After over a century of dogmatic rote learning, it is time to bring in 21st-century education’ – NAPD symposium
The theme of the symposium is ‘Senior Cycle Reform-Carpe Diem – ‘Exploring our vision for Senior Cycle’
- Contributors to include Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children, Selina McCoy, ESRI, and Anne Looney, DCU Institute of Education;
- NAPD comment: “we must ask ourselves two important questions: what have we learnt about our education system in the last two years and what do we value now more so than before”
‘After over a century of dogmatic rote learning, it is time to bring in 21st-century education, according to NAPD director, Paul Crone, speaking in advance of the NAPD 2022 Symposium.
The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) is hosting its annual Symposium today (1 March) in the Marker Hotel Dublin. The theme of this year’s symposium is Senior Cycle Reform-Carpe Diem – ‘Exploring our vision for Senior Cycle’.
There is a broad consensus in the school community that senior cycle reform needs to happen. However, Mr. Crone argues that before we can implement any reforms, we must first ask ourselves two important questions: what have we learnt about our education system in the last two years and what do we value now more so than before?
The symposium will seek to address these questions and will feature contributions from amongst others, NAPD President Rachel O’Connor, Dalton Tatton, Assistant Secretary in the Department of Education, Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children, ESRI Associate Research Professor, Selina McCoy and DCU’s Executive Dean at the Institute of Education, Anne Looney. The symposium will be chaired by former Irish Independent education editor John Walsh.
Intelligent students failing to excel in rigid system
Speaking on this theme of reform, Mr Crone argues that fundamental skills such as resilience and communication are not captured by the current architecture of post-primary learning, despite the high value and demand for them in our modern world.
“Many clearly intelligent students are unable to excel in our rigid education system. The introduction of skills-based learning as an addition rather than complete alternative will allow for a more flexible system that can respond to the demands and aptitudes of students. It will focus on their skills and not their deficiencies, and value their strengths as well as improve their weaknesses.”
Vision for education
According to Mr Crone: “We have seen the successes education reform has brought us in the past, including the Leaving Certificate Applied and Junior Cycle Key Skills. We will see the success of the apprenticeship programmes in the near future. Now let us utilise this blank slate moment to implement further reforms to bolster the system.
“This requires a new vision for education in Ireland, one based on the individual, their aptitudes, and what they can bring to society. When we value each individual, we create for them an environment in which to discover their abilities and skills and flourish. This will encourage students to lead their own education and encourage independent learning.”