30 episodes

An Irish perspective on news and stories from the world of education

Inside Education - a podcast for educators interested in teaching Sean Delaney

    • Education
    • 4.7 • 12 Ratings

An Irish perspective on news and stories from the world of education

    Inside Education 423, Philosophy and the Practice of Teaching (21-11-2021)

    Inside Education 423, Philosophy and the Practice of Teaching (21-11-2021)

    Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

    In this episode I speak to Professor David T. Hansen from Teachers' College, Columbia University about the philosophy of education and the practice of teaching. Among the topics we discuss are the following:

    What it means to see teaching as an art, as a political activity and as a moral endeavour.

    Direct lessons about morality/values/ethics versus the continuous enactment of moral values.

    What hand-raising and turn-taking reveals about classroom culture and establishing dialogue among students (teachers and their students coming closer and closer apart and further and further together).

    Teaching as a profession? Teaching as vocation, calling, practice, craft? The attraction of teaching for people who want to live a meaningful life.

    Reworking his original book, The Call to Teach in 2021 as Reimagining the Call to Teach in response to (a) Accountability movement in the United States, linked to No Child Left Behind; and (b) Having learned more about the practice of teaching.

    How the implementation of No Child Left Behind in the United States was tone-deaf to classroom life. Huge resources benefited private testing companies rather than professional development for teachers.

    A poetics of teaching: What poetics means (comes from Aristotle trying to figure out why drama on a stage has the kind of effects it has on the spectators long after the play has ended). In this article, Hansen tries to understand the impact of teaching.

    Recognising the poetics of teaching; teaching is a rhythmic practice where poetics can be found alongside its drudgery/frustration/failure.

    How we all fail regularly in teaching but we rarely discuss it.

    What he means when he says that anyone interviewing a teacher for a job wants to know if the teacher loves life.

    Finding meaningfulness in teaching

    Programmes for veteran teachers to rejuvenate, reinspire, renew and refresh themselves.

    One example of such a programme is a “descriptive review” of a child.

    The importance of working on craft with initial student candidates; more can be done on the art of teaching – draw out a sense of their own humanity, possibly through story, poetry, film or a painting.

    How teaching is saturated with “why” questions – invitations to philosophy.

    Philosophy as theory and as an art of living (wisdom tradition)

    Cosmopolitanism: being reflectively loyal and reflectively open

    Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke.

    Plato and John Dewey.


    • 57 min
    Inside Education 422, How Voice Recognition Software is Changing Teaching (30-10-21)

    Inside Education 422, How Voice Recognition Software is Changing Teaching (30-10-21)

    Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

    Theme tune composed by David Vesey.

    On this episode of Inside Education, engineer Patricia Scanlon of Soapbox Labs discusses how improving how well software can recognise children's voices can support how teachers teach, assess and give feedback on reading and enhance equity in the classroom. Among the topics discussed are:

    How children’s voices differ to adult voices

    How voice recognition software has been found to be biased in favour of some populations over others

    How she became interested in applying speech recognition technology to education after watching her daughter experience the limits of educational software when she was learning to read and do mathematics

    Applying speech recognition technology to teaching reading – the software acts like a helpful adult who “listens” to and “assesses” the child’s reading.

    The software is used in dyslexia screeners, reading practice products, fluency assessment products, speech therapy.

    Use of the software at home and in classrooms

    The use of rapid naming as one of a suite of tasks in a screening tool that aims to predict dyslexia in pre-literate children, thus making earlier intervention possible

    The promise of voice recognition software for making school more inclusive for children of all abilities

    Applying the voice recognition software to languages other than English

    How practising reading can be formatively assessed using voice recognition software

    Feedback to encourage the student, to correct a child’s pronunciation of a sound, or to identify errors for the teacher

    Why Soapbox Labs’s niche is with children’s voice recognition software

    How they worked alongside teachers to develop the software

    Collecting data and looking at data privacy

    Future plans for developing the software

    • 43 min
    Inside Education 421, Cognitive Scientist Daniel T Willingham on Reading, Critical Thinking and More (16-10-21)

