DevEd Day Inforgraphic

A visual summary of the 2013 DevEd week in NUI Maynooth. We want to claim that we’re being good with numbers!

Thanks to all who participated in making DevEd Week a memorable and worthwhile experience. To the NGOs, teachers, pupils, NUI Maynooth staff and students as well as recent graduates and friends of the Education Department, NUI Maynooth.

Special thanks to the Ubuntu Network for the funding and to Niamh Parkinson for producing this lovely infographic!



First Development Education Day for BScEd Students

devedday14aJust before Easter this year Fourth year BScEds co-organised a Development Education Day for their class. Held in Renehan Hall, it was a very full day consisting of three main sections, namely: An Introduction to Development Education; the Nurture Africa Ambassador Project in association with NUI Maynooth Access office and finally a ‘Science for Development’ session facilitated by colleagues Joe Clowry, Dr. Brendan Doggett and fifth year boys from St. Mary’s Academy, CBS, Carlow.

The introduction to DevEd was facilitated by Vicky Donnelly from One World Centre, Galway. Vicky is a leader on the Global Teachers Award which is a programme that covers a range of issues concernig social justice. It is a highly active and discursive programme and was well received by teh BScEd students.

The second part of the day took place during lunch, when we held a public presentation about Nurture Africa’s Ambassador programme which is very well represented by NUI Maynooth students including no fewer than five Year 4 BScEds!

Brian Iredale, CEO of Nurture Africa, spoke about the origins and overview of the Healthcare and Educational activities of this dynamic NGO that is based in Ireland and Uganda. Then Gavin Hennessy, Coordinator of the Ambassador Programme, spoke about the vision for this programme and reflected on his own journey in the area of Development Education. Finally, three of the five students heading to Uganda this summer spoke briefly about the story so far in becoming Ambassadors and volunteers with Nurture Africa and the links with the Access Office.

For the afternoon session the focus was on Science for Development which was lead by Science Teacher, Joe Clowry, formerly Education Officer with the CDPC and Coordinator of the Young Scientist Tanzania Exhibition. YST is an Irish Aid funded project that emerged from the work of the Combat Diseases of Poverty Consortium (CDPC) in recent years.

The BScEd students also heard from Keane Nolan and DJ Hanley from St Mary’s Academy, CBS, Carlow. Keane Nolan and DJ Hanley were the 2012 winners of the ‘Science for Development’ Award at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. The aim of their project was to look at the use of honey and propolis to preserve raw milk in rural parts of Africa where refrigeration and pasteurisation facilities are not available. You can hear the lads talk about their project here.

As part of their prize, sponsored by Irish Aid and Self Help Africa, the boys travelled to Ethiopia to meet with farmers and cooperative managers, who, it was clear took a very keen interest in their project. BScEd students also praised the Keane and DJ’s work very enthusiastically. They commented that it gave them an insight into ways they, as teachers, can contribute to Science for Development.

Finally, the group spent some time exploring possibilities for curricular links to DevEd in Science and Maths lessons and ideas for projects that might work well for the Young Scientists in Tanzania. Well done and thank you to everyone involved!

Econowha? (dot ie)

Yes “it’s the economy, stupid” and Clinton’s 1992 campaign catchphrase reminds us that although economics is everything it also literally dumb-founds most of us. Figures that are mind-bendingly complex and dreary: how often do we simply switch off? I know I do. And yet when you do stop to think about it isn’t the economy exactly what we need to know more about if we are not to be hoodwinked further: ignorance is not bliss!

Debt and Development Coalition Ireland (DDCI) have created the new web-based resource Econowha? in collaboration with the School of Social Justice in UCD. The site is aimed at people interested in knowing more, understanding issues and making critical and informed judgments about how the economy affects us and how it and vested interests determine so much about our freedom and the quality of our lives.

Econowha? takes its cue from a UK campaign of a similar name where accessible texts, videos and blog posts etc. are presented to help ordinary people engage with economic discourse. Econowha? adapts and extends this idea for an Irish context. Most significantly, in my view, it adopts a critical pedagogical perspective and the resource will work best in groups or learning circles where people come together to discuss and explore the material it contains. It is aimed at adult audiences but I also think second level teachers will find useful material here, if only to inform themselves, if not also to use in class. It will certainly help Business and Economics teachers to integrate a DevEd perspective in a well informed, critical way that looks at how local and global economic inequalities are reproduced and how the dominant media narratives both shape and limit critical understanding of economic decisions that are taken in our name.

I attended the launch of the resource yesterday, first because I wanted to support Mark Malone who, with Sian Crowley from DDCI, curated the resources that can be found on the site. Mark facilitated one of the multi-media workshops in DevEd week this year and he has recently completed a Masters in the Dept. of Adult and Community Education, NUIM. Being commissioned by DDCI I also knew Econowha? would be both interesting and challenging (in a good way!).

