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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's podcast I bring you my interview with Alfie Kohn, who writes and speaks about education, especially in areas such as homework, standardised testing and punishments and rewards. Among the items we discuss on the podcast are the following:

  • Fostering students’ curiosity and encouraging them to think deeply
  • Teachers participating with children in an exploration of ideas to move beyond factual knowledge
  • How teachers can teach to promote students’ thinking
  • The inverse relationship between teacher control and student learning
  • Why learning starts with a question
  • John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Ed Deci and Richard Ryan (Self-determination theory)
  • Why rewards and punishment don’t help children learn
  • Why saying “Good job” to your students is the equivalent of a “verbal doggy biscuit”
  • Children who are frequently praised are less generous than their peers
  • How children know when they’re being controlled and how they respond to it
  • How teachers can respond to students’ work and respect the child’s autonomy
  • Implementing a no-homework policy in a school
  • Why he believes that giving homework to children constitutes malpractice.
  • Excitement (about learning) drives excellence
  • Standardised tests and teacher accountability; Authentic assessments – tap into projects done by students over time
  • Why standardised teaching tells you only two things: (i) how much time was given to teaching test taking and (ii) how big the houses are near the school.
  • Differences between role of parent and teacher: Unconditional parenting and unconditional teaching
  • Punished by Rewards
  • Unconditional Parenting

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme I'm delighted to speak to Professor Kathy Hall from University College Cork. In a wide-ranging discussion about teaching, teacher education, research and policy, the topics raised include the following:

  • Becoming a primary teacher in Carysfort College
  • Doing a Bachelor in Arts degree in University College Dublin, with many other primary teachers, followed by a H.Dip
  • Returning to Carysfort to do a postgraduate diploma course in special educational needs
  • Starting a Masters degree in Trinity College, transferring to complete and PhD and becoming a teacher educator in Christchurch Canterbury College
  • Moving to Leeds Metropolitan University and subsequently to the Open University and two years later to University College Cork
  • Her doctoral dissertation on the topic of discovery learning and first language learning
  • Her book, Listening to Stephen Read and its implications for teaching reading
  • Why some children leave school with limited literacy
  • The relationship between policy and teaching literacy
  • How the market influences education in Ireland
  • Assessing student teachers’ preparedness to teach literacy
  • Summative and formative Assessment – Black and William Important Review on Formative Assessment
  • Can anyone teach?
  • The relationship between skills, practice and reflection in teaching
  • School and University roles in teacher education
  • The unifying theme across all her research
  • Discourse analysis as a research method and what you can learn about classrooms from using this method. In this framework she refers to the IRF – initiation, response and feedback – pattern of classroom interaction.
  • Doctoral research topics
  • How different opportunities to learn can exist within the same classroom
  • Problems with competitive classrooms
  • Advice she would give the Minister for Education
  • Etienne Wenger Communities of Practice book
  • Tara Westover Educated

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

This week I bring you an interview with the new Chief Executive Officer of Educate Together, Dr. Emer Nowlan in the week she takes up her new appointment. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • Her career in education to date: becoming a PE teacher, running a language school in Portugal
  • Doing a masters and doctorate in UCD
  • Being project manager for setting up second level Educate Together schools
  • Working on the Migrant Teacher Project
  • Challenges faced by migrant teachers who wish to teach in Ireland
  • Lessons learned from the Migrant Teacher Project to date
  • Anticipating her new role as CEO of Educate Together
  • Plans for establishing new Educate Together schools
  • How Educate Together has evolved over the last 40 years
  • What equality-based education looks like
  • How to promote equality-based education without stereotyping
  • Educate Together’s role as school patron
  • Enrolment policies for schools
  • The work of CEO in Educate Together
  • Her priorities for her term as CEO
  • Challenges facing the Educate Together sector
  • Characteristics of a principal in an Educate Together school
  • Facilitating denominational religious instruction in Educate Together Schools

She names some people whose work she admires.

 

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's programme I discuss how research can inform teaching with Professor Chris Brown from Durham University's School of Education. Professor Brown discusses his work with teachers in professional learning networks, how teachers can apply research in their schools, and the barriers to doing so.

