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The Educational Colloquium and Continuing Professional Development Programme

The Educational Colloquium of the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, and the West of Scotland invites you to participate in a series of presentations/workshops/ discussions in our new winter programme.  The programme (See details below) is designed for individuals from all sectors – nurseries, schools, colleges, universities with an interest in topical subjects in education and related disciplines.  We think it represents the best value CPD in Scotland.  The Colloquium is a registered CPD provider and the full programme counts as 10 hours of CPD, 2 hours per meeting.  CPD certificates are available at all meetings.  If you would like to find out what it is like and meet a great group of people just come along to a meeting, without charge…and bring a friend!   We start all meetings with a little free hospitality and you will be made most welcome…and we will gently encourage you to join the Colloquium.  

You can join by just coming along to a meeting or by contacting Margaret McFarlane at the e-mail address below.

The regular meetings will be held in The School of Education, University of Glasgow, St Andrew’s Building, 11 Eldon Street, on the first Thursday of every month at 5:30 for 6:00pm

Please Note: Meetings here are postponed for the duration of the Covid 19 crisis.

Hon President: Professor James C Conroy

Chair:  Joseph McDowall

Secretary:  Margaret McFarlane

Treasurer: Joseph McDowall

Committee:   Professor Tom Bryce, Jean Carwood-Edwards, John Cassidy, Professor Donald Gillies, Alasdair Macdonald, Don Perry (Co-opted), Christine Wicklow.

Important Announcement

The Educational Colloquium invites you to a Zoom meeting on Thursday 4th March 2021 at 7.00pm.

A webinar with Mark Priestley (Professor of Education, University of Stirling).

[Re]making Curriculum for Excellence.

How do we make the most of the OECD review of the Scottish Curriculum?

To register please contact Joseph McDowall -

for the links and login information.

All are welcome, and we encourage colleagues from across the educational landscape to join in our first ever online seminar!

The forthcoming OECD review of Curriculum for Excellence perhaps offers the best opportunity for years to reboot the Scottish curriculum, building on its strengths and addressing some of its weaknesses. In this seminar, I shall first explore different conceptions of curriculum and curriculum-making, set out in our recent book, Curriculum Making in Europe.

In the context of Curriculum for Excellence, I offer a critique of existing thinking about curriculum as content and curriculum-making as something that occurs within reified levels within a hierarchical educational system. Such thinking often construes curriculum making as occurring through linear and hierarchical chains of command from policy to practice.

The seminar will:  

Explore the notion of curriculum as social practice, understood systemically across multiple layers or sites of activity.  

Provide an overview of existing thinking/literature about curriculum levels or layers  

Introduce of a conceptualization of curriculum making as social practice within different intertwined sites of activity.  

Consider the implications for curriculum making, including the key importance of meso activity (support, infrastructure and leadership) which sits between macro policy and micro school-based curriculum making.  

I will conclude by reflecting how the above framing might help Scotland respond to the likely conclusions of the forthcoming OECD review.


Please note that the Educational Colloquium is a registered CPD provider and that a session of the Colloquium counts as two hours CPD time.

The Educational Colloquium would like to thank Professor Bob Davis for all his help and support over the years.

Membership of the Educational Colloquium

The Educational Colloquium was originally an association of M.Ed. graduates of the University of Glasgow.  The Universities of Strathclyde and the West of Scotland joined the association.  It has now evolved and the committee encourages colleagues from across the educational landscape to become members.  Also, guests will be most welcome at all meetings without charge.

Annual membership subscription is:

Individual £15/ School, Early Years Establishment £15*/ Education authority £30*

See website to pay with Paypal

(*For this programme individual schools, early years establishments and education authorities can take out a membership which would allow any member of staff to attend all of the meetings.)

Enquiries to Margaret McFarlane:

The Educational Colloquium would like to thank Professor Trevor Gale for all his help and support.