Numerous teaching representatives from Athlone primary schools were in attendance at the INTO Consultative Conference on Education in Tullamore in recent times.
In a year when children fleeing from the atrocious war in Ukraine have unexpectedly found themselves sitting in classrooms in every county in Ireland learning as Gaeilge and in English, the conference title ‘Language Matters’ was a particularly timely topic for the teaching profession to consider.
Discussions on learning and research with a focus on language, and workshops with themes of language, teaching, and learning took place at the conference. How best to teach language to children and the integration of modern language into the Irish primary curriculum were two of the topics addressed by speakers in Tullamore. Keynote speakers for the conference included Karen Ruddock, Director of Post-Primary Languages Ireland (PPLI ) and Pádraig Ó Duibhir, Director of the DCU Research Centre for Learning and Teaching of Irish.
The start of this year’s conference saw the launch of the Ashling Murphy Memorial Entrance Scholarship jointly awarded by the INTO and Mary Immaculate College (MIC ) to remember the life of Ashling and cherish her memory. Commencing next year, the scholarship will be awarded to a first year Bachelor of Education student in acknowledgment of their exceptional talent and achievements in the area of traditional Irish music.
A special 10th anniversary edition of the Irish Teachers’ Journal was also launched at the conference by INTO President John Driscoll. The aim of the journal since its first publication in 2013, is to encourage teacher thought and creativity through discussions and reflections on current issues in education. It also aims to provide a platform for teachers on the island of Ireland, to have their research findings published and brought to a wider audience. The journal is distributed to all primary schools in the Republic of Ireland and primary and post primary schools in Northern Ireland.
The INTO Education Committee (EDC ) was established in 1967 to advise the Central Executive Committee (CEC ) on matters relating to education. The EDC consists of one representative from each of the 16 INTO districts, each elected for a three-year term. The committee meets five times a year.
Since its establishment, the EDC has considered a wide range of matters relevant to teachers, including special education, social inclusion, curriculum review, assessment, and teacher education. The committee hosts consultative conferences on an annual basis.