Re-Imagining Learning Conference to Ignite Second-Level Curriculum Debate

Educate Together is to host a major education conference entitled ‘Re-Imagining Learning: Curriculum Integration in the Early Secondary Years’ on May 13-14. Organised in partnership with the NCCA and UL, the conference has attracted a range of top Irish and international speakers. Running over two days in the Strand Hotel Limerick, it is now open for delegate bookings.

Educate Together is widely expected to open its first second-level school in the near future. It intends the conference to be a melting pot of new thinking and critical insight into a first-rate future second-level curriculum for Ireland. Teachers, academics, the business community, parents and other stakeholders are invited to engage in the debate and envisage what second-level education should look like in the 21st century. The conference is particular focused on the early secondary, or Junior Cycle years.

Educate Together’s Head of Education and Network Development Emer Nowlan stated, ‘The time for reform and innovation in Irish education is now. The need to improve second-level schooling is widely accepted by business leaders, educationalists and social activists alike. We need to encourage students to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, effective communicators, creators and innovators. We have a unique opportunity to pioneer new approaches, as we will be opening a completely new type of school.’

Re-imagining Learning will explore current ideas for innovation from across the globe in early second-level education, focusing in particular on more integrated and applied approaches to delivering the school curriculum. Emer Nowlan again, ‘Our second-level project aims to bring a wide range of change-makers into partnership to discuss how we want second-level schools to be. However, we want to go further than just talking about what change is needed. We know that people are trying new things in schools already. This is an opportunity for teachers, researchers and others to share practical ideas, experiences and learning.’

Educate Together runs 58 multi-denominational school around the country and plans are underway to open the first Educate Together second-level school. These schools will pioneer a brand new type of second-level school model, building on the successful equality-based, democratic, learner-centred primary school model the organisation has developed over the past 30 years.

Educate Together has been offering multi-denominational education since 1978 when its first school, the Dalkey School Project opened. It has grown over the following years to a national network of 58 schools with over 13,000 pupils currently enrolled. Its schools are co-educational and teach the national curriculum. A founding principle of its approach to education is that all children regardless of social, cultural or religious backgrounds are treated with equal respect.