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      Research Symposium on Diversity in Teaching (DiT) in Galway


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      November 14, 2019

      Thursday   9:00 AM

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      Research Symposium on Diversity in Teaching (DiT)

      Diversifying initial teacher education, and the teaching profession, in Ireland and internationally, has been of research and policy significance for some time, and since 2017 has been operationalised in practice (in Ireland) through projects funded by the Higher Education Authority under PATH1[1]. On Thursday 14th November, the School of Education at NUI Galway will host a Research Symposium on Diversity in Teaching (DiT). The main aim is to provide a forum for the sharing of research findings from the projects funded under PATH1, and other relevant projects in the national and international contexts. The symposium is an invitation-based event in order to elicit core learning to date from national and international projects on a research level, and to progress the field into the future. Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Diversity and Equality at NUI Galway, will open proceedings, and Professor Liz Thomas, Director and Chair, Widening Participation Research Centre, Edge Hill University, England, will provide the keynote address. The symposium main proceedings will consist of a number of parallel sessions and a panel discussion. A wide range of abstracts have been submitted from national and international colleagues and we are looking forward to an exciting schedule. [1] Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH) (Strand 1: Equity of Access to Initial Teacher Education). Professor Liz Thomas Keynote Address Title: The role of professional passion in improving diversity and success in teacher education: Some international insights Abstract Public sector professions, such as teaching, nursing and social work can be attractive career choices for first generation entrants, arguably because they are both vocational, and professions that they may have had contact with and so can aspire towards. This however does not mean that these disciplines are representative of national populations, or that students from non-traditional groups are equally successful in higher education and in public sector careers. Irish higher education has made a significant commitment to diversify the intake of student teachers into higher education programmes to improve the diversity of the teaching profession to better reflect the national population. This address will briefly review the approaches being adopted by the partnership proposals, and then it will draw upon research into professional education in England and Norway. This qualitative research provides insight into the role of and threat to ‘professional passion’ (to be a teacher, nurse, etc) to both widening participation and improving student success in HE and progression into teaching careers for students from non-traditional groups. It will consider how ‘professional passion’ to be a teacher can be identified, ignited and nurtured to help widen recruitment and participation in professional programmes, and how it can be strengthened rather than exploited or extinguished once students are enrolled in programmes to improve success in HE and professional careers.

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