Earlier this month, Penn GSE played host to EdCamp Leadership, an “unconference” bringing together school leaders to think about new approaches to professional development.
EdCamp is a free conference where educators create their own agenda, based on attendees' expertise and needs.
EdCamp Philly began in 2010. Penn GSE’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Education Leadership sponsored EdCamp Leadership three years ago, and began hosting the unconference in 2013. The effort grew this year, with EdCamp Leadership sessions held in 15 states, Chile, and China.
“Participating in EdCamp is one way we leverage learning both within and beyond our program,” said Mid-Career director Mike Johanek. “We’re learning and connecting, too. EdCamp’s design lets us see what issues practitioners really want to talk about, and what resources they’re already tapping.”
Patrick Larkin, an assistant superintendent for the Burlington Public Schools in Massachusetts, attended the EdCamp Leadership session in Boston. He wrote about the program for Education Week.
“The ultimate success of EdCamp Leadership will be the development of EdCamp model professional development experiences back in the districts where the attendees work,” Larkin wrote. “School leaders need to loosen the reins on the top-down approach to developing professional learning schedules for their teachers and ensure that educators within their schools and districts can have opportunities to lead their own learning. Isn't this the ultimate goal for all learners in our schools?”