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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's podcast I discuss several matters related to teacher education with Professor Ian Menter from Oxford University's Department of Education. The topics we discuss are the following:

  • The Teacher Education Groups study of teacher education policy across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
  • How England is an outlier in attempts to weaken the link between universities and schools in teacher education.
  • Work he’s doing in Ireland with the National Institute for Studies in Education (NISE) based on collaboration across the three teacher education institutions based there.
  • His overview of developments in teacher education across the five nations.
  • The Teach First model of teacher education and its impact on the wider system.
  • Teacher retention and teacher burn-out
  • Evidence-based Teaching: Trials conducted by the Educational Endowment Foundation. The work of the Chartered College of Teaching in England, which has a remit similar to that of Teaching Councils elsewhere; its CEO, Alison Peacock, is committed to evidence-based teaching.
  • How teachers can develop research literacy through their initial teacher education courses and through continuing professional development that is oriented towards evidence-based inquiry.
  • A tendency for post-holders in schools to be “research leads” – people who overview what is happening in school in terms of research and development, who seek outside research that could inform practice and who liaise with universities on research. In some cases there may be research committees in schools.
  • How these ideas can be traced back to the writings of John Dewey and Lawrence Stenhouse – the latter was writing about the “teacher as researcher” in 1975.
  • An increased range of publications now in which research is published for a teacher readership.
  • The need to fund longitudinal research studies into how teachers learn teaching and independent, large-scale studies into teaching and teacher education to inform practice and policy.
  • Envisages greater interaction between the practice, policy and research communities
  • Teachers as researchers
  • Economic (preparing for the workforce), citizenship (engage in community and political system) and cultural (ideas, history to have a sense of the meaning of the world around us) have been the historical purposes of education. Different forces operate behind each of the aims and the balance among them can vary.
  • Research training schools in Finland, linked to universities could be explored more systematically elsewhere.
  • Teacher as a researcher v teacher as a reflective practitioner: Phases on a four-point continuum:
    • Effective teacher
    • Reflective teacher
    • Inquiring teacher and
    • Transformative teacher
  • The kind of initial preparation needed for future primary teachers
  • Difficulties in assessing a student teacher’s preparedness for success in the classroom.
  • Comparison between difficulties in evaluating a teacher’s potential and evaluating potential elite players in sports.
  • His views on having common standards for teachers – benefits and limitations
  • How he came to begin his career as a primary school teacher – the intellectual, emotional and personal challenges of teaching
  • Making the transition from being a teacher to being a teacher educator
  • What schools are for (and not for)
  • A teacher who had a significant impact on him
  • Favourite writers on education: C Wright Mills The Sociological Imagination, which is about the relationship between personal experience and problems in society. Paolo Freire on education for liberation and education for democracy.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's programme I bring you a special episode for Maths Week and to mark the seventh conference of Mathematics Education in Ireland held last weekend in Dublin City University's Institute of Education. First I speak to Dr. Siún Nic Mhuirí (from 1'43") from Dublin City University about the Maths4All project she's working on. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • The Maths4All website and resources
  • Alan Schoenfeld's Teaching for Robust Understanding (TRU) framework
  • Challenges of developing video representations of teaching
  • Pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy in teaching mathematics
  • Her thoughts on this year’s Mathematics Education in Ireland conference
  • A message about the importance of believing that maths is for all students

Next I speak to Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai from the University of Reading (from 15' 51") about using picture story books to teach mathematics.We discuss the following:

  • His goal to have mathematics picture story books used in both primary and secondary schools to teach mathematics
  • Why picture books can help students learn abstract topics
  • Handa’s Surprise
  • Sir Cumference series
  • Using a picture book to provide context for a lesson
  • Reading a story to apply learning to help characters in a story solve a problem
  • How to use a maths picture story book in a mathematics lesson
  • Benefits of using maths picture story books
  • How children react to using maths picture story books in maths class
  • Children writing their own maths picture story books
  • Papert’s theory of constructionism
  • When should maths picture story books be used in mathematics teaching
  • His website mathsthroughstories.org
  • His view of effective mathematics teaching
  • The journey that brought him from Thailand to England
  • Why he likes the Times Educational Supplement

The episode closes with a rant from me about teaching mathematics. I refer to the following books:

 

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

On this week's programme I bring you the second part of my interview with Professor Lin Goodwin from the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. We continue the discussion we began on last week's programme about mentoring and progress onto other topics. Among the matters discussed this week are:

  • How to recognise when the moment is right for mentor input
  • What trends she perceives in the future of mentoring
  • Rounds as a practice in teacher education
  • Her work as Dean
  • How she uses her teaching skills in her work as Dean
  • Looking at education and teaching across cultures
  • Ruth Wong
  • Who and what inspires her

When I asked A. Lin Goodwin for her favourite book about education, she nominated, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, a book that was also recommended by Karen Hammerness when I spoke to her.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

On this week's programme I interview Professor A. Lin Goodwin, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong and formerly of Teachers College, Columbia University about mentoring and teaching. Among the topics we discuss are the following:

