Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock, TD officially launched the Education Matters Yearbook 2013 this week at the National University of Ireland in Dublin.
In his address, the Minister outlined how the Education Matters Yearbook is now established as a key publication in Irish education, that provides its readers with a critical and informative insight into the whole of the Irish educational system in a given year.
Minister Sherlock said: “Education Matters Yearbook is a unique resource, one that gives a voice to the important contemporary concerns, issues and questions in Irish education. It provides the reader with this information in an attractive, easily-accessible and engaging format. In time of important change, development and reform in Irish education, the Yearbook articulates the broad context of this change – from early childhood education and early years care through post-primary, further education, lifelong learning, teagasc trí mheán na Gaeilge, and research and innovation at fourth level.”
Acknowledging the representativeness of the Yearbook for all sectors of the Irish educational system, Minister Sherlock further added: “one does not have to agree with every opinion or point-of-view outlined in the Yearbook but it is exactly this critical, dialogic perspective which makes Education Matters animportant and highly valuable contribution to the debate, discussion and reflection that are so central to education.”
In his address at the launch, Chancellor of the NUI, Professor Maurice Manning, especially noted the Yearbook’s comprehensiveness in its engagement with, and synthesis of current, key issues in Irish education: “For many of us involved in education, there is a natural tendency to become very focused on our own area of the educational system and the issues immediately relevant to our own role. However, the constituent parts of the education system have a high degree of interdependence and it is important that we have an awareness of the issues affecting other areas within education, and indeed the operation of the system as a whole.”
Education Matters began as a newsprint publication in 1987. Over the years it was carried as a supplement by various national newspapers, including The Sunday Times and The Sunday Tribune. Contributors included Dr Anthony Clare, Gemma Hussey, Cynthia Ní Mhurchú, Vivian Cassells, Louis O’Flaherty, Dr Eileen Doyle and other well-known and respected writers. The first Education Matters Yearbook was published in 2006.
Also at the launch, NUI Galway’s School of Education announced the development of its new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Talking about Teaching. Though designed principally for teachers in Ireland, this new online course will also be freely and openly available to all with an interest in Irish education. Talking about Teaching will focus on key contemporary issues in Irish Education, with input from key stakeholders. The course can be undertaken online for free, as and when suitable, or the whole course and a small assessment can be completed for certification.