I have heard over the years how teachers feel that they don’t know enough about the global economy to engage with economic issues and prefer not to take a too critical approach when it comes to DevEd for lack of information and lack of confidence around these issues. There no longer a reason to claim ignorance of economic discourse and the exciting thing about Econowha? is that you don’t have to take it on all on your own. Why not form a group to explore this site, draw out of it ideas that could be adapted for the second level classroom and explore how it might be introduced to say senior cycle pupils? What discussion points, methodologies and activities would work best? You stand to learn a lot yourself – I know I did from simply attending the launch!

I would like to invite current or recent graduates from the Education Department or indeed any second level teachers in Ireland to contact me if you’d be interested in having a dedicated workshop run by DDCI about Econowha?

And finally…. I’d ask you to comment on and share Econowha? too. It is a dynamic and progressive resource that will be added to in the coming weeks and months and it will be adapted according to what people using it suggest. Be among those who suggest ways it could serve a DevEd purpose in second level too and help us all to feel less stupid when it comes to discussions about the economy!

Global Teachers Award Workshop 19th February 2014

gta_logoThe Education Department, NUI Maynooth is hosting this exciting professional development opportunity for student teachers and qualified teachers at both Primary and Post Primary level.

The Global Teachers Award (GTA) is a validated teacher-education programme that aims to support teachers with relevant information, and the development of skills in teaching for global justice.

The Maynooth Workshop will take place on 19th February from 10 am to 4:30 pm. It is being faciliated by the Galway One World Centre and will be held in Renehan Hall on the South Campus.  More information is available adirectly from Vicky Donnelly and on the GTA Facebook page.

The programme builds confidence to bring a global perspective to their classrooms through participatory activities focused on six key themes:

  • Global Citizenship
  • Social Justice
  • Diversity
  • Human Rights
  • Interdependence
  • Sustainable Development

The GTA is an Irish Aid and EU-supported CDP programme which will progress over 3 Levels.  Level 1, a six hour module validated by Liverpool Hope University, is now being rolled out in Ireland, and in 3 partner-countries.  The training is currently being offered free of charge in Ireland.

Keynote speaker: Dr. Kamugisha Gozibert

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Kamugisha Gozibert, the distinguished Executive Director and Co-Founder of Young Scientists Tanzania to NUI Maynooth for this year’s DevEd week. kamugisha

Kamugisha has been a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) since 2006, specialising in sociology and in particular medical sociology. He has conducted research on health related issues and especially on sexually transmitted infections, their preferred treatments, access and utilization of health care services in Tanzania. He has also investigated patient-health provider relationships in the context of health care reforms in Tanzania.

He has been working on delivering the Young Scientists model to Tanzania since 2009. As a CDPC fellow at NUI, Maynooth, he was engaged in research in development education and science for development. Kamugisha worked with students presenting projects for the Irish Young Scientists and he gained first hand knowledge about all aspects of the Irish project. He quickly realized the potential of transferring the Young Scientists model to Tanzania. He has been a strong advocate in highlighting its ability to create a much needed science culture in secondary schools in Tanzania. His experience in Ireland prompted him to start negotiations with CDPC for the transfer of the Young Scientists model to Tanzania.

He worked tirelessly in setting the groundwork and eventually convinced the CDPC to work with him in partnership to pilot the project in Tanzania. As Executive Director of YST, his hard work was finally realized with staging of the highly successful first ever Young Scientists Tanzania exhibition in 2012. During DevEd week last year we managed to videoconference into the Exhibition Hall in Dar es Salaam to talk to Kamugisha and to some of the students, including the winners! (unbeknownst to us at the time!). The second successful YST exhibition took place this September.

Kamugisha has developed and delivered teacher workshops in the the various regions throughout Tanzania. He also mentors the projects from the regions where he works with the teachers and students.
We are deeply honoured and thrilled to welcome Kamugisha back to NUI Maynooth and look forward to hearing news from YST.



Getting ready for DevEd week 2013

We’re putting together a very exciting programme for DevEd week this year and currently adjusting the look, feel and general content on this blog/website.

We’ll be adding the details of the programme once it is finalised so ‘watch this space!’ as they say. This will be the place to come for commentary and reflection on during the week itself, along with guest posts and pictures, videos etc.

If in the meantime you are wondering what DevEd actually is – take a look around this site and take the time to browse through which is THE PORTAL for Development Education resources for teachers in Ireland (and used by teachers throughout the world!).

Presentation College Bray – Anti-slavery campaign

As news of the terrible tragedy in Bangladesh reaches us we pay attention for a few minutes to the dreadful work and living conditions of so many people in developing countries. We think for a while about how we can influence companies’ ethics. Perhaps even for a while some improvements are made… but the dust settles, literally, and we go back to buying our bargains and ignoring the real costs inflicted by our consumer society. Then the conditions in which others are forced to live fade from our minds. Modern day slavery is one, among many, of the issues that exercise the minds of students in schools throughout the country when they engage with Development Education projects in their schools.

