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Archive for February 2019

Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

The guest on this week's programme is Dr. Tara Concannon Gibney who is an assistant professor in Dublin City University. The interview is to mark the launch of Tara's new book Teaching Essential Literacy Skills in the Early Years Classroom: A Guide for Students and Teachers, which is published by Routledge. Among the topics we discuss this week are the following:

  • Why she wrote the book
  • Phonological awareness and how to develop it using games
  • Using big books to teach literacy (e.g. Owl Babies)
  • How to teach phonics
  • Sequence for teaching phonics
  • Developing fluency
  • Teaching concepts of print
  • Tier 2 vocabulary
  • Comprehension strategies – Gradual release of responsibility model
  • High frequency – Dolch - words
  • Guided reading literacy centres
  • Role of play in developing language and literacy




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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

Theme tune by David Vesey.

On this week's programme, the guests were two of the keynote speakers from the 2019 annual conference of the Irish Primary Principals' Network, the IPPN, Adam Harris and Patrick O'Shea. Adam Harris is the Chief Executive Officer of AsIAm, an organisation set up to give people with autism a voice. My conversation with Adam included the following topics:

  • His message for primary school principals
  • The importance of school culture
  • The “scattered skill sets” of people with autism
  • The value of focusing on a student’s strengths
  • Disclosing the having of autism
  • Support for students with autism
  • A student’s relationship with their SNA
  • The work of As I Am
  • Awareness of versus Understanding People with autism
  • Coping mechanisms for difficult situations and places
  • Being diagnosed as having autism


Professor Patrick O'Shea was appointed President of University College Cork in 2017 following a three-decade career in academia in the United States. My conversation with Patrick included the topics below:

  • Why he sees Brexit as a tremendous opportunity for Ireland and Irish education
  • Why he emigrated to the United States and how Ireland changed while he was away
  • His impression of University culture in the United States
  • The mission of University College Cork
  • How learning will happen without teaching
  • Educating explorers rather than training tourists
  • Motivation of Students
  • The role of a School of Education in a University
  • Comparing leadership of a university with leading a primary school
  • A typical day
  • Junior Conferring
  • Why history is what’s left when the noise and the news are gone

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