Educate Together 2015 Summer Courses

Educate Together is delighted to be running three online summer courses this year. These courses are designed for primary teachers and are DES approved for EPV days. The courses address both the history of and background to Educate Together as well as examining the Learn Together curriculum. The ‘Learn Together’ is the ethical education curriculum used in Educate Together schools during the ‘patron’s half-hour’ – the time allotted to faith formation in denominational schools. The courses will be of particular interest to those not just interested in teaching Ethical Education but who are also interested in teaching the ethical aspects of Social Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE) Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Intercultural Education. 

The Educate Together national school network is growing – four national schools will open in September 2015, bringing the total number to 78 nationwide with over 19,000 pupils currently enrolled. To date, almost 1,000 teachers have completed at least one of these courses:

Ethical Education in Educate Together schools works as a foundation course and offers a fascinating insight into both the development of multi-denominational and ethical education within the Irish state. The four strands of the Learn Together ethical education curriculum are examined, with particular emphasis on classroom resources and practical ideas: Moral and Spiritual Development, Equality and Justice, Belief Systems and Ethics and the Environment.

Shane, a previous participant, commented that ‘the course provided me with a clear and focussed outline of each of the strands of the curriculum while also offering a platform on which to discuss, reflect and debate some of the complex issues addressed throughout. I feel the course helped to equip me with a grounding in the Learn Together programme that proved invaluable during my first year teaching in an Educate together school! ‘

Two of the Learn Together strands (Equality and Justice and Ethics and the Environment ) are addressed in more detail in the course, Teaching Ethics and Social Justice. This course tackles climate change, which is surely the greatest challenge that current school-going students will face upon reaching adulthood. Participants also examine the achievements of those who’ve made a difference, big or small, to the world around them as well as looking at concepts of identity and diversity. The nature of democracy, itself, and how school-going children can meaningfully engage with the process is considered, and the course finishes with an analysis of the link between inequality and access to the world’s resources.

When asked, Niamh praised the course, saying that it was ‘really very helpful and of good use in the classroom!’

Teaching Morality in a Culturally Diverse Ireland addresses the curriculum strands ‘Moral and Spiritual Development’ and ‘Belief Systems’. It examines the nature of identity and its interplay with both culture and religion while considering contemporary moral dilemmas. Once again, classroom practicalities are forefront at each stage.

Dawn said that ‘it was a very helpful and informative course which gave me an insight into the different world religions along with guidance on teaching morality. The links to the resources were useful and practical for everyday teaching.’ 

You can enrol on any or all of the Educate Together Summer Courses here. For any further information or queries, contact Fionnuala at 01 429 2500 or