The IATEFL Teacher Development Special Interest Group (TDSIG) is holding a one-day Unplugged Conference in Barcelona on Saturday 21 May – in other words, one week tomorrow.
The term conference is perhaps a little misleading, as the event is being held in Open Space, which consciously rejects preset agendas or predetermined content. Instead, those who choose to come and participate are those who then set the agenda, create the content and define what outcomes are reached.
A friend of mine from Berlin, who works a lot in Open Space, defined it thus:
“Open Space ist in Prinzip eine sehr lange Kaffeepause, indem nichts passiert, ausser die Teilnehmer etwas in die Hand nimmt”
Trans: “Open Space is in principle a very long coffee break, during which nothing happens – unless those present take control.”
Jo Töpfer, berlin open space co-operative (Boscop)
It seems to me that this approach is eminently suitable for exploring a classroom practice such as Teaching Unplugged!
Who, if not us? When, if not now?
Now that we are a week away from this gathering, those of us who have chosen to attend, or those of us who are still making our travel arrangements ( it’s not too late 😉 ) can start to prepare to take control, by thinking of specific issues close to our teaching hearts; things that we strongly wish to explore in collaboration with others who are also interested in the same thing.
So over the next seven days, I plan to share with you some of the issues or questions related to Dogme ELT which I would like to explore at this event. I kind of NASA-style countdown, if you will.
Maybe they chime with some of your ideas, maybe you are interested in completely different things.
Either way, it’s good.
I will share my first open space idea tomorrow, exactly one week from the Big Day. Feel free to add comments with your own ideas/issues/questions/wishes for the gathering – especially if you cannot attend. Or even better, go to the TDSIG Discussion forum and start a conversation there.
“Control Tower, we have ignition…”