Saturday, October 23, 2010

Canadian History of Education Associaton Conference

I thought my paper went over reasonably well, considering I had to cover 45 slides in 20 minutes; at 30 seconds a slide — or three years a minute — my analysis of education policy in Alberta over the last 75 years was necessarily a bit superficial. But that's more or less what one expects at these conference presentations: really just an abstract for the paper that hopefully I will be submitting to the association's journal in due course.

All the presentations at the conference received simultaneous French/English translation; we all got to wear headphones and feel like UN delegates. Bit of overkill for our small conference room (the translation booth took up maybe a fifth the space, and at 8:30 in the morning, only the really dedicated were in attendance) but I appreciated the effort to make the conference truly bilingual.

Translator booth for my presentation; close examination of the photo reveals my reflection in the background as I snap the picture

I was able to take in one of my UofL colleagues' presentation the next morning: a fascinating report on the implementation of progressive education in Alberta in the 1930s that fit right into my framework. I had to miss my other colleague's presentation as it was scheduled for after my flight back to Alberta, but I'd already discussed it enough in the hallways back home I felt I wasn't missing anything new. Took in some good presentations, and the luncheon on Thursday was excellent. I was flattered that a couple of faculty from other campuses made a point of telling me they were using my deskilling paper in their undergraduate courses. Nice to know that someone is actually reading my work, and that they appreciate my efforts to make difficult concepts accessible to the general reader.

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