By Gene Kerns, EdD, Vice President and Chief Academic Officer
It’s that time of the year again. Schools around the nation are starting back up, summer is dwindling, and SXSWedu PanelPicker® voting is officially open. SXSWedu®, an offshoot of SXSW (South by Southwest), is one of the most innovative education conferences in the United States. (see our takeaways from last year’s event here). From March 5–8, 2018, educators from around the nation will once again gather to hear from education thought leaders, attend compelling sessions, and much more.
SXSWedu is only six months away, and I’m extremely excited about our panel proposal because it highlights my upcoming book on the science of expertise. The work contains some dynamic new insights, and SXSWedu is the perfect platform for sharing them.
Expected to be released late this fall, Unlocking Student Talent: The New Science of Developing Expertise dives into the research around developing expertise and applies it specifically to K–12 education. Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, authors of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, have been interested in a dialogue around applying the concept of deliberate practice in multiple domains and settings, and we were humbled by their comments that “This book offers some revolutionary proposals for transforming general education and, in particular, describes how to produce high-school graduates who are independent learners that are prepared and ready to employ appropriate methods to acquire whatever skills they need to succeed in their careers.”
All of this makes for a lively and thought-provoking panel for SXSWedu in the spring. But we need your help to make it onto the program! Curious to see learn more about the panel? Below is a synopsis directly from SXSWedu’s website:
As “architects of the intellect,” do educators have a deep understanding of how expertise is developed? A primary goal of teaching is to build and foster expertise and the desire for it in students—and understanding the true story of expertise can enable educators to lay more effective foundations. Gene M. Kerns, PhD, VP and Chief Academic Officer at Renaissance, takes a deeper dive into research on world class performance with the goal of distilling it for educators to use in the classroom.
There’s nothing typical about SXSWedu, including the process for how they select panels that will make their way to the event each year. A significant portion of a panel’s success depends on a crowd-sourced vote—and a vote from you would help tremendously. To cast a vote, head to the SXSWedu PanelPicker site and create an account with your email address. (It takes less than a minute!) Afterward, log in with your new account and go to Unlocking Student Talent: The Science of Expertise and click “vote up” on the left side of your screen.
That’s all there is to it. Voting is open NOW and runs through Friday, August 25.
Gene Kerns, EdD, is a third-generation educator with teaching experience from elementary through the university level, in addition to his K–12 administrative experience. As Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Renaissance, Dr. Kerns advises educators in both the US and the UK about academic trends and opportunities. Previously, he served as the Supervisor of Academic Services for the Milford School District in Milford, Delaware. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Longwood College in Virginia and a doctor of education degree from the University of Delaware. His first publication, Informative Assessment: When It’s Not About a Grade, focused on using routine, reflective, and rigorous informative assessments to inform and improve teaching practices and student learning.