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1 day ago

Anseo.net

Here are my thoughts on the 3 pre-prepared questions that will be asked at the #INTODebates tomorrow evening. #edchatie

The #INTODebates series is a really good idea where interesting issues are raised. The last one focused on the Irish language and this time it’s the role of the Teaching Council. People have been invited to send in questions using the above hashtag, and a selection are going to be read out. The INTO have pre-prepared 3 questions that will be discussed, which they have released, again a good idea. They will be live streaming the event from the Teachers’ Club tomorrow for those that can’t be there to join them in person, which again is a good idea. Here are my thoughts on the 3 pre-prepared questions (noting that these may not be the exact wording of the questions:)

1. Is a teacher-majority Council the best way to register and discipline teachers?

I’m not quite sure of the inference in this question but it would seem to me that the question is really asking should there be a majority of teachers on the Teaching Council? Given that the idea of the Teaching Council is self-regulation, to me it would seem absolutely necessary for the Teaching Council to comprise of mainly teachers. Otherwise, is it not simply another external body to oversee (and discipline!) us? Teachers are already managed by their Boards of Management, their patron body, the Department of Education, and most recently the Teaching Council. In some ways, aspects of our jobs are managed by other external bodies, e.g. Tusla, NCSE, management bodies, etc. The Teaching Council is the only one of these bodies that is supposed to be about self-regulation. We possibly should be asking how teachers are selected to be on the Teaching Council. At the moment, the process very much gives preference to those who are given an endorsement by the INTO. This is a dangerous precedent because it actually gives the INTO a dual role in how the Teaching Council works. On one hand, it is the decision maker in the Teaching Council, but it also is the watchdog of the same Teaching Council. This is a difficult, and so far, ineffective relationship. Teachers should be on the Teaching Council but they need to be independent from any external influences be they union or political.

2. Does the Teaching Council live up to INTO’s high expectations?

I’m not sure what the INTO’s high expectations are but I’m sure of my own expectations. Regular readers of these posts won’t be surprised to note that on the balance the answer is no. I think the Teaching Council could be an outstanding organisation and they do some brilliant stuff to promote the professionalism of teachers. Féilte, for example, is overall a fantastic showcase of what teachers can do. The Teaching Council need to do more to showcase the wonderful stuff happening in our schools. (Social Media can help.) However, the Teaching Council, for me, can only be judged on Droichead. If there was ever a lesson in how to have a fantastic idea and then tear it apart and make it into exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to do, Droichead is it. I believe Droichead could have been a crowning achievement of the Teaching Council. We could have had a self-regulating system for graduates going into teaching, where we could all work together to professionalise ourselves even further building on the wonderful work of the NIPT. However, rather than doing this, we’ve been left with a damp squib of an ill-thought, non-researched, compromise of a system that has put our entire profession at risk. The worst thing of all is that, in the end, our representative bodies allowed it to happen (see answer to Question 1).

3. Has self-regulation worked in the public interest across professions generally?

Of all the questions, this is one I’m not qualified to answer. My understanding, however, is that if they didn’t, then the idea of a Teaching Council was a very bad idea in the first place. I think teachers were very late to the table when it came to self-regulation bodies and it was sold to us as something that other highly-professional jobs had in place for many years. My guess is that they generally must work. What I don’t know is who the bodies actually work for. Do they work for the people on the ground or do they work for interested parties? It begs the question, what is the purpose of education and who should decide this purpose? I’m almost certain that this question has not been asked, let alone answered, in the last two decades.

Given the close relationship between the INTO and the Teaching Council, I don’t know how useful this debate will be. In any debate, it’s useful to have an opposition and I’m not quite sure if any of the expert panel feel that the Teaching Council has been a failure. It would be useful to have had someone on the panel that doesn’t believe the Teaching Council has worked and then have an actual debate. It’s something that is sorely missing these days.
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Here are my thoughts on the 3 pre-prepared questions that will be asked at the #INTODebates tomorrow evening. #edchatie