    Inside Education 421, Cognitive Scientist Daniel T Willingham on Reading, Critical Thinking and More (16-10-21)

    Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

    Theme tune composed by David Vesey

    On this week's podcast I speak to cognitive scientist, Professor Daniel T Willingham from the University of Virginia. We discuss learning to read, learning styles, multiple intelligences, education research and more. The full range of topics includes:

    Applying the science of learning in school and at home

    Paradigms of cognitive psychology (reasonable assumptions)

    How cognitive science replaced behaviourism

    How cognitive science might inform the teaching of different subjects across the curriculum

    The relationship between basic science and applied science for teachers

    Why an opportunity exists for teacher organisations to review science and provide periodic updates for teachers to critique ideas (such as say, grit).

    Initial teacher education should provide a grounding in the science of learning and subsequently teachers’ knowledge needs to be updated as the science evolves (and why the onus for such updating should not be on individual teachers)

    Among the few reliable publications for teachers he'd recommend are American Educator, and Phi Delta Kappan.

    Evaluating the relative importance of technical competence (decoding) and motivation in learning to read.

    The difference between reading a book and listening to an audio book (How prosody helps comprehension in audio books and how regressions help us in comprehending text) and why textbooks are different.

    Can audiobooks help a child who is having difficulties learning to decode?

    Criticism of the learning styles theory of the mind – there’s no scientific basis to pedagogies based on learning styles. Why style differs to memory and ability and the importance of meaning in learning. Learning styles may offer a different ways for a teacher to think about topics they’re going to teach.

    The construct of mental ability and multiple intelligences. Is intelligence one single construct or is it several independent constructs?

    Can critical thinking be taught? Can being a good critical thinker in one domain help you think critically in other domains? The importance of seeing the same underlying structure in various guises when practising critical thinking.

    How he evaluates the value or potential contribution of a research article in education.

    Contradictions in educational research – parallels with COVID-19 research. Why professional organisations need to tease out research implications for teachers.

    Why he reads very broadly in education.

    Daniel Willingham’s “2002-style” website. He’s on Facebook and Twitter @dtwillingham. His most recent books are Why don’t students like school (2nd out now) and Outsmart your brain (August 2022).

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Inside Education 420, Case Study of a Life Review with Bill Damon (3-7-21)

    Inside Education 420, Case Study of a Life Review with Bill Damon (3-7-21)

    Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

    Theme tune by David Vesey.

    On podcast 420, I welcome back Stanford University School of Education Professor William (Bill) Damon who was one of the first guests on this year's schedule to discuss his new book, A round of golf with my father: The new psychology of exploring your past to make peace with your present. Among the topics  we discuss on this bonus episode are the following:

    Different interpretations of what a life story is

    Life Studies by Robert Lowell

    Your intention for telling a life story

    What a life review is and why it can be done at any stage of life

    How William Damon adapted Robert Butler’s life review idea for his purpose.

    How to go about doing a life review
    Talk to people who remember your past

    Records (school and others, ancestry searches)

    Memory search

    Putting it all together – focusing on what gave you satisfaction and fulfillment

    Why he never met his father

    How school records have changed since the 1950s.

    How his father’s character developed over time, possibly through the demands and experiences of military service in World War II.

    What he learned about his own character from doing the life review

    Why character is a movie and not a snapshot

    Why he believes that psychological theories such as some of Freud’s work and the “big five personality traits” are wrong

    How he went about making a personal story interesting for an audience beyond his immediate circle of family and friends

    How a life review can help you find a purpose in your life

    How someone not looking for a purpose can find one

    His mother’s role in his life review

    His definition of purpose

    His memories of being taught by some of the pioneering psychologists of the twentieth century, including Erik Erikson and Jerome Kagan who was a guest on Inside Education a few years ago: Podcast 1 and Podcast 2  and who passed away in May 2021.

    Some of his earlier books: Some do care (with his wife, Anne Colby), Noble Purpose, The Moral Child and Greater Expectations.

