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19 May 2022  


NUI Hosts Conference on Teaching Politics

25.09.2015


Pictured at the event are L-R: Dr Bríd Quinn (University of Limerick), Professor John Craig (Leeds Beckett University), Dr Clodagh Harris (University College Cork), and Dr Attracta Halpin (Registrar, NUI)On 18 September 2015, NUI hosted the PSAI Teaching and Learning in Politics Specialist Group conference on ‘Teaching Politics in our Universities: Inspiring, Inciting and Enlightening’. Funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning and the Political Studies Association of Ireland (PSAI), the event brought together students, academics, politicians, and the media to discuss the importance of political education in Ireland.

The conference explored the valuable contribution that political education can make to society, and the impact it can have on encouraging students to engage with their communities as active citizens. By examining current practices and new approaches in the teaching of politics, the event sought to enhance the connection between teaching practices, scholarship and public policy.

Pictured Dr Brid Quinn (UL, specialist group co-convenor), Professor David Farrell (UCD, President of the PSAI), Dr Clodagh Harris (UCC, specialist group co-convenor), Dr Theresa Reidy (UCC, recipient of the PSAI prize for excellence in teaching and learning politics) and Dr Chris McInerney (UL, recipient of the PSAI special award for leadership and scholarship of problem based learning in politics).Dr Clodagh Harris and Dr Bríd Quinn from the PSAI Teaching and Learning Specialist Group opened the event. Their introduction was followed by a keynote address from Professor John Craig, Head of the School of Social, Psychological and Communication Sciences, Leeds Beckett University. Professor Craig has an extensive background in higher education and the development of teaching practices in political education in the United Kingdom. His keynote speech addressed the tension between the academic study of politics and the real world practice of politics.

After his speech, Professor Craig presented the PSAI Teaching and Learning Prize 2014 to Dr Theresa Reidy of UCC and a PSAI special award to Dr Chris McInerney from the University of Limerick for his work on problem-based learning.

David Farrell, Professor of Politics in UCD School of Politics and International Relations and President of the PSAI, then chaired a roundtable discussion on the importance of teaching and learning politics for society. He was joined by Professor Sarah Moore from the University of Limerick, political commentator Noel Whelan, Senator and Director of the Abbey Theatre Fiach MacConghaill, co-founder of Campus Engage Lorraine McIlrath, and Michelle O’Donnell-Keating, cofounder of Women for Election.

A showcase of innovative approaches to teaching and learning politics followed the roundtable debate. Dr Harris and Dr Quinn gave an overview of teaching, assessment and professional development in third level political departments in Ireland. Dr McInerney discussed the use of problem-based learning in cultivating student engagement with politics. Dr John Hogan and Dr Sharon Feeney from DIT spoke about the use of drawings to create a critical and collaborative learning space in the study of Irish politics. Dr Theresa Reidy and Fiona Buckley from UCC examined the use of Twitter in political teaching. Finally, Dr Adrian Kavanagh from Maynooth University addressed the teaching of politics through geography.

This conference was a key part of the PSAI Teaching and Learning in Politics Specialist Group’s activities for 2015.
Read more about the aims and activities of the Group here: http://www.psai.ie/specialist/teaching.asp

 


 

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