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On this week's programme I speak to Paddy Madden about teaching and learning outdoors. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • How weather engages the senses when we learn outdoors
  • Benefits of teaching outdoors
  • Forest bathing
  • Noticing Nature
  • Cloud watching, listening to the sound of birds, smelling flowers.
  • Daily 15-minute walkabout
  • Teaching outdoors across the curriculum
  • Book: Sue Waite Children Learning Outside the classroom
  • A silly symphony
  • Preparing for outdoor learning
  • Learning outcomes
  • Ways of Knowing by John Quinn
  • A spiral curriculum – revisiting topics at a more complex level
  • Teaching outdoors in September
    • What to do when a wasp enters your classroom
    • Spiders
    • Planting a square metre of wheat
  • Integration across the curriculum using topic of wheat
  • Painting – called The Gleaners (I mistakenly called it “The Garners” in the recording)
  • Places to visit at this time of year
  • Fruit and seed walk: Dry fruit (e.g. helicopters, nuts) and succulent fruit (blackberries, rowan berries, sloes)
  • How school grounds can sometimes be barren
  • Paddy’s vision of ideal school grounds
  • Creating raised beds in a school grounds
  • Furniture for outdoors learning
  • Making a pond safe for a school setting
  • Making clipboards from recycled corroboard
  • How to position a bird box correctly
  • The value of a compass in school for showing directions
  • Why he dislikes terms such as a “bug hotel” or a “bug viewer”
  • Working outdoors in an urban environment
  • Using window boxes to grow food
  • Using binoculars with early finishers
  • The “Engage with Nature” website
  • Nature as a stage
  • The value of unstructured play
  • Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
  • John Feehan’s books
  • Richard Louv: "The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need."
  • Sacha Hamilton, the Duchess of Abercorn and activities of the Pushkin Trust

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this 400th episode of Inside Education I am delighted to be joined by the co-presenter of my favourite podcast, Speak-up Storytelling. Matthew Dicks is also an elementary school teacher and the author of Storyworthy: Engage, teach, persuade, and change your life through the power of storytelling. He blogs and shares other resources at his website. Matthew shares a story with listeners to this week's podcast and among the other topics we discuss are:

  • Becoming a teacher
  • Studying in a community college while working in McDonalds before winning scholarships to university
  • Manipulating his dream to fit his reality instead of manipulating his reality to fit his dream
  • What he likes and dislikes about teaching
  • Teaching children writing like an editor treats a writer (giving them time, choice, audience, purpose)
  • The importance of letting a child share their writing and how to respond to the child’s writing
  • Providing feedback for students on their writing
  • Why he writes
  • The kind of stories he tells on stage
  • The idea he developed called “homework for life”
  • How he uses storytelling in his elementary school teaching
  • Improvisational story telling games
  • The consequence of storytelling and story-writing being acts “of courage”
  • Sharing writing as a celebratory moment
  • Having a stage, curtains, lighting and a sound system in his class
  • Teaching Shakespeare to fifth grade students
  • “Whatever your passion is, bring it to the classroom”
  • Albert Cullum Shakespeare in the classroom
  • A typical day in his classroom
  • Disliking school as a student
  • Why he teaches to the students who don’t want to be in class; not assuming that any student wants to be in school on any given day
  • How his approach to planning has changed
  • He is a problem-solving, big-picture person – not someone who likes to write a unit of work or draft a school plan
  • Managing behaviour in the classroom
  • Why he dislikes homework: children should read every day and learn to study. He prefers long-term assignments over short-term ones
  • Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
  • Using competence in storytelling to be a better interviewee when you go for a job
  • Telling a story

 

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme I'm delighted to speak to Professor Kathy Hall from University College Cork. In a wide-ranging discussion about teaching, teacher education, research and policy, the topics raised include the following:

  • Becoming a primary teacher in Carysfort College
  • Doing a Bachelor in Arts degree in University College Dublin, with many other primary teachers, followed by a H.Dip
  • Returning to Carysfort to do a postgraduate diploma course in special educational needs
  • Starting a Masters degree in Trinity College, transferring to complete and PhD and becoming a teacher educator in Christchurch Canterbury College
  • Moving to Leeds Metropolitan University and subsequently to the Open University and two years later to University College Cork
  • Her doctoral dissertation on the topic of discovery learning and first language learning
  • Her book, Listening to Stephen Read and its implications for teaching reading
  • Why some children leave school with limited literacy
  • The relationship between policy and teaching literacy
  • How the market influences education in Ireland
  • Assessing student teachers’ preparedness to teach literacy
  • Summative and formative Assessment – Black and William Important Review on Formative Assessment
  • Can anyone teach?
  • The relationship between skills, practice and reflection in teaching
  • School and University roles in teacher education
  • The unifying theme across all her research
  • Discourse analysis as a research method and what you can learn about classrooms from using this method. In this framework she refers to the IRF – initiation, response and feedback – pattern of classroom interaction.
  • Doctoral research topics
  • How different opportunities to learn can exist within the same classroom
  • Problems with competitive classrooms
  • Advice she would give the Minister for Education
  • Etienne Wenger Communities of Practice book
  • Tara Westover Educated

