Director of the Teaching Council Tomás Ó Ruairc
FOLLOWING a successful national conference hosted by Mary Immaculate College, the Director of the Teaching Council has called for the development of a ‘Wild Atlantic Way for Education.’
Tomás Ó Ruairc believes FÉILTE, the Teaching Council’s annual festival celebrating the work of teachers, was a “great success” in Limerick when it was hosted here at the beginning of October, the first time the festival was staged outside of Dublin.
“FÉILTE clearly shows the magic that can happen when we create the space for teachers, students and parents to share and celebrate teaching and learning,” Mr Ó Ruairc said.
The festival highlights “that parents and students are keen to talk about teaching and learning.”
“Yet they don’t have the opportunities to have those conversations in their own school communities,” he said, adding that this is despite the fact that Ireland has no shortage of schools, higher education institutes or creative spaces.
“We need to join the dots in some way. We need to make it easier for people to find the spaces to have the conversations in times and places that suit them, no matter who they are or where they are.”
“In short, we need a Wild Atlantic Way for Education; a roadmap of places where people can talk and people can learn and help each other to talk more and learn better,” Mr Ó Ruairc said.
This project would give teachers the chance to continue to access professional learning opportunities, while having conversations about what they have learned, he explained.
Parents and students would also have opportunities to explore what they want to get from learning and teaching. “Teachers and students would have more confidence and scope to innovate in teaching and learning. They would have more space to be as creative as they wished. Teachers would have more space to exercise their professional judgement in the interests of students’ learning, all within a robust yet flexible policy framework at a national level.”