Among the topics discussed are the following:

  • How frequently do teachers consult research to solve problems of teaching?
  • The need to draw first on teachers’ knowledge and experience
  • How does research add to, challenge or deepen teachers’ knowledge?
  • The importance of teachers collaboratively engaging with and looking at research
  • Having an “evidence champion” in a school and partnerships with higher education institutions
  • The quality of research available to teachers (original, significant, robust methods)
  • Different kinds of research (Stokes’s quadrant)
  • Carol Weiss and instrumental research use, conceptual research use and symbolic research use (9’22” – 10’08")
  • Drawing on research to develop theories of action
  • Teachers’ access to published research
  • Networks of teachers and effective change management (17’36). The focus of the four whole-day workshops each year is:
    1. Vision and engagement with research
    2. Trialling
    3. Change Management
    4. Impact
  • Leadership and degree centrality (24’53”)
  • Evaluating “best practice” (27’58”)
  • Areas of research that have been particularly helpful in informing teachers’ practice (30’26”)
  • Factors that influence what and how research influences policy (31’49”)
  • Professional Learning Networks (34’45”)
  • The role played by encouragement, trust, social influence, and innovation in promoting research-informed practice (35’59”)
  • Avoiding edu-myths or other dead-ends in research (39’39”)
  • What are schools for (40’51”)
  • A teacher who had a significant impact on him (42’17”)
  • What inspires him (43’17”)

Among the people named by Chris Brown in the course of the interview are Stephen Ball, Jean Baudrillard, Alan Daly, Jim Spillane and Carol Weiss, some of whom have appeared on previous episodes of Inside Education: Ball, Spillane.

The paper that I reported on in the research section is Fan, H., Xu, J., Cai, Z., He, J & Fan, X. (2017). Homework and students' achievement in math and science: A 30-year meta-analysis, 1986-2015.

 

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 Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Theme music composed and arranged by David Vesey.

On this week's programme I speak to Arjen Wals from the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands where he is Professor of Transformative Learning for Socioecological Sustainability/UNESCO Chair. He was a keynote speaker at the 2018 annual conference of the Association for Teacher Education of Europe, which was held in Gävle in Sweden in August. Among the topics we discussed were the following:

  • Why a sustainable approach to teaching is important
  • Why teachers alone cannot bring about sustainable living
  • How to promote sustainable choices in education
  • How sustainable choices may vary from one place to another
  • Why making teachers more accountable discourages them from taking risks
  • CSI – Critical Sustainability Investigations (example with old mobile phones)
  • Students taking photos of things that bother them in their environment and sharing them
  • “Alternative” pedagogies (experimental learning, embodied learning, place-based learning, discovery learning, problem-based learning)
  • The risk of having future people in power acting in an eco-totalitarian manner if sustainability issues are not addressed while time is available
  • What Policymakers can do to make education more sustainable

During our conversation Professor Wals referred to Fairphone.

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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 members of the Mulcahy family who are originally from Cork but who are now working as education professors in the United States. Donal G Mulcahy and Cara Mulcahy are in the School of Education and Professional Studies at Central Connecticut State University. Donal E Mulcahy is a professor and Director of Elementary Education in the Department of Education at Wake Forest University.

Among the topics we discussed in this part of the interview are the following:

  • Donal G's career trajectory
  • Comparing features of the US and Irish education systems
  • The establishment of the Education Studies Association of Ireland
  • Diane Ravitch and her influence in US education
  • What constitutes a liberal education?
  • Having faith in teachers
  • Sources of Inspiration

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme I interview three members of the Mulcahy family who are originally from Cork but who all work as education professors in the United States. The father, Donal G. Mulcahy, and daughter, Cara Mulcahy both work in the School of Education and Professional Studies at Central Connecticut State University and Cara's brother, Donal E. Mulcahy is a professor and Director of Elementary Education in the Department of Education at Wake Forest University. They each addressed the 2017 annual confernece of the Education Studies Association of Ireland, of which Donal G. was a founding member.

Among the points raised on the programme are:

  • The purpose of Education
  • Control of education and the role of teachers, policymakers, administrators, foundations and corporations
  • The workshop approach to teaching reading and writing 18’26” Authors referred to include Lucy Calkins, author of The Art of Teaching Writing; Linda Rief, author of Seeking Diversity: Language Arts with Adolescents; and Nancy Atwell, author of In the Middle.
  • Why policymakers pay insufficient heed to education research.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

This week I speak to Dr. Brian Fleming, a retired school principal and author of Irish Education 1922 - 2007: Cherishing all the Children? Among the topics discussed during our conversation were the following:

  • Who he spoke to in writing the book
  • Where the power lies in education today
  • What can be done to reduce inequality in education
  • How the insertion of a single word, “for” in the Irish Constitution shaped the government’s role in education
  • Provision for reducing disadvantage in the 1998 Education Act

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme I speak to Annette Honan from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment about the new Leaving Certificate subject, Politcs and Society.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

My guest on the programme this week is Georgeta Ion. Originally from Romania, Georgeta is a lecturer in the Department of Applied Pedagogy at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

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