What are the best Summer Courses for 2016?

Every year we scour the Summer Course list. This year there seems to be dozens of organisations and individuals offering summer courses and they are all listed on the Drumcondra Education Centre’s web site. Here are a few that caught our eye.

Blackrock Education Centre have some really interesting ones that jumped out: Seashore Safari and Marine ActivitiesTeaching Children to Move Well and Move OftenSharing: nature, heritage, food gardens and sustainable skills with children and The Advanced Guide to School all look very interesting. Many of them take place in the Airfield Estate in Dublin 14 and focus on outdoor activities.

Clare Education Centre have A field and workshop application of digital imaging using Loophead’s Coast, which sounds very cool. Despite the very dodgy title, Arithmetic Through the Senses- Making Mathematics Visible could be worthwhile too. I also think Irish Seed Savers could be worth a look.

Tipperary Education Centre have a nice looking course called Teacher Personality Type: Understanding your Teaching Style and Student Learning.

Donegal Education Centre has A Physiological Approach to teaching students with Special Needs, which looks different. The course Alcohol & other Drugs: Responding to Teachers needs in today’s society, is confusing in so far as I’m not sure if it’s teachers’ needs for alcohol and drugs or how they should respond to society. Let’s hope it’s the latter!

Drumcondra Education Centre is running an interesting course, despite the dreadful pun in its title: Discovering Joy in Nonfiction: This is the Write Course.

Dublin West Education Centre always run the Literacy and Numeracy through Visual Art in NCAD and its environs and if I lived in the area, I’d love to do it one year.

Kildare Education Centre is running The Algebra Project- Flagway Game, which sounds like it’s trying to make algebra fun. Who knows if it will work?

Laois Education Centre have a very snappily titled course called Interactive Pausing. It sounds fascinating. I also love any course that encourages teaching without textbooks and Teaching History Without Textbooks, sounds great.

Limerick Education Centre have managed to get away with running a course Pilates for Teachers. How they got away with this, I don’t know but fair play to them! More relevant to children, they are also running Speech and Language Support for 5-11 year olds, which could actually be brought into the classroom.

Mayo Education Centre have a few very interesting looking courses including: 20 Inspirational Women in Irish History and 20+ Irish Writers for Children 2, both of which are online. Music in the Classroom, although not sounding too different from other similar courses is being run by a professional music teacher rather than a primary teacher and the content looks very interesting, taking a slightly different angle to what you might be used to.

Monaghan Education Centre are offering Pottery for Educators. 

Navan Education Centre have Roots, Shoots, Trowels and Boots, which I assume is a well-named gardening project. A more indoor affair is Writing, Illustrating and Publishing Books with Children, which might suit other forms of creativity.

On to the private providers who are listed in the book for the first time, it’s interesting to see the niche courses that are being offered. There’s loads on offer but these are the ones that stood out from the crowd.

CPD College are offering an interesting online course called Success- deploying a game based pedagogy to literacy and mathematics. It’s great to see a game-based learning course being offered and it will be interesting to see if the course uses some of this theory in its own delivery!

ICEP are offering a load of courses for children with SEN. I love the look of all of them but the ones aimed at gifted kids, teaching hope and optimism and one for teaching “troubled children” jumped out at me as courses worth considering.

It’s good to see the INTO tackling issues of equality with two courses: Equal Eyes: Social Justice and Equality Issues in the Classroom and Inclusive Schools: Combating Homophobic, Transphobic and Cyber Bullying. There’s an elephant in the room of course not included here but at least these courses are available and hopefully one day, we might see courses on religious equality in schools. Perhaps Maeve Mahon might have the answer? Religious Education across the Primary School might be a course to address these issues. Looking at their web site, I have a feeling it’s only going to work for 95% of schools. St. Pat’s are at least more open about their course, Godly Play in the primary school classroom, which sounds fascinating and just one of several summer courses based on Catholic Religious Instruction. However, if you do want to learn about belief systems without it being swayed in any particular direction, you can’t go wrong with any of Educate Together’s offerings.

Fancy heading to Inisboffin Island? Leo Hallissey has wangled a course for teachers: A sense of place – an island experience.

The National Parents Council have a course called Working with Parents to support their children’s learning, which looks interesting. It should be good to get a parent perspective on how teachers should be engaging.



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