Teaching in Texas???

I spent some time in Texas over the summer and was amazed to read this huge billboard on the road from Houston Airport to the city centre. Imagine if this said Want to do brain surgery – when can you start?  OK, I am exaggerating to make a point, but given the choice to decrease state support for public education (with concomitant increase in class sizes and decrease in classroom resources) in Texas (see below) it is unsurprising that there are difficulties in recruiting teachers for public schools.

God Save Texas, A Journey into the Future of America by Lawrence Wright
God Save Texas, A Journey into the Future of America by Lawrence Wright

I read Lawrence Wright’s new book (an insightful and balanced read) God Save Texaswhich suggests that that we should all be very interested in Texas because this is the future of America. He also suggests the decreases to school budgets may be intentionally racist –  most pupils in public schools are not white (p.281).

State General Funding Per Student (chart)
Click to enlarge: State General Funding Per Student (chart)


One of the joys of my professional career is working with the cross-border network for teacher education which was set up following the Good Friday Agreement and continues to thrive!  This week SCoTENS is in New York!

SCoTENS (the Standing Conference for Teacher Education, North and South)  –  (a unique cross-border network in times of maximal crossness about borders!)  is the focus of a Seminar at the American Education Research Association Conference in New York City on Saturday 13th April 2018.

The seminar which is sponsored by the Education Studies Association of Ireland will outline a social history of SCoTENS and also present some of the early findings of an evaluation of the value of SCoTENS which has been undertaken using a framework designed by Prof Etienne Wenger, the key theorist in situated learning who was they keynote speaker at our annual conference in 2016.

This Wordle (wordlr.com) sums up the key value of ScoTENS based on key words in the data – just to provide a glimpse of the data which we are still working on….