The End of the Big Ed Conference?

February 17, 2009 1 min read

Jim Burke, the English teacher, author, mentor, and celebrity or sorts among his peers, is now a blogger. And one of his first blog items makes quite a claim. He’s been to more than his share of big education conferences, from the niche English-teacher meetings to the more all-encompassing type events.

But he thinks that they are on the demise.

He points to his own observations, and the fact that several of his own speaking engagements this year were canceled for lack of attendance. The cost and time away from the classroom are too much to ask anymore, he argues. Burke hopes that teachers and administrators will find other ways to share their ideas, discuss their challenges, and to network with their colleagues.

Burke is mostly talking about teacher-focused conferences, though. I imagine that the economy is having an impact on many, if not all, education conferences. You won’t see many educators taking the kinds of executive retreats that have caused a backlash against Wall Street bankers this year. Do you agree with Burke, though, that the big state or national convention will become “a memory of a distant time”?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.