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TEP 2 TEN Conference - By the University of East London Year 2 Doctorate Trainees
Exeter Trainee Educational Psychologists (TEPs) organised an outstanding TEP conference at Exeter University on 3rd September 2010 for Trainees from Professional Doctorates around the country. The conference included two main speakers, a range of workshops and some great networking for new entrants to a profession in flux.
Dr Jacqui Ashton Smith, Principal of the National Autistic Society Helen Allison School, began the day with a fascinating presentation entitled 'The identification and education of girls on the autism spectrum'. Having worked in the field of autism education for 30 years, she provided a wealth of information and anecdotes relevant to the practice of EPs. Of particular interest was difference in sociability profiles and diagnostic rates by gender. To meet the needs of this group EPs need to challenge some of the existing gender stereotypes especially with regard to Asperger Syndrome.
Dr Paul Howard-Jones, from Bristol University, spoke about neuroscience in education, and used an interactive 'gameshow' style presentation entitled 'Towards Neuroeducational Research.' He discussed the ways in which neuroscience is perceived as particularly powerful by educators and sometimes misrepresented in simplistic media reports. He emphasised the undue weight given to findings when they are supported by
brain scan images. Following this was a demonstration of software based on neuroscientific findings which capitalises on risk and chance as motivators in learning. This showed how useful this research paradigm can be in informing educational practice.
Workshops covered a range of topics including as speech and language interventions, consultation, circle time and the perennial question of the future of our profession. The success of the conference demonstrated that, even during uncertain times such as these, there are plenty of those in/or entering the profession who are eager to share their
knowledge, learn from and inspire each other.
The next conference is being organised by University of East London TEPs in September 2011.
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