Sunday, June 18, 2006

Conferences and other thoughts

I have been in Denver since last Tuesday working with one of my research partners, Dr. Teresa Yohon and attending the Mountain Plains Business Education Association annual conference. Teresa and I made a presentation (actually 2 - they asked us to repeat the same presentation) about our ideas on the use of Student Investment Clubs as an instructional strategy. I believe these presentations were quite well received.

Teresa is very competent at technology so we were able to include a 'clicker' segment in the presentation - we asked a series of 10 questions concerning the effects of financial illiteracy and our participants were able to 'click' in their answers. Very cool.

And of course the answers to some of the questions surprised the participants - for instance - over a two year period at the beginning of this decade (century really) - more young people declared bankruptcy than graduated college - a staggering statistic when you think about it.

The conference was pretty good. The sessions gave me some pretty interesting ideas and of course the networking is always fun. Peter Meggison, incoming president of NBEA, was there, Clora Mae Baker, Robert Mitchell, Sharon Lund O'Neil, Nancy Hite, Nancy Zeliff, Sandy Braathen amongst many others. A nice surprise was running into Kelly Wilkinson and Virginia Hemby as I was leaving on Saturday. They were in for a DPE Board meeting.

Two teachers from Regina were there too. Rhonda Haus and Sheri-Lyn Anders were first time attenders at an M-PBEA meeting. Sheri-Lyn is the current president and Rhonda is the current Vice-President of the Saskatchewan Business Teachers Association. It was nice spending time with them there. It is very important, I think, to have Saskatchewan participate in the M-PBEA regional activities. Membership in NBEA strengthens teachers' connection to the Business Education field. I think teachers in Saskatchewan have a lot to learn from their American colleagues but I also think SK teachers could teach the Americans a great deal about teaching and conceptions of our curriculum.

I am always impressed with the attention to awards and recognition I see at these conferences. Although I am not a big fan of competition there is a real value in honouring people who accomplish and are contributors. I guess my preference would be to identify nominees but then honour each of them for their contributions. If someone has sufficiently contributed to the profession to garner a nomination those contributions should be highlighted - there should be no judging and arbitrary valuing by a panel of judges - it isn't likely that these judges can be objective.


Anonymous Lona said...

Just visited your blog -- linked from Alec's. Looking forward to becoming "your student" once again!

Lona Froshaug

7:17 PM  

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