It’s been an energizing here in Glasgow today, and I finally got to meet a few of my Twitter friends. (hope I’ll be meeting more tonight at the ELTCHAT party 🙂 as well.
So, I thought I’d share a few of my impressions whilst they’re still fresh in my mind. A big thread running through the sessions I attended today was “interconnectedness” brginning with Adrian Underhill’s excellent plenary “Mess and Progress” where he explored the changing scenario of our perceptions of leadership, moving away from the “Braveheart” type of leader whose charisma takes us on inspiring us into winning battles etc. to a type of “post heroic leadership” where what counts is the relationships between people, and their interconnectedness, so that an organisatioon that listens to the experience and appreciates the skills of its members will flourish. He said a lot more, and much more eloquently, of course, but the hread of interconnectedness was then taken up again by Penny Ur who asked whether teachers should be taking research into account, and whether or not they did. The answer, she said, was that very few teachers read research, but she also added that being àware of the research puts teachers into a more powerful position. Basically if you know the reasons why something is a good educational strategy to adopt, you stand a better chance of convincing others.
A conference is not only the talks, either, and the chance to meet old friends and make new ones is an invaluable moment in my academic year, so I’m really enjoying it so far, and in that way I’m trying to make my relationships flourish too.
I’m not sure if the organisations in Italy will embrace new ideeas about focusing on relationships rater than respecting hierarchies. We have only recently moved on from Berlusconi who definitely saw himself as a leader in the traditional sense, and our universities are hives of status…
Ah well, it all remains to be seen. In any case, I’m off to the party. See you tomorrow 🙂