Donegal ETB Teachers to Showcase Innovative Teaching Practice at FÉILTE 2017

Donegal ETB teachers will showcase their innovative teaching practice at FÉILTE, the Festival of Education in Learning and Teaching Excellence, this Saturday 7 October 2017 in the RDS, Dublin.  FÉILTE is organised by the Teaching Council and is a celebration of teaching which showcases the work of teachers who are leading innovative learning projects. Donegal ETB teachers will showcase their project ‘Teacher Collaboration, Content Creation and Sharing Resources’, highlighting the opportunities that present themselves when teachers collaborate. The project focuses on the creation of an in-house working group of teaching staff from across seven of its schools who have come together to collaborate on creative and cutting edge teaching content. They are utilising advanced ICT infrastructure, engaging in professional conversations regarding best practices and then gathering and sharing relevant resources.

Donegal ETB schools are leading the way in the county in the delivery of innovative teaching to ETB students in its fifteen post-primary schools as a result of the introduction of Junior Certificate reforms and the publication of the quality framework for post-primary schools ‘Looking at Our Schools 2016’. Within Donegal ETB it was recognised that the integration of technology, aligned with modern classroom practices, could significantly enhance the teaching and learning in its classrooms and subsequently improve the student’s experience in the classroom. This created the potential to devise learning opportunities for students across and beyond the curriculum. As the subject specifications were introduced in the new Junior Cycle, a group of interested teachers from seven ETB schools were arranged in subject teams for English and Science to create a series of student learning units within a platform for educational content creation. These student learning units were then delivered in the classroom, where the student’s feedback was collated, ensuring their voice was central to the process of informing future best practice.

Sean McFadden, Metalwork, Technology and Engineering teacher at Donegal ETB’s Mulroy College, noted, “Our clear focus is on student learning; the group’s vision is ‘excellence in developing a culture of professional teacher collaboration within Donegal ETB to enhance Teaching and Learning in our classrooms.’ We had no sooner started our work when we quickly realised that working collaboratively as a whole was much better than the sum of the parts.”

Dr Martin Gormley, Donegal ETB Director of Schools, stated, “FÉILTE celebrates the wonderful work that teachers do every day in their classrooms and gives them the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas. The theme for FÉILTE this year is ‘Leading Learning for All’. Donegal ETB is delighted to be able to showcase the innovative and creative teaching that is taking place in our schools. While this project started out with Science and English, it continues as further subject specifications are published as part of the new Junior Cycle. The needs of the student continually guide the staff along their path with their professional conversations and practices.”

Further updates on FÉILTE can be found on Twitter (@DonegalETB and @FEILTE) through #FÉILTE.