Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Céad Míle Fáilte (One Hundred Thousand Welcomes)

After recovering from a delayed jet lag, I woke up today feeling refreshed and ready to listen to lectures at UCC. Dr. Kitching spoke about Critical Issues in Ireland's Education System. I found it interesting that most of the major educational changes began in the mid-1960's, including the implementation of free secondary schooling and regional technological colleges. Although Ireland is a largely agricultural country, the Irish Education System began attending to the educational needs of students in rural areas by then. I also found the relatively new attention to addressing institutionalized racism an interesting topic of conversation, considering it's such a prominent issue in the U.S. 

Later on, after separating into two groups, doctors O'Sullivan and Burns spoke with the Comparative Education group about Special Education in Ireland. The progress made in special education in Ireland over the last 20 years is exponential, considering the amount of participation between the parents, community, school systems, and government needed to occur to ensure positive change. From what Sullivan and Burns discussed, Ireland is experiencing many of the same issues in special education as the U.S., including taking steps towards proactively assisting students with disabilities as opposed to waiting until after the student has demonstrated considerable struggle in school. 

After the lectures, our group toured the UCC campus and enjoyed dinner at the Bodega. The remainder of the group headed off to attend a student gathering organized by the UFHRD Conference, in which the other U of L College of Education group is participating. I headed to bed to finish sleeping off this jet lag. Here's to more lectures tomorrow!

- Laura Fleig-Carta

Laura Fleig-Carta with BFF Kayla Hall

Laura Fleig-Carta's selfie with the University College Cork Quadrangle in the background 

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