Students in Presentation College Bray are among those taking up these difficult themes in their school and doing some pretty impressive work as a result.  Elaine Brennan, a graduate of the Education Department NUI Maynooth, is currently teaching there and contacted me recently about the project she participated in this year with the boys and their Art teacher, Clifton Rooney.

The students have combined their skills in Art and English to create a mural in their school and to write a writing a poingnant and heart felt essay about modern day slavery with a view to raising awareness about this issue in their school and across a network of schools. The essay was published on the  Development website and has also appeared on

It is clear that these boys have an interest in making things change, and not just for a while. The initiative in Presentation College Bray is sustained over the course of the year and is repeated each year with different groups and on different themes. Clifton has also written a reflection on the project and its impact on him and on the students.

I wanted to post this to say that hearing from Elaine has prompted me to try to find out more about the ways schools are “doing Dev Ed”, how they are engaging with issues of global social justice and human rights and more importantly how they work out ways to address these issues.

I am aware that many schools do many interesting things but too often this is not widely known. Too often also teachers are castigated in various ways by various pundits while those of us familiar with schools know the reality to be quite different especially when it comes to supporting young people to explore ideas and action they feel passionate about.

Let me know if you are in a school where there are interesting Development Education projects taking place. They don’t have to be elaborate and they don’t have to already have been publicised on the internet. As a start I would like to use this Dev Ed week blog to showcase such projects, to publicise what you are doing and to consider the ways we may be able to work toegther to make sure what is happening is communicated more widely: especially to student teachers!

The Education Department is also willing and able to support schools in this work and we have a number of ideas about how to supoprt your efforts.

Contact me soon: ideally before the end of May 2013.

Book Launch by Peadar King

what_in_the_worldWe are delighted to announce the publication of Peadar King’s new book based on stories gathered in the course of creating the highly acclaimed documentary series What in the World?. The sixth series was broadcast on RTE last November and as you know it aimed to raise greater public awareness on a range of global development and human rights issues.

The book promises to be as insightful at capturing the human consequences of global economic inequalities as was the series.

There are a number of forthcoming launches that you may like to put in your diary:

Saturday 2 March Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis (as part of the Ennis bookclub festival) with Denis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations at 6 p.m.

Monday 4 March in the staff common room University College Cork with Pat Breen T.D. Chairperson Joint Oireachtas Committee for Foreign Affairs, Fachtna O’Driscoll SMA and Nick Chisolm, Centre for Global Development, UCC. at 5 p.m.

Friday 8 March in the Irish Aid Centre, O’Connell Street Dublin with Joe Costello T.D. Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Trade and Development Steve Carson, RTE and Eugene Quinn, PSEU in the Irish Aid Centre at 5.30 p.m.

The book is available in Eason’s book shops and should also be soon available in the NUIM campus bookshop. It can also be purchased directly from The Liffey Press. Peadar has told us that NUIM students would be very welcome to come any one of these events.

Do note that they will be providing light refreshments so if you are planning to attend you should let the organisers know in advance (so they have some indication of numbers). You can contact Liffey Press on: 

Maynooth hosts YST winners

YSTedThe winners of the YST competition , the three girls we met via video-conference during Dev Ed week from Kibosho Girls’ School near Kilimanjaro,  came to Ireland/Maynooth last week to attend and present their project at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition. They were honoured at a formal reception in Renehan Hall and had something of a whirlwind tour including appearances on RTE radion and television! See their full interview with Emma O’Kelly.

The Education Department had the privilege of working with them on creating a ‘virtual poster’ of their winning project. It gives a flavour of their project certainly but also worth noting that they had no time to plan or rehearse this narrative and the landscape was created in 30 mins after only a one hour introductory session in how to use this software. It represents pretty impressive work for youngsters who do not have the same access to computers of the typical Irish teen!

You can find out all about their adventures in Ireland on Facebook: and/or on Twitter @ystanzania

What is Dev Ed? #whatisdeved

IDEA (the Irish Development Education Association) is inviting people to participate in a new campaign that aims to raise awareness of and support for Development Education. It’s a simple 6-week campaign that aims to engage the public in a conversation about what DE is and why it is needed. It has been developed and coordinated by a task group of IDEA members.

On Monday, 5th Nov, they will launch a specially created YouTube video. Check them out facebook, Twitter (@IDEAIreland/#whatisdeved) and on their website.

Over the next 6 weeks they hope to share the video widely and use it to prompt conversation online about what DE is and why it is needed. The campaign finishes with a small event in the second week of December.

So what do you think it is?


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