Faculty Update DCU Institute of Education
It’s the University’s newest faculty, but DCU’s Institute of Education has made rapid progress over the last seven years, writes Prof Anne Looney.
The DCU Institute of Education is the newest faculty in DCU and is approaching its 7th Birthday. We are the only full faculty of education in Ireland, and we are continuing to make remarkable progress! In 2023 we have grown to over 150 academic staff, and we are pioneering education and research in areas such as early childhood, sex education, deaf education, literacy, autism, and the role of artificial intelligence in the future of our classrooms.
Across Ireland, the impact of the Institute continues to be significant, as most children are taught by a graduate of this faculty in the course of their education. We launched the Teacher Fellowship programme two years ago- the first of its kind in Europe and it continues to have a tremendous response to it.
This year we are currently recruiting 5 new Fellows - classroom teachers who step away from the whiteboard to support the next generation of teachers. The fellowship offers today’s teachers a chance to spend time in DCU and share the wisdom of their practice with tomorrow’s teachers. And as an added bonus we fund their studies if they undertake a master’s or doctoral programme with us. 2023 will see the introduction of the Graduate Diploma in Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE).
This is the first programme of its kind to be fully funded by the Department of Education and aims tocsupport teachers in post-primary schools in delivering the new curriculum for RSE/SPHE. This development has been long overdue, and we are delighted to be at the forefront, reflecting our expertise, research, and leadership in RSE over many years.
We have also rolled out an innovative partnership with the Technological University of the Shannon with the Bachelor of Education in Technology, Engineering and Graphics (BEd TEG). This is a fantastic offering, which will allow students to spend the first two years of their study at TUS Athlone, and the final two years at the DCU Institute of Education in Dublin. The BEd TEG will qualify students to teach Technology, Engineering, and Design and Communication Graphics subjects in post-primary schools. Highly sought after teachers in engineering, technical graphics and DCG await!
While 2022 gave us the gift of normality again - challenges remain and I am proud of the work that many of our graduates are doing in schools around the country teaching and integrating children fleeing the war in Ukraine, and migrants from other countries across the globe also seeking refuge from conflict and the effects of climate change. It was great to see two young men win the BT Young Scientist Award with an education project, highlighting the impact of improvements in areas of pastoral care and physical health among young people in disadvantaged schools. They concluded that schools matter. We could not agree more!
“We are pioneering education and research in areas such as early childhood, sex education, deaf education, literacy, autism, and the role of artificial intelligence in the future of our classrooms.”
Prof Anne Looney, Executive Dean DCU Institute of Education.