeachMeets were driven by early adopters of technology enacting a pioneering spirit of innovation, in order to share knowledge with peers. Over time, other participants were compelled to organise events to counter their discontent with formal CPD experiences. For many, their purpose arose as a moral imperative to do whatever it is they can do, without waiting for permission. In essence, the clue is in the name – TeachMeet – which was chosen with intent in 2006 – peers meeting on purpose, for the purpose of teaching and learning with each other.