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's podcast I interview Finbarr Hurley about his experience teaching in some European Schools and about his thoughts on leadership. He is currently working as a Coordinator with the Centre for School Leadership. Among the topics we discuss on the podcast are the following:

  • Wanting to teach from a young age
  • His experience in Mary Immaculate College
  • Proving yourself as a teacher when you begin in a school
  • The importance of changing career post every 5-6 years
  • The importance of figuring out what makes children tick
  • Teaching in Cork and Teaching in Brussels
  • Designing a classroom of the future
  • A synopsis of the European Schools system
  • Learning from working alongside teachers from other countries
  • Moving to an International School in Qatar
  • Working with teaching coaches
  • Involving children in parent-teacher meetings
  • Teaching without textbooks
  • Bringing members of a circus in to work with his students in Germany
  • Identifying what is valued in a school, across the school community
  • Challenges of being a principal in Ireland
  • Providing continuous professional development (CPD) for principals and principals’ needs for CPD
  • Why it’s okay for principals to fail (the first attempt at learning)
  • One of his own principals
  • Simon Senek (Be the last to speak)
  • Andy Hargreaves
  • Book: Wholesome Leadership
  • Luke Jefferson Day, editor of GQ Magazine in London.
  • Simone Marchetti – creativity outside of education
  • The value of sofas in classsrooms

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme I speak to Dr. Liz Dunphy, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education in Dublin City University's Institute of Education about her work. Among the topics we discuss are the following:

 

 

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's podcast I speak to the President (Damian White), Deputy President (Brian O'Doherty) and Chief Executive Officer (Páiric Clerkin) of the Irish Primary Principals' Network at the annual conference of the Network. The IPPN is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Among the topics we discuss are the following:

Damian White

  • Workload and making the job of principal more sustainable into the future
  • The PIEW model: Prioritise, Implement, Embed, Wait.
  • Prioritising initiatives in a school. Refers to the Looking at our Schools document.
  • Identifying and making room for urgent new initiatives within the PIEW model.
  • Wellbeing
  • Support groups for principals
  • Working with local education centres
  • Relationship between the Centre for School Leadership, the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) and the IPPN
  • Relationship between the IPPN and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO)
  • On having the Secretary General and not the Minister address the conference

 

Brian O’Doherty

  • Difference between roles of President/Deputy President and Chief Executive Officer of IPPN
  • Being principal of a large school
  • Working collaboratively with an administrative Deputy Principal
  • Principalship and school budgets
  • The financial and support services unit (FFSU) and reporting procedures
  • Challenges in managing cash flow in schools
  • Questions principals should ask about school finances

 

Páiric Clerkin

 

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme I bring you an interview with Liam Murray who is secretary of Ficheall, a network of teachers around Ireland who teach chess in primary school. Among the topics discussed and the resources mentioned are the following:

  • Is chess a curricular or extra-curricular activity?
  • What students learn from playing chess: developing their social, cognitive and mental fitness skills
  • How he organises chess teaching in his own classroom, using the lesson plans on the website and adopting a “(mini-) game-based” approach
  • Organising a school chess tournament
  • Helping students lose and win gracefully
  • Using a points system to decide who wins a game of chess with limited time to play
  • Describing the game of chess (what is meant by checkmate and castling?)
  • History of the game
  • How chess compares to draughts
  • How children respond to playing chess
  • How Liam first became involved in teaching chess in schools when he was a student teaher
  • How different children respond to learning or playing chess
  • Playing face to face versus playing on apps or computers
  • Children getting better at chess over time
  • The “Masters” competition (for fifth and sixth class) and the “Budding Masters” competition (for third and fourth class).
  • Children playing chess from first class onwards
  • Why it’s good to play chess with players who are better than you (“If you’re not losing, you’re not learning”)
  • Resources available on the Ficheall website
  • The Ficheall network of teachers
  • How inter-school chess tournaments are organised (the “Swiss System, ” timing games)
  • The role of chess arbiters in inter-school tournaments
  • Relationship of Ficheall to Moves for Life
  • How Liam got interested in chess himself
  • Follow-on opportunities for children to play chess
  • Opportunities for playing chess in post primary schools (Leinster Schools Chess Association)
  • The use of clocks in professional chess games
  • What is school for/what are schools for
  • Volunteering with Graham Jones and the Solas Project
  • How he is inspired by the selfless dedication of teachers
  • Evidence-Based Teachers’ Network
  • Anseo podcasts
  • Book Bounce by Matthew Syed.
  • Book Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed.
  • Book Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's podcast I speak to Professor Nell Duke from the University of Michigan School of Education about literacy education and project-based instruction. Professor Duke was a keynote speaker at the 43rd Annual Conference of the Literacy Association of Ireland. Among the wide range of topics we discuss on the podcast and the resources mentioned are the following:  

