Clare Education Centre is one of a national network of 21 fulltime Education Centres charged by the Irish Department of Education with supporting the professional development needs of teachers and school staff in County Clare.
The main functions of Clare Education Centre include a requirement to support the in-service needs of the state and to identify and support locally identified professional development needs. To this end, Clare Education Centre has a strong tradition in the development and provision of local courses and school based initiatives. The Centre serves all 130 schools in Co. Clare at both Primary and Post Primary Level.
Clare Education Centre is the also administrative centre for the following national programmes:
Centre for School Leadership (CSL)
Centre for School Leadership (CSL) has responsibility across the continuum of leadership development commencing with pre appointment training through to induction of newly appointed principals to continuous professional development throughout the school leader’s career.
PDST Leadership Programme
PDST Leadership Programme facilitates training programmes for Principals and Deputy Principals including Misneach, Forbairt and Tánaiste.
Maths Recovery and Mata sa Rang
Maths Recovery (MR) is a numeracy programme available to DEIS Urban Band 1 & 2 schools. Maths Recovery offers a unique approach to extending children’s number knowledge, understanding and strategies. Mata sa Rang (MsR) is a classroom approach to MR which was developed by Dr. Noreen O’Loughlin, MR Ireland and is available to both rural DEIS and non-DEIS schools. It is delivered nationwide by MR teachers through the Education Centre Network.
Leaving Cert Applied, PDST, Politics and Society, History, Geography, Religion and Classics
Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct, self-contained Leaving Certificate programme. It is designed for those students who do not wish to proceed directly to third level education or for those whose needs, aspirations and aptitudes are not adequately catered for by the other two Leaving Certificate programmes.
Clare Education Centre has a long history in participating in EU projects and mobilities. The Centre has been involved in many EU-projects and currently hosts the STEAMING project on its website – www.clareed.ie and has hosted the RECEPTION project. Personnel at Clare Education Centre have many years experience of running Erasmus+ projects. Over the last number of years Clare Education Centre has been involved in three projects (RECEPTION, STAYON and RECIPE) and is currently coordinating the STEAMING project.
STEAMING is an Erasmus+ KA2 Project which commenced in September 2019 and has a completion date of August 2022 with the aim of engaging students in the creation of their own STEAM learning. The project is a research and development programme in STEAM education and training. STEAM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. The project is being led by Clare Education Centre in partnership with Mary Immaculate College Limerick and educational institutions from Croatia, Greece, Norway and Portugal.
The three primary schools from Clare that are participating in the project are:
Cratloe National School
O’Callaghan’s Mills National School
Kilrush National School
The schools have been actively involved in the development of case studies, project videos, professional development and the creation of project resources. It is a testament to the staff of the schools involved in the project that they are maintained and sustained their engagement with the project despite the ongoing difficulties and limitations posed by the Covid pandemic which has prevailed for almost the entire duration of the project to date.
The STEM team from Mary Immaculate College has been hugely supportive throughout the project and has published a State of Art report on the place of STEAM in Irish schools. This has been supplemented by research from the three participant schools. The Mary Immaculate College team has produced further relevant research papers for the project, provided professional development inputs to project meetings and training events and supported the three participant schools and Clare Education Centre in their engagements with the project. Our project partners in Croatia, Greece, Norway and Portugal have been similarly committed to the project which each partner contributing reports, case studies, videos and resources for the project. The greatest benefit however has been the frequent online project meetings which have witnessed tremendous collaboration, learning and sharing. The cooperation between the partners resulted in the organisation of a very successful online Learning, Teaching and Training event in November 2021 which involved teachers and students from over 60 schools across the partner countries. The project aims to host two live training courses for teachers in 2022 in addition to an international STEAM conference and three further professional development sessions for participants from the partner organisations. A comprehensive STEAM resource back for teachers will also be produced and made available on the project website.
Our involvement with the Erasmus+ STEAMING Project has provided wonderful opportunities to develop our understanding of STEAM, to engage in professional development and to showcase STEAM teaching and learning in Primary Schools in County Clare. The project has given us a wonderful vehicle to collaborate on STEAM methodologies, resources and ideas and to consider how to collate and disseminate these ideas for the benefit of teachers in Clare and to the wider teaching audiences in Ireland, Croatia, Greece, Norway and Portugal.
The STEAMING project has been funded by the European Commission through the Erasmus + programme. The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.