Highlights from the ESAI Conference

Prof Kathy Hall Keynote: Thursday night in St Angela’s College Sligo got off to a great start as Prof Kathy Hall of UCC delivered a tour de force critique of current trends in teaching, learning and assessment. 

Craig Skerrit of the  Centre for Evaluation, Quality & Inspection at DCU spoke about his recent paper on Irish migrant teachers’ experiences and perceptions of autonomy and accountability in the English education system (download and read here). He contrasted the typical  value base of Irish Teachers with the values they found upon migrating to work in England and the tensions which this created as they tried to reconcile personal values with very alien systemic ones in England’s Multi Academy Trusts:

  • In the MATS Teachers perceived that they need to be more…
    • Extrinsically motivated 
    • Colder
    • Individualistic and self-oriented
    • Competitor
  • As opposed to …
    • Altruistically motivated 
    • Warm and caring
    • Selfless
    • Collegial 

Irish Sign Language – a sign of the times – An audible gasp of astonishment greeted PHD researcher Michelle Mitchell when she  revealed that two different versions of Irish Sign language exist, deliberately developed by the male and female Catholic Schools for he Deaf in Dublin in order to create a linguistic divide between male and female deaf students, starting in the mid 19th century. DCU is introducing the first teacher education provision for Irish Sign Language in Sept 2019. 

SCoTENS Evaluation  and first open Call for Papers  – I am delighted to be part of a  collaboration amongst members of the Steering Committee for the unique cross border network, SCoTENS (The Standing Conference of Teacher Education North South) who presented some evidence from the evaluation project, conducted using a novel framework designed by Etienne Wenger and with the advice of this key expert.  An interesting conversation emerged at the end of the talk around accessing views of those not involved in SCoTENS ….of course it is more challenging methodologically – akin to finding out about the hole in the middle of the doughnut…which also defines it…. A recent paper reported some of the results: http://crossborder.ie/site2015/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Copy-of-the-Journal.pdf

SCoTENS Conference 2019 – Leadership across boundaries: Challenges for Educators and Teacher Educators – Call for Papers