|Festival celebrates a decade of learning|
|Written by The Editorial Team|
|Thursday, 06 August 2009|
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Scottish Learning Festival, organised by Learning and Teaching Scotland, is set to bring together the global education community for two days of inspirational seminars, speeches and discussions.
Over the last ten years, the festival has gained international recognition and is firmly established as the largest annual national education conference and exhibition in Scotland. Last year’s event drew over 7000 education professionals and this year’s festival, taking place at Glasgow’s prestigious SECC on September 23 and 24, looks set to be just as successful.
The main theme of the Scottish Learning Festival 2009 is Curriculum for Excellence: Making the Change, which includes a focus on the recently launched experiences and outcomes. In addition, delegates will be learning how Glow, the Scottish schools intranet that is managed by Learning and Teaching Scotland, is an essential tool in the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence.
Key staff from The Scottish Government, Learning and Teaching Scotland, SQA and HMIE will be on hand to chat to attendees about any aspect of education and learning.
This year’s Energising keynote speakers include Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Professor Ferre Laevers, pioneer of ‘Experimental Education’, Professor Carol Dweck, author of ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’ and Dr Frank Dick OBE, renowned motivational speaker.
In her keynote address, the Cabinet Secretary will talk about the Government’s ambitions for a Smarter Scotland and how through Curriculum for Excellence we can all work together to embrace a learning and teaching system to last a lifetime. In addition there will be ample time set aside at the end of the keynote address to put questions to the Cabinet Secretary.
Professor Ferre Laevers will speak on the subject of creating a single curriculum to bring coherence at all levels of objectives, from pre-primary and primary to secondary education. He will examine the possibility of a shared framework for assessing and improving the quality of practice in these diverse provisions. Underpinning this will be the notion of ‘Experimental Education’, which Prof Laevers initiated in 1976 at the University of Leuven, Belgium.
Presenting on ‘Developing Growth Mindsets: How Praise Can Harm and How to Use it Well’, Professor Carol Dweck will be asking what education professionals in Scotland can learn from important insights into children’s developing mindsets.
Former Director of Coaching for the British Athletics Federation, Dr Frank Dick OBE is perfectly placed to look at the lessons that the Scottish education system can learn from successful coaches in the world of sport.
This year’s Scottish Learning Festival will also feature over 170 seminars, covering a range of topics from games-based learning, financial education and reciprocal teaching to accelerated leadership, literacy in primary schools and teacher learning communities.
Included in the fantastic seminar line up is a discussion chaired by Vivienne Brown, Head of Career Guidance, Skills Development Scotland. Skills Development Scotland has a strong role to play in developing and supporting the Curriculum for Excellence. As Scotland's new National skills body, SDS combines the expertise of Careers Scotland, Learn Direct Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise Skills Sectors in order to drive forward a shared vision of real, positive and sustained change in Scotland's skills performance.
This seminar, to be held on Thursday September 24, will look at how SDS's plans, values and goals compliment the aspirations of Curriculum for Excellence, how examples of SDS Curriculum Partnership are already directing progress and how future developments in SDS can better ensure Excellence in Partnership.
On Wednesday September 23, Alison Macdonald, Health Improvement Programme Manager, NHS Health Scotland will be presenting a seminar on the subject of childhood obesity. Supporting a number of the key outcomes and experiences within the health and wellbeing component of Curriculum for Excellence, the discussion will focus on common issues across Scotland, including how to identify and engage with overweight and obese children. The session aims to raise the awareness of childhood obesity and reflect on the role of education services in achieving child healthy weight targets. It will use learning from a recent evidence review and evaluation of local interventions to provoke thinking and debate around how to address this.
Returning this year after its successful 2008 debut is the Education Showcase area, featuring hands-on demonstrations of teaching and learning activities, stories, dramatic performances and resources launches.
New features for 2009 include the Health and Wellbeing Exchange Wall, allowing delegates to network, share ideas and exchange information on all things health-conscious, and the Homecoming Artwork Wall, which will see young people from across Scotland contributing to artwork based on the theme of Homecoming Scotland.
For visitors who want to take the weight off their feet, there is the brand new TESS Cafe, allowing delegates to relax with a drink and a complimentary copy of TESS – Scotland’s number one education newspaper.
Attendance at the Scottish Learning Festival is free. You can find out more about the event and register for your pass at www.scottishlearningfestival.org.uk