1 July 2006
Keynote Presentation: Professor Richard Pring
One of the most challenging things for any committee when trying to organise a conference, is deciding the topic that ‘glues’ the day together. What should be the theme that links a dispersed group of postgraduate researchers together, that encapsulates the breadth of educational exploration and yet captures the individual experience of research? What could be a common strand?
Clearly there is a wealth of topics to choose from but what all of the delegates, contributors, experts and the guest speaker have in common is that they are all engaged in a quest for knowledge. And the ways that we go about collecting that knowledge are rich and diverse. From here it is a small step to a theme linking this research community together: the theme of the University of Birmingham’s student conference for 2006 was ‘Ways of Knowing and Doing’.
We were fortunate this year to have as the guest speaker Professor Richard Pring. His keynote address was inspirational and enabled everyone to start the day with a sense of common purpose. This year the order of the day was changed and the audience were invited to question the ‘expert panel’ of educational scholars.
The introduction of a lunch-time workshop was another innovation for this year. Not only did the lunch break provide opportunities for networking and meeting up with colleagues old and new, but also provided the opportunity to join in a workshop run by Alison Taysum on writing for publication.
The afternoon session consisted of three parallel sessions of presentations. Presenters were at different stages of their postgraduate degrees and for some this was their first opportunity to disseminate their work. In spite of the competition from the World Cup and Wimbledon tennis, the day finished with a substantial number of delegates who took part in a short plenary session that reflected on the day in terms of a platform to disseminate research as well as part of the student learning experience.