  • The role of project-based literacy in promoting reading and writing development
  • The importance of purpose and audience for children’s writing
  • Sources of project ideas: Edutopia, PBL works, Nell’s website
  • Identifying sources of project in local communities
  • Incorporating student voice and choice into projects
  • Teacher preparation to design the flow of a project work with students
  • Nell’s website – Inside Information Downloadables
  • The importance of audience beyond teachers, parents and grandparents
  • Working alone versus working in groups on projects
  • At what age can children begin to work on project-based literacy?
  • The ideal duration of a project
  • The balance of literacy goals and cross-curricular goals in project-based literacy instruction
  • Educating children from an early age about trustworthy sources. The use of the mnemonic WWWDOT (Who? Why? When? Does it meet my needs? Organisation of site/text? To Do List for future)
  • Molly of Denali
  • Helping students move beyond bland responses to peers’ work
  • Various templates mentioned available here.
  • Why reading is so hard for many students to master
  • The DRIVE model of reading (Deploying Reading in Varied Environments)
  • The value of teaching sound-letter relationships; deliberately teaching phonics, morphology and text structure
  • Gaps between research on reading instruction and the practice of reading instruction
  • Reliable sources of research evidence for teachers: Institute of Education Sciences What Works Clearinghouse; Practice guides.
  • Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators General Education Leadership Network Early Literacy Task Force and Literacy Essentials.
  • International Literacy Association.
  • Literacy Association of Ireland.
  • Responding to differences among students in a literacy classroom: small group literacy instruction
  • Why it’s important to teach reading and writing together. See work by Gram and Hebert (2010).
  • What parents can do in the home to promote literacy achievement
  • What a typical working day is like for her and how she manages her time
  • Knowing what not to do in teaching
  • Not this but that book series.
  • What schools are for
  • She loves reading: Reading Research Quarterly (Journal of the International Literacy Association), Scientific Studies of Reading, Review of Educational Research.

In her keynote address Nell referred to the following websites, which were not mentioned in the podcast. I'm listing them here because they may be of help to some listeners.

High Quality Project Based Learning

Pow+Tree Writing Strategy

She also referred to this article which was a meta-analysis of process writing.

 

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune: David Vesey

My guest on the programme this week is my colleague in Marino Institute of Education and the person behind the social media identity, Little Miss Teacher. She is Clara Fiorentini and we talk about play, literacy, phonics, early years education and much more. Here are the topics we discuss and the times at which they appear.  

  • Why she started posting on social media (1’33”)
  • Her thoughts on the new language curriculum and her interest in literacy, especially early literacy (7’00” and 24’11”))
  • A typical day in her classroom (with a focus on literacy activities)
  • Different kinds of play 12’03”
  • The kind of stories she used in her teaching (14’35”)
  • Phonics and literacy instruction (16’22”)
  • Literacy in more senior classes (21’42”)
  • The phonics programme she participated in developing, Sounds Like Phonics (23’46”)
  • Her approach to teaching (26’48”)
  • Returning to study for a master’s degree in children’s literature (29’50”)
  • What schools are for 33’41”
  • A teacher who had a significant impact on her (34’48”)
  • Who inspires her (39’13”)

Among the resources and materials mentioned by Clara were the following:

Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell

Goodnight Mr Tom by Michell Magorian

David Walliams

The book with no pictures by BJ Novak

Rita Pierson – Ted Talk – Every child deserves a champion

Jen Jones on picture books

 

My recommendation:

Podcast: Speak-Up Storytelling with Matthew and Elysha Dicks

Book: Storyworthy: Engage, teach, persuade and change your life through the power of storytelling by Matthew Dicks

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

This week's programme is the last for the school year 2018-19. We look at topics relating to the end of the primary school year: school tours (in a continuation of my conversation with Caitriona Cosgrave and Martin Kennedy from last week's programme), summer courses for teachers (with my colleague, Dr. Gene Mehigan), and presents for teachers (again with Martin Kennedy and Caitriona Cosgrave).

I wish all listeners to the podcast a great summer. I always love to get your feedback on it by e-mail (insideeducation@dublincityfm.ie) or through Twitter. Similarly suggestions for future topics or guests are always welcome.

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