The #INTODebates series is a really good idea where interesting issues are raised. The last one focused on the Irish language and this time its the role of the Teaching Council. People have been invited to send in questions using the above hashtag, and a selection are going to be read out. The INTO have pre-prepared 3 questions that will be discussed, which they have released, again a good idea. They will be live streaming the event from the Teachers Club tomorrow for those that cant be there to join them in person, which again is a good idea. Here are my thoughts on the 3 pre-prepared questions (noting that these may not be the exact wording of the questions:)

1. Is a teacher-majority Council the best way to register and discipline teachers?

Im not quite sure of the inference in this question but it would seem to me that the question is really asking should there be a majority of teachers on the Teaching Council? Given that the idea of the Teaching Council is self-regulation, to me it would seem absolutely necessary for the Teaching Council to comprise of mainly teachers. Otherwise, is it not simply another external body to oversee (and discipline!) us? Teachers are already managed by their Boards of Management, their patron body, the Department of Education, and most recently the Teaching Council. In some ways, aspects of our jobs are managed by other external bodies, e.g. Tusla, NCSE, management bodies, etc. The Teaching Council is the only one of these bodies that is supposed to be about self-regulation. We possibly should be asking how teachers are selected to be on the Teaching Council. At the moment, the process very much gives preference to those who are given an endorsement by the INTO. This is a dangerous precedent because it actually gives the INTO a dual role in how the Teaching Council works. On one hand, it is the decision maker in the Teaching Council, but it also is the watchdog of the same Teaching Council. This is a difficult, and so far, ineffective relationship. Teachers should be on the Teaching Council but they need to be independent from any external influences be they union or political.

2. Does the Teaching Council live up to INTOs high expectations?

Im not sure what the INTOs high expectations are but Im sure of my own expectations. Regular readers of these posts wont be surprised to note that on the balance the answer is no. I think the Teaching Council could be an outstanding organisation and they do some brilliant stuff to promote the professionalism of teachers. Féilte, for example, is overall a fantastic showcase of what teachers can do. The Teaching Council need to do more to showcase the wonderful stuff happening in our schools. (Social Media can help.) However, the Teaching Council, for me, can only be judged on Droichead. If there was ever a lesson in how to have a fantastic idea and then tear it apart and make it into exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to do, Droichead is it. I believe Droichead could have been a crowning achievement of the Teaching Council. We could have had a self-regulating system for graduates going into teaching, where we could all work together to professionalise ourselves even further building on the wonderful work of the NIPT. However, rather than doing this, weve been left with a damp squib of an ill-thought, non-researched, compromise of a system that has put our entire profession at risk. The worst thing of all is that, in the end, our representative bodies allowed it to happen (see answer to Question 1).

3. Has self-regulation worked in the public interest across professions generally?

Of all the questions, this is one Im not qualified to answer. My understanding, however, is that if they didnt, then the idea of a Teaching Council was a very bad idea in the first place. I think teachers were very late to the table when it came to self-regulation bodies and it was sold to us as something that other highly-professional jobs had in place for many years. My guess is that they generally must work. What I dont know is who the bodies actually work for. Do they work for the people on the ground or do they work for interested parties? It begs the question, what is the purpose of education and who should decide this purpose? Im almost certain that this question has not been asked, let alone answered, in the last two decades. 

Given the close relationship between the INTO and the Teaching Council, I dont know how useful this debate will be. In any debate, its useful to have an opposition and Im not quite sure if any of the expert panel feel that the Teaching Council has been a failure. It would be useful to have had someone on the panel that doesnt believe the Teaching Council has worked and then have an actual debate. Its something that is sorely missing these days.

 

Comment on Facebook

My question is what are they doing with all the money?65e per teacher and 40,000 teachers is 2.4 million in registration fees every year.

2 days ago

Anseo.net

#INTOdebates are looking for questions for this oddly named debate. Here is my question.

How did the INTO move from being completely against Droichead to being its greatest supporter, and why?INTO's debate on the Teaching Council & professional regulation will be held on Monday 10 Dec in the Teachers' Club. Webcast live from 6pm. Send us your questions for the panel using #INTOdebates or #INTO150Profession
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#INTOdebates are looking for questions for this oddly named debate. Here is my question.

How did the INTO move from being completely against Droichead to being its greatest supporter, and why?

