Minister of Education and Skills, Richard Bruton awards Mary Immaculate College new programme in Irish-medium education

Richard Bruton awards Mary Immaculate College

Richard Bruton awards Mary Immaculate College (L-R) Acting Dean of Education at Mary Immaculate College, Dr Angela Canny; Dr Treasa Kirk, Gaeltacht Education Unit, Department of Education and Skills; Minister of Education and Skills, Richard Bruton; David O’Sullivan, Director of Sourcing, Office of Government Procurement and Dr TJ Ó Ceallaigh, Programme Director of the new M. Oid. san Oideachas Lán-Ghaeilge agus Gaeltachta at the announcement that MIC has been awarded the tender to run the programme from September 2018.
Photo: Colm Mahady/Fennells – Copyright© Fennell Photography 2018

Minister of Education and Skills, Richard Bruton awards Mary Immaculate College new programme in Irish-medium education

Yesterday (28 March), Minister of Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., announced that Mary Immaculate College has been selected to provide a new, innovative, cross-sectoral, blended learning postgraduate programme in Irish-medium education – M Ed in Irish-medium and Gaeltacht Education.

The tender awarded to Mary Immaculate College, through public procurement competition, secures an investment of €2,100,000 from the Department of Education and Skills over five years to provide the part-time two-year postgraduate programme.

The announcement fulfills a key commitment in the Policy on Gaeltacht Education, which was launched by the Minister in 2016 and is the first Gaeltacht specific education policy in the history of the state. The new places are an important measure to ensure Irish-medium schools have an adequate supply of Irish-medium teachers.

Professor Eugene Wall, President (Acting) of Mary Immaculate College said “Despite the diverse and dynamic nature of immersion programmes, there is a significant dearth of research on a wide variety of topics relating to teacher development in immersion education. Now more than ever, emphasis needs to be placed on research and on teacher education and continuous professional development to reflect on and investigate the merits and challenges of Irish-medium immersion education in and outside Gaeltacht areas. Mary Immaculate College is delighted to lead innovation in continuing professional development in this continuously evolving sector to support, enhance and enrich pedagogic competencies, leadership and research.”

The programme to commence in September 2018, will be delivered through a complementary blend of rich and varied onsite and online quality learning opportunities designed to enhance participant learning outcomes. At the launch, the Programme Director, Dr. TJ Ó Ceallaigh indicated that teacher preparation and professional development are critical steps in the evolution of effective language immersion education in Ireland.  Speaking at the event, he said: “Over the years, many studies have identified challenges to the successful implementation of Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education. Designing, implementing and refining Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education which successfully promotes additive bilingualism, biliteracy, multicultural competence and academic achievement requires considerable effort and support. Committed educators are professionally charged to work systematically to engage all stakeholders in creative ways.  This responsibility needs to be underpinned by a strong knowledge base. This programme will equip participants with those essential understandings, skills, and strategies needed to advance scholarly teaching, leadership and research in the field.”

The Acting Dean of Education at Mary Immaculate College, Dr. Angela Canny, said “This cross-sectoral programme will provide participants with a clear sense of the contextual realities and the challenges in Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education and enable them to explore, analyse and critique same in a quest to enhance quality provision. Such meaningful professional dialogue, critical reflection and collaborative inquiry are key to the continued success and growth of Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education in Ireland and language immersion and minority language education across the globe”.

Dr. Canny paid a special tribute to Dr. TJ Ó Ceallaigh for his leadership and coordination of the successful bid.

The postgraduate programme, M. Ed. in Irish-medium and Gaeltacht Education, a programme geared at the specific needs of primary and post-primary teachers including principals working in the Irish-medium sector will commence in the college in September 2018. Registration is now open.

For more information on Richard Bruton awards Mary Immaculate College

For additional informationon this blended learning, cross-sectoral programme, M. Ed. in Irish-medium and Gaeltacht Education, go here.

For more stories on education, go here.

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