    Why he called the book A Round of Golf with my Father when he never met his father!


    • 1 hr 4 min
    Inside Education 419, Deirdre Hodson on Technology and Sustainability (22-6-21)

    Inside Education 419, Deirdre Hodson on Technology and Sustainability (22-6-21)

    Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

    On this week's podcast I speak to Deirdre Hodson who works in the European Commission’s department for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture in Brussels. She provides a European Union policy perspective on technology and sustainability in education. Among the topics we discuss are:

    How she came to work in the area of digital education policy and her studies in the area

    Ben Williamson

    Neil Selwyn

    How her studies contributed to her work as a policymaker

    How the pandemic is likely to impact on policy and practice

    The need for schools to have digital strategies

    The importance of the school as a whole being the unit of change and of hearing the student voice

    The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning

    How countries reaped the benefits of investment in digital resources in education during the pandemic

    Asking what we can learn from remote teaching and learning as a result of the pandemic

    Broadening the education infrastructure to include collaboration with libraries and museums

    The origin, purpose and launch of the SELFIE diagnostic/planning tool she was involved in developing

    How SELFIE has been used and a new SELFIE tool for teachers to be launched in October 2021.

    Report on Artificial Intelligence in Education

    Examples of interesting practices in digital education across Europe

    An account of a visit to a school in Finland and the phenomenon-based learning and to one in Austria

    Sustainability, digital technologies, accessibility and inclusion

    Risks and threats of technology alongside opportunities (e.g. data protection; student and teacher agency)

    Differences between aspects of a teacher’s job that are routine (e.g. marking) and those that are human (e.g. coaching and mentoring)

    Neil Selwyn Should robots replace teachers?

    Challenges of not being able to hold the regular Leaving Certificate examinations in 2020.

    The value of learning languages

    Erasmus and E-Twinning: Léargas

    Neil Selwyn’s book Distrusting Educational Technology: Critical Questions for Changing Times

    • 58 min
    Inside Education 418, Autism and Education - Research and Practice (29-5-21)

    Inside Education 418, Autism and Education - Research and Practice (29-5-21)

    Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

    In this podcast I explore the topic of education and autism by speaking to a classroom teacher, Graham Manning from Cork, and a university researcher, Professor Steffie van der Steen from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

    Among the topics we discuss are:

    How Graham became coordinator of classes for autistic students in school

    The organisation with which Graham undertook training on helping students develop good sleeping habits.

    How Steffie became interested in researching autism and the education of students with autism in the Netherlands.

    The Salamanca Statement on special needs education:

    Graham’s class arrangements from a student’s perspective

    Different needs of autistic students from primary to secondary school

    Graham’s problem with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Inclusive Education in New Brunswick and that province's views on inclusion versus segregation

    Excellence in practice: visiting homes of students who apply for the special class and managing transitions from primary to secondary school and from secondary to third level.

    Graham referred to a quote widely attributed to Dr. Stephen Shore that “when you meet one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”

    Steffie’s research findings that are relevant for teachers: assessing young children on science concepts (Marble task and air pressure task); four categories of teachers’ needs in relation to teaching students with special needs: cooperation, academic tools, social aspects, reassurance for insecure newly qualified teachers; her hypothesis about the need to ask students both higher- and lower- order questions.

    Students learned from years of experience with students with autism and getting to know them.

    Lessons teachers can take from her experience of assessing young students with special education needs: variation in questions and hands-on tasks.

    Classroom interactions in Graham’s class for autistic students (Building relationships, subject planning, spending time outdoors, making meals together in the “home room,” creating a safe space)

    Steffie’s research (with her doctoral student, Lisette de Jonge-Hoekstra) on the relationship between children’s speech and their gestures when working on a task (including “gesture-speech mismatch)

    Steffie on animal-assisted therapy for students with autism

    Graham on why there are insufficient special classes in post-primary schools

    Steffie recommends: https://scholar.google.com/.

    Graham recommends The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida.


    • 1 hr 5 min

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12 Ratings

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