 

Comment on Facebook

The same reason they don't oppose any crap the TC/NCCA/ Dept. dream up to unnecessarily add to our workload and don't fight properly against pay inequality, Droichead, Cosán etc. etc., whilst signing us up to every new initiative/ curriculum/ circular going....because they can't be arsed. Simple as.

3 days ago

Anseo.net

Some thoughts on the Catholic Church in Ireland followed by thoughts on the INTO #edchatie

I am interested in how organisations work. If we look at the Catholic Church in Ireland, the following observations come to mind. The Catholic Church is a very successful hierarchy. It has worked for many years and its structures have stood the test of time. The vast majority of Irish people count themselves as members of the Catholic Church.

However, it is probably fair to say that the minority of these people get involved with the church except for big occasions throughout the year. An even smaller percentage of their members attend their meetings and then an even smaller percentage of those get involved on a regular basis.

These are the people that are most passionate about the church and they truly believe in their key messages. If there is anything they don’t agree with, they generally believe that they will be heard by the church leaders through various complex structures.

In the past, if the church advised their members to vote in a particular way in an election, generally they were confident that this would happen and it generally did. However, over the years, while they still count the majority of Irish people as members, they have seen that in elections where they have recommended a vote on a particular issue, the vote has not gone their way. This has happened gradually, with votes being very close at the beginning to a point where results have gone overwhelmingly against their recommendations.

In general, they react by trying to figure out why people seem to be disengaged with them. Sometimes they blame outside influences but overall, they realise they need to do something themselves. They think about ways to make themselves more relevant and they try their best to create ways to reignite the flame of passion in their members.

Many people who describe themselves as lapsed-Catholics will explain what it is that has made them disengage but, unfortunately, the church’s response is to defend their position whatever it is. In some cases, if there is a lot of pressure, they will attack those who are suggesting the changes. Often one will see remarks about how the actions of some groups only represent the minority. Some will simply say the people are wrong. They may try to discredit facts and they may manipulate tiny aspects of what is said to try and discredit the overall message from the people. Well-spoken supporters of the church appear in the media to throw out statistics about how successful things really are. I’ve also noticed that they will often claim to be victims and that they are being silenced. This is particularly evident when it comes to social media. Diversions are often a tactic, such as putting out half-hearted gestures, for example, allowing women become spiritual leaders of the church.

However, no matter how many times they meet in their small groups wondering why their members continually claim to be Catholics but won’t get involved, they don’t realise that the very reason it happens is because they keep doing the same thing.

Now for the INTO. Please read the above and replace “the people,” where referenced, as “primary school teachers.” You can replace the Catholic Church with the INTO. The only difference I can see is that they haven’t stopped women taking a lead in the organisation!
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Comment on Facebook

One huge difference is that the INTO is a democratic organization with every position from secretary and chairperson of our local branches right up to the top national leadership positions being decided by votes of our members.

Wow.. a well written and considered comment

Spot on. Well said

👏👏👏

👏

This is brilliant. And so true. Well done Anseo.net, an excellent observation.

Maria O'Rourke

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5 days ago

Anseo.net

This is welcome news for many principals. I have been publishing statistics from the National Principals’ Forum: Public Page over the last week and the results are terrifying. I hope the meeting included talking to representatives from this group in order that they can work together to resolve the crisis for school leaders.INTO, IPPN and CPSMA met this morning (5th December) to discuss joint approaches to reducing workload for principal teachers. Read more here: http://ow.ly/Xteq30mSccc See MoreSee Less

This is welcome news for many principals. I have been publishing statistics from the National Principals’ Forum: Public Page over the last week and the results are terrifying. I hope the meeting included talking to representatives from this group in order that they can work together to resolve the crisis for school leaders.

 

Comment on Facebook

Have they considered the stats you are posting here?

I can't understand why this group have not requested the full results of the NPF survey. It would form a realistic base for any discussion.

The NPF has done more in the last few months to bring attention to the plight of principals than other groups have done in years. They have talked about it but nothing has come of the talks leading to frustration, exasperation and serious levels of stress as well documented on Anseo.net and on the National Principals' Forum

Were all patronage’s invites do you think?

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