Monday 22 January 2018

'Trial and error teaching' will make classes more relevant

Education Minister Richard Bruton. Photo: Tom Burke
Education Minister Richard Bruton. Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Schools are to be encouraged to adopt a 'trial and error' approach to new styles of teaching in a bid to make classrooms more relevant to the real world.

Education Minister Richard Bruton has set aside €5m for investment in "innovation and excellence" that he says will help ensure schools are "pushing the boundaries".

"I want to move away from just looking at school in terms of capitation and pupil/teacher ratio, and actually empower leaders in innovation," Mr Bruton told the Irish Independent.

Four key areas have been identified for attention, including enhancing digital activities in the classroom and schools that work together on the Creative Ireland project.

Funding for innovation in DEIS schools that trial creative interventions to tackle education disadvantage is also being made available.

Mr Bruton said he wanted to "empower local teachers and leaders to drive the change that responds to the needs of pupils".

"It's not the handing down of tablets of stone, it's facilitating the big journey. It reflects the changing workplace. The competences that employers are looking for are much more around can you work in teams, can you respond to problem solving, do you do things different," he said.

The minister said a working example of what he wants is what some schools are already doing in terms of using digital technology.

"In the junior cycle this year the new thing was that a kid should have a project to identify a subject, research it, form an opinion and then deliver communications strategy to convince everybody else. It's a complete shift in the way learning happens."

Irish Independent

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