  • What mentoring is and is not
  • Everyone can be a mentor but people need to learn to mentor
  • Her experiences of being mentored by Celia Genishi
  • The kind of honesty that mentors need to have
  • The kind of feedback that is helpful
  • Skills and behaviours of mentors
  • Mentoring future researchers
  • Mentoring future teachers
  • Mentors learning from mentees
  • Letting mentees make mistakes
  • Problems if a mentor is reluctant to give candid feedback
  • Why having a framework or a mindset is better than having a formula for giving feedback
  • Getting away from looking at teaching dichotomously
  • Mentors for different occasions
  • Reluctant mentees
  • Some moments are more productive for mentoring than others

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

This week I am joined on the programme by Professor David Clarke and Dr. Man Ching Esther Chan from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. We discussed many aspects of research and teaching, with a focus on mathematics, tasks, questioning and language. Among the topics discussed were:

  • Why a laboratory classroom was set up at the University of Melbourne
  • The social unit of learning research project
  • The layout of the laboratory classroom
  • Negotiating of meaning in mathematics tasks (e.g. meaning of average)
  • Using open ended tasks in teaching mathematics
  • Marking answers to open ended mathematical tasks
  • Involving students in assessing
  • Sources of open-ended tasks
    • If the area of an apartment is 60 square metres, what might the five-room apartment look like?
    • Picture a bar graph where all you have are the bars and the axes but no labels of any sort. What might this be a bar graph of? Label the bar graph and explain what information is contained in the graph.
    • The average age of a family of five people is 25 and one of them is the same age as you. Who might the people be? What are their ages? And how are they related to one another?
    • The average of five numbers is 17.2. What might the five numbers be?
    • A number is rounded off to 5.3. What might the number be?
  • The difference between good questions and good questioning
  • Asking the question, “what is your utility function?” (i.e. that which is maximised by a system)
  • Recognising the learning potential of student voice and cultural differences in how student voice is promoted and elicited
  • Finding tasks that link to the curriculum
  • The Lexicon project

Among the collaborators named by David and Esther were Peter Sullivan, and Neil Mercer. He also mentioned this paper on "initiating and Eliciting in Teaching: A reformulation of Telling" by Joanne Lobato, David Clarke and Amy Burns Ellis.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey

On this week's programme I bring you some interviews I recorded at the 2019 annual conference of the Irish Primary PE Association which was held in the Watershed, Kilkenny on 9 March. First I spoke to Dr. Liam Clohessy, who is chair of the Association and Cameron Stewart who is a member of the Scottish Association of Teachers of Physical Education. Among the topics we covered were

  • Adapting games for use in PE
  • Using PE to develop leadership, resilience and fair play
  • Why physical education is more than physical activity
  • Time allocated to teaching physical education
  • The place of physical education in Scotland
  • Motivating children who are reluctant to engage in physical education class
  • Benefits and drawbacks of specialist teachers for physical education

Cameron recommended Joey Feith's website and Liam recommended the websites Move Well and Move Often and the PE section of the PDST website.

Next I spoke to Dr. Frances Murphy from Dublin City University. The topics we discussed included:

  • Evaluating the Irish Primary PE Association today
  • Strengths and challenges of PE in Ireland today
  • The benefits of integrating physical education with other school subjects
  • How physical education can contribute to addressing obesity among children

Frances recommended checking out the Primary Schools’ Sports Initiative resource.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme music by David Vesey

This week I bring you my third and final episode from the 2019 annual conference of the Irish Primary Principals' Network. First of all I step inside the Aquaculture Remote Classroom to find out what's in store for schools when the mobile classroom visits and I speak to John Hurley of H2 Learning who was involved in designing the experience.

I also speak to Damian White who is Deputy President of the Irish Primary Principals' Network. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • The highlight of the conference for him
  • Prioritising initiatives for schools
  • The role of a school in a community
  • How the IPPN has encouraged cooperation across schools
  • Teachers who taught him
  • How he’d like to be perceived by students in his school

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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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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune by David Vesey.

This week I bring you the first of my interviews recorded at the 2019 annual conference of the Irish Primary Principals' Network. The theme of the conference was Sustainable Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities. My interview today is with the Chief Executive Officer of the Network, Páiric Clerkin. Among the various topics discussed this week are:

  • Relief from teaching duties on one day a week for teaching principals
  • Restoration of posts of responsibility in larger schools
  • Establishment of the Primary Education Forum (Calendar of reform)
  • Problems in schools arising from children who are homeless or in direct provision
  • His priorities for the year ahead (mentoring and the Centre for School Leadership; redeveloping online services)
  • Members’ positive response to the address by the Minister for Education and Skills
  • Applying for a position as School Principal
  • Prioritising for principals and making school leadership "doable"
  • Teachers’ developing their expertise in areas they’re passionate about
  • Transitioning into the role of CEO of the IPPN
  • The writings of Andy Hargreaves

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme tune David Vesey

On this week's programme I speak to two teacher educators, Anja Swennen from the University of Amsterdam and Professor Kay Livingston from the University of Glasgow. Kay Livingston talks about innovative teaching with specific reference to a cross-European research study she is conducting with colleagues in her Research Development Community of the Association of Teacher Education in Europe. Anja Swennen continues the discussion which was begun on last week's programme and among the topics discussed are the following:

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