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Teacher Education

 

The Global Dimension in Education (GDE) has been a major initiative in St Mary's University College and has had a strong influence on the integration of global issues into its work. It has been a three-year project financially assisted by the Development Awareness Fund at the Department for International Development (DfID). The GDE project officially started in September 2005 and ran until August 2008.

 

There were three phases to the GDE project:

 

  • research into teachers' specific needs for preparation and support to teach the global dimension;
  • development of a new option in the Masters-Level Programme on local and global issues in education, and the expansion of teaching the global dimension throughout initial teacher education at Undergraduate Level;
  • establishment of a Global Dimension Resource Office and Coordinator in the College to manage links with non governmental organisations (NGOs), to develop an online course, to produce a reference guide to the GDE, to establish links with other educational institutions, and all other associated activities.

The funding for the project ended in August 2008. However, the College adapted some of the core and highly successful activities of the project and reframed aspects of its work to complement the work and mission of Trócaire, thus bringing it into line with the mission of the College itself within Catholic Social Teaching.

 

The College is currently working on a new proposal to the Development Awareness Fund at DfID for a related project. This proposal will be submitted in November 2008 with a decision made by DfID in March 2009 for a commencement date of the project at the beginning of the 2009/10 academic year.

 

With financial assistance from Trócaire the College has been able to sustain the core activities of the project in the following ways:

 

  • staffing the resource office for students’ use during term;
  • the organisation of the four global dimension education conferences;
  • maintaining the project's web presence to highlight the role of Trócaire in the project;
  • a research aspect as a means of assessing how Trócaire development education materials are used in schools by student teachers.

Resource Office

The College continues to extend the range of resources within the office to assist students in the planning of schemes of work for use in schools;

The resource office continues to offer a working space, computer assistance and a/v equipment for individual students and small groups working together;

The resource office is used as a seminar venue for briefing students on issues associated with development education;

The resource office is utilised by Trócaire for meetings of the steering group and as a base for the Trócaire Advisory Forum;

A section of the current display area is dedicated to Trócaire materials.

 

Conferences

The conferences are a powerful way of communicating with students about important issues relating to development education. They provide the opportunity to update students fully on matters relating to the education sector, particularly to the revised curriculum. The conferences are a direct and overt way of integrating development education issues into the teacher education curriculum. Trócaire showcases their work by assisting in the planning of the conferences and participating in them.

 

Website

The use of the Internet is an extremely important tool in communicating our work. The College intends to extend the scope for the project through the use of the website. Given that Trócaire plays a crucial role in the project during this academic year (08/09), this is reflected in the project website. The impact of the website opens the project to other academic communities and teachers in schools.

 

Research

The impact of the research informs the College and Trócaire of how students have used Trócaire’s development education resources in the classroom during their school experience.

 

Project Management Team

Academic staff in the College;

Representative from the College’s research office;

Student representatives;

Representation from Trócaire Belfast Office.