• Philosophy & Science of Learning

    Education, Lifelong Learning and the Transformation of Society

    There is much anger in the world today. People rage against injustice and inequality. Tempers flair as we struggle to protect the planet. Societies change and evolve and our values are transformed over time. Many practices such as slavery, colonialism and capital punishment were deemed acceptable in the past and considered abhorrent by today‚Äôs standards. Our current laws on discrimination and tolerance were hard fought and did not come about without argument and persuasion. Even with these, we know there is still much to do. The progressive process of transforming values in society is essentially an educative endeavour. Consider how our collective values have changed, even in the course of,…

  • Feature,  Philosophy & Science of Learning

    We Need New Stories in Education

    The Seven Basic Plots is an interesting book by Christopher Booker, the main argument is clear from the title; we have a limited number of story lines and regardless of context or medium, we like the familiar, predictable and comforting. Fairytale, folklore, epic novels and modern film scripts all use variations of basic narrative structures; resilience in the face of onslaught, heroic journeys, monsters and dragons and of course, the struggles of good and evil. The argument is not unique, many thinkers have pointed to a form of collective intellectual comfort blanket. We welcome stories that reinforce pre-existing assumptions and avoid those that challenge our biased views and require re-jigging…

  • Philosophy & Science of Learning

    Comments on the ‘Action Plan for Education 2016 -2019’

    The Government’s new Action Plan for Education is a very welcome document that contains clear aspirations and detailed actions to be achieved over time. The overall vision is that we (Ireland) become the best education and training system in Europe. This is excellent news and like many others who work in education, I think it is a highly commendable goal; it is realistic and achievable and the Action Plan is an important statement of intent. In that spirit I would like to make some suggestions and identify areas of improvement. This is not to overlook all of the good stuff and positive actions contained therein. Rather, it is to contribute…

  • Uncategorised

    Top Ten Insights on Learning

    It’s the time of year for reviews.  I call it the season of the “top tens”: we have the top ten songs of 2009, the top ten sporting moments, the top ten films and so on. I have decided to step on the band wagon and am now pleased to present my Top Ten Insights on Learning. Here we go: Learning is constructed People are curious We learn best in social settings Much adult learning is child’s play We have a Learning Identity Meet the Digital World Adults learn what they want to learn Learning can be additive or transformative We learn throughout life We strive to be all that…