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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

In this podcast I explore the topic of education and autism by speaking to a classroom teacher, Graham Manning from Cork, and a university researcher, Professor Steffie van der Steen from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Among the topics we discuss are:

  • How Graham became coordinator of classes for autistic students in school
  • The organisation with which Graham undertook training on helping students develop good sleeping habits.
  • How Steffie became interested in researching autism and the education of students with autism in the Netherlands.
  • The Salamanca Statement on special needs education:
  • Graham’s class arrangements from a student’s perspective
  • Different needs of autistic students from primary to secondary school
  • Graham’s problem with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Inclusive Education in New Brunswick and that province's views on inclusion versus segregation
  • Excellence in practice: visiting homes of students who apply for the special class and managing transitions from primary to secondary school and from secondary to third level.
  • Graham referred to a quote widely attributed to Dr. Stephen Shore that “when you meet one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”
  • Steffie’s research findings that are relevant for teachers: assessing young children on science concepts (Marble task and air pressure task); four categories of teachers’ needs in relation to teaching students with special needs: cooperation, academic tools, social aspects, reassurance for insecure newly qualified teachers; her hypothesis about the need to ask students both higher- and lower- order questions.
  • Students learned from years of experience with students with autism and getting to know them.
  • Lessons teachers can take from her experience of assessing young students with special education needs: variation in questions and hands-on tasks.
  • Classroom interactions in Graham’s class for autistic students (Building relationships, subject planning, spending time outdoors, making meals together in the “home room,” creating a safe space)
  • Steffie’s research (with her doctoral student, Lisette de Jonge-Hoekstra) on the relationship between children’s speech and their gestures when working on a task (including “gesture-speech mismatch)
  • Steffie on animal-assisted therapy for students with autism
  • Graham on why there are insufficient special classes in post-primary schools
  • Steffie recommends: https://scholar.google.com/.
  • Graham recommends The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida.

 

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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.

On this week's programme I bring you interview sections from previous guests which did not fit into the space available in the original programmes. First we hear Stanford University Professor of Education, Hilda Borko who talks about how she does her research. Then Dr. Katie Novak discusses the challenges and opportunities involved in applying Universal Design for Learning principles. Finally, Professor Akihiko Takahashi from De Paul University presents a Japanese perspective on mathematics teaching and on education more generally.

The programmes they orginally featured on are here:

Hilda Borko

Katie Novak

Akihiko Takahashi

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

This week I speak to education consultant and Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Massachusetts, Dr. Katie Novak, on the topic of Universal Design for Learning. She was in Ireland to give the keynote presentation at the 2017 Conference of AHEAD, the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability in Dublin. Among the topics we discuss are:

 

What is universal design for learning?

How might universal design for learning be applied in teaching English?

What is the difference between differentiated instruction and universal design for learning?

Why students need to fail in the short-term to find long term success.

What skills taught in school do we need to hold onto and what can be safely let go?

 

Katie refers to the book, The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's programme to mark Dyspraxia/DCD Awareness Week 2016, I speak to the mother of a boy who was diagnosed with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) or Dyspraxia. She talks about the effects the condition has on the boy himself, on his family and on his education. I also speak briefly to Harry Conway who is the Chief Executive Officer of Dyspraxia/DCD Ireland.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme I bring you the second part of my interview with Dr. David Rose of CAST where he talks about Universal Design for Learning and schools having a "print disability."

Dr. Barbara O'Toole, who is coordinator of the Masters in Education Studies (Intercultural Education) programme at the Marino Institute of Education discusses some of the challenges faced by children of linguistic minorities in schools.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme my guest was the co-founder of CAST, and the developer of Universal Design for Learning, Dr. David Rose. He lectures at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

For this programme I spoke to Michelle Shiels, a graduate of Stranmillis University College, who gave a workshop input on autism at the annual SCoTENS conference. I spoke to Neil Hallinan, a retired teacher and current member of the Irish Mathematics Teachers Association (IMTA) on the fiftieth anniversary of the organisation's founding and about the 2014 Maths Fest. Finally, I spoke to  Dr Deborah Tannehill, emeritus faculty UL on the topic of fundamental movement in physical education, a topic she is presenting a workshop on in St. Patrick's College on 12 November.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

In the second of a two-part interview, retired principal of Scoil Chiaráin, and teacher educator, Éamon Ó Murchu reflects on his career as a school leader at a pioneering time for special education provision in Ireland.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme I bring you the first part of a two-part interview with retired Principal of Scoil Chiaráin Special School, Glasnevin, Éamonn Ó Murchu. On this week's programme Éamonn discusses his own primary schooling, the influence his teacher and mentor, Bryan MacMahon, had on him and on time he spent teaching in Zimbabwe.

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