This programme is designed to offer North American teachers an opportunity to study aspects of the Irish Education System and, concurrently, to study the history, literature and culture of Ireland.
The teachers attending come from a variety of educational backgrounds including elementary and secondary teachers, adult educators and migrant minority language and special education teachers.
We met with Anne Walsh, Academic Director, to hear a little more about this exciting Summer School. “This year’s Summer School will run from 3rd to the 26th of July with over thirty American teachers attending”.
As well as attending lecturers on a variety of subjects including the history and literature of Ireland, church and state in Irish Education, learning difficulties in mainstream education and the famine and education in Ireland , to name but a few, the participants also get to experience the culture of Ireland through a number of organised field trips.
These include walking tours of Galway City, visits to Clonmacnoise, Coole Park and even Inishbofin Island off the coast of Connemara. According to Anne: “The field trips are a really valuable cultural learning experience for the teachers”.
Anne goes on to say: “feedback from attendees is always so positive and it is really this positive word of mouth and recommendations from past participants which promotes the programme year after year.”
Anne shared with us some just some of the comments the programme has received from past participants:
“I was expecting a fun trip and instead got an actual worthwhile learning experience! Most teaching courses give a few games and not much more, so I was blown away by all of the new insights, ideas, and philosophies that I was exposed to!
Another teacher who attended was glowing in their praise of the Summer School:
“I can’t thank all of you enough. I have dreamed about coming to Ireland since I was a little girl. My mother is 100% Irish and she, and the Presentation Sisters who taught me, instilled a real sense of pride in our heritage. To come to Ireland and connect with that heritage was honestly overwhelming at times. The beauty of the land and people; the real depth to the story of great suffering and yet to be people of great joy is something I will never forget. I always knew that the Irish were known for their gift of hospitality and this trip confirmed it 100%. You are awesome people and you went above and beyond in creating that once in a lifetime trip!”
The Education Matters blog is managed by two students from the NUIG MA in Journalism program as part of the Masters work placement program.
Caroline Duggan, mum of four and small business owner is passionate about education and enterprise, and is looking forward to a long and fruitful career in this field. She can be found blogging over here at Cast a wide eye and is also on Twitter .
Mona Wise, mum of four, has a fondness for writing about all things food and family related. She has just finished a five year stint as a mature student and has lots of stories to tell. She can be found blogging at Wise Words and is also on Twitter.