Cuts to special needs assistant’s posts, adult literacy, concerns about the points needed for third-level courses – education is rarely out of the news these days. Which makes you wonder: in this land of “saints and scholars” with its many summer schools covering all kinds of topics why isn’t one concentrating on education?
Oldcastle, Co Meath, is about to fill the gap with the launch of its Laurence Gilson Summer School (May 25th-27th).
Laurence Gilson, philanthropist, educator and native of Oldcastle, in 1810 funded a free school for Protestant and Catholic children from every social background. The Gilson Endowed School opened in the 1830s and is now held in trust for the people of Oldcastle.
This annual summer school aims to commemorate Laurence Gilson by initiating lively debate on and analysis of the many issues facing Irish education today. This, the inaugural year, is titled: ‘Gilson to Google: the changing face of education in Ireland’.
John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy Prison, will open the school on May 25th.
Dr Aidan Mulkeen, Head of Education Department at NUI Maynooth, will give the keynote address.
On May 26th, guest speakers will include Berni Brady, chief executive officer of AONTAS; Ted Fleming, Centre for Research and Adult Learning NUIM; Leo Casey, director, Centre for Research and Innovation in Learning and Teaching, NCI; Myles Dungan, RTE presenter; and Carmel Mulcahy, Department of Education Studies, DCU.
The weekend with its mix of seminars on lifelong learning, creativity in education and technology's effect on the area will appeal to anyone with even a passing interest in education - academics, students, parents, and teachers.
And this is also a summer school with a difference. Participants will have an opportunity to meet practitioners from a range of areas: animation, architecture, history, botany and horticulture. They will gain some insights into how they might learn more about these subjects. On Sunday May 27th visitors can explore the ancient and beautiful areas and sites around Oldcastle.
By creating a fun-filled educational weekend with a simple message! Learning and education are not confined to the schoolroom. Oldcastle will remember Laurence Gilson and his legacy.
For more information visit:www.laurencegilson.wordpress.com
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