MIC Launches Customised Postgraduate Programme for Post-Primary Subject Teachers

Noel Dundon

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Noel Dundon

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nd@tipperarystar.ie

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The TTA is a Level 9 programme with initial student intake set for January 2021.

Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is delighted to announce the launch of a customised postgraduate online programme for post-primary subject teachers. The Postgraduate Certificate in Content-Based Teaching (An Teastas Iarchéime i dTeagasc Ábharbhunaithe san Iarbhunscoil Lán-Ghaeilge agus Ghaeltachta (TTA)) has been specially designed to attend to the specific professional development requirements, as well as the mandatory language proficiency, required to teach content through Irish in Gaelcholáistí, in Aonaid Lán-Ghaeilge and in Gaeltacht post-primary schools. The TTA is a Level 9 programme with initial student intake set for January 2021. The programme is being offered by MIC in conjunction with Education and Training Boards Ireland and an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG).

The President of MIC, Professor Eugene Wall said “Mary Immaculate College is delighted to lead innovation in continuing professional development in this continuously evolving sector. We are very much looking forward to collaborating, in this work, with Education and Training Boards Ireland and an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta and with all other stakeholders to provide an exceptional postgraduate programme for the sector.”

The TTA programme was developed in direct response to the current lack of tailored professional development initiatives which address the specific linguistic and pedagogical needs of subject teachers who teach through Irish. It is widely recognised that the lack of professional development programmes is a contributing factor to the high rates of attrition among subject teachers in Gaelcholáistí, in Aonaid Lán-Ghaeilge and in Gaeltacht post-primary schools.

Dr T.J. Ó Ceallaigh, MIC lecturer and TTA Programme Director, highlighting the unique and complex professional development needs of subject teachers who teach through Irish said “Subject teachers who work in these immersion contexts need to teach content while at the same time being attentive to the language learning needs of students as they learn academic subject matter through the medium of a minority, a new or additional language. In this postgraduate programme, the TTA, online delivery strategies (asynchronous and synchronous) will be deployed to support subject teachers’ language development and pedagogical practice in an integrated and meaningful fashion. This enabling and supportive structure will facilitate subject teachers to share insights and innovations and engage in collaborative reflection and strategic planning fostering an effective learning culture and a community of practice.”

Paddy Lavelle, General Secretary, Education & Training Boards Ireland said “Education & Training Boards Ireland is delighted to collaborate with MIC Limerick and COGG on the development of the Teastas Iarchéime i dTeagasc Ábharbhunaithe. ETBI is fully committed to supporting Education & Training Boards in providing excellence in Irish-medium Education throughout the country. Arising from extensive research, ETBI recognised the opportunity to support teachers in ETB scoileanna Gaeltachta, Gaelcholáistí and Aonaid lán-Ghaeilge through the development of this innovate and interactive programme. It will enable teachers to enhance their own skills and practice that is conducive to effective teaching and learning in an Irish-medium setting.”

Welcoming the new postgraduate programme, Chief Executive of COGG, Muireann Ní Mhóráin, stated that the TTA will strategically target the identified professional development needs of post-primary subject teachers. She said “This is a great opportunity for teachers to enrich their pedagogical practices of teaching through Irish in the Gaeltacht and all over the country, as well as attending to the discipline-specific language of their subject area.”

The closing date for receipt of applications is November 30 2020.