plans and crafts, calls and invitations


by Adam

A few weeks ago, John and I spent a few days in Portland, Oregon, and there we schemed and crafted a plan. Or, really, a collection of plans. I hardly know where to start, but I suppose that the best way to start is to announce the

Call for Papers

for Science Education at the Crossroads 2014

at the Heathman Hotel

in Portland, September 25-27.

There are details, and there are stories, and we’ll be happy to tell you all of these and how they’ve derived at the bar of the Heathman, in between Incubator sessions, or perhaps even during our initial reception. For now, here’s what I think is important to announce:

We’ve always been deliberate in our inviting and encouraging submissions from people that we consider “polite dinner guests” that have Vexations and Ventures, as well as offer a diverse set of views. At the same time, we recognize that we can’t possibly know everyone that we need to extend invitations to, especially those who are new to the field or otherwise on the fringes. So, we are making a call for nominations of individuals that we should invite. If you’ve been to Crossroads, then you have a feel for how the meeting works and who both needs and can contribute to the meeting. We need you to send us a note and tell us about this person. A former student? Great. A new colleague? Fantastic. A teacher you work with and would like to have contribute to the discussion? Wonderful. In addition to these, what would be best of all would be someone interested in …

Professional Learning
We play around with different features to add to the Vexation and Venture format each year, and this year we would like to promote the specific theme of “professional learning.” We’re especially interested in V&Vs that are about your own endeavors to work with teachers, scholars, and other professionals as they practice and develop their craft. We consider Crossroads to be one example of this, and, in fact, we are pursuing external funding to support the 2014 meeting and our efforts to present this as a model to others. Our strategy is to bring together those who are making strides in professional learning, both to learn from them and to offer the Crossroads model as the backdrop for those discussions. So, we encourage your contributions along these lines (and, frankly, we’ll favor those contributions in the selection process), as well as all of the other possibilities that will respond to our …

Call for Proposals
The call follows our typical format of Vexation and Venture, with the additional encouragement to work on proposals that focus on your own professional learning opportunities (professional development for teachers, mentoring of new scholars, development of a new writing conference, etc.) described above. These are due by April 26th, a Saturday, per our tradition. And, earlier is better. Early contributions bring us joy, make the spring sun shine a little brighter, and give us something to do other than grade papers. And, they especially help us build up an expectation and high hopes for the pile of contributions we should expect. We expect a lot, because we have some plans …

Conference Setting
John and I are rational people, most of the time. Yet, while putting together details of this fall’s meeting, things kept coming together in beautifully coincidental ways.  The Heathman Hotel is just one example with its perfectly sized meeting space and cozy atmosphere. The meeting rooms are adjacent to a library filled with first edition, signed books — each autographed by the authors when they stayed at the hotel. There are close to 3000 of these titles … and John and I decided we really ought to finish writing our Crossroads book. The hotel emphasizes the arts in all forms, including original Andy Warhol compositions on every level. Over lunch with our keynote speaker, she talked about using Warhol in classrooms where she volunteers. Which prompted an excursion back to the hotel to show her the artwork. There we bumped into our friend the Sales Manager who was excited to show us the dedicated Andy Warhol suite that had just been vacated. As luck would have it, our keynote presenter is going to model professional learning by incorporating arts and crafts into her presentation. But that’s not even why we contacted her in the first place. That’s another story, and eventually we’ll explain. We haven’t even told you about our field trips that we hope will turn into an excursion during our last evening in Portland.

It’s been a long two years for us to wait, and we’re very, very excited at the many prospects. So, get to work. Send us names and emails of people you feel would be good attendees based on the theme of expanding the craft of professional learning. We are excited to assemble everyone, new and old, together in September.

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