Galway teachers celebrated at unique training event

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Teachers from Galway have been celebrated for completing unique project management training held by Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI).

The teachers who took part were Tara Whyte from Merlin College, Orla Casby from Mercy College Tuam, Aisling Collins from Gort Community School, Bríd Dunne of Portumna Community School and Rose Conway from Presentation College, Headford.

They joined other educators from around the country at a celebratory event on completion of the Teacher PM & PBL Training Initiative which is run with the grant support of the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF).

The initiative, which is now in its second year, is run in conjunction with Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) and delivers project management and project-based learning training and mentoring to teachers.

Thirty-six second level teachers participated nationwide this year, aiding their pedagogy and assisting in providing high-quality instruction for students.

The Teacher PM & PBL Training Initiative is fully aligned with Key Skills, which help learners develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to face the many challenges in today’s world and are at the heart of the new junior cycle specification.

Project management training for educators enables innovative and effective project based learning and allows teachers to use Project Based Learning (PBL) to bring key skills to life in classrooms.

The initiative began with an intensive week-long training in project management fundamentals followed by participation in PMIEF’s ‘Managing the Learning Project’ micro-credential programme.

Earning the micro-credential allowed teachers to provide easily verifiable evidence of their knowledge and experience  in integrating project management into their instruction for enhanced student learning and outcomes.

To conclude the initiative a number of teachers have been selected to study at the Buck Institute for Education’s annual PBL World conference in Napa, California to further build their capacity to integrate project management into their classrooms.

All participants will now go on to promulgate PBL within their own classrooms and schools with the support of their colleagues.

Teachers from twelve different counties (Carlow, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Laois, Limerick, Louth, Monaghan, Sligo, Waterford, Wexford), a wide range of both subject areas (including Science, Maths, Business and English) and schools (Community Colleges, Community Schools & Volunteer Community Schools) are represented which allows for shared learning and collaborative practises which otherwise may not be possible.

The initiative is part of a wider collaboration between JAI and PMIEF to develop project management skills in classrooms nationwide. 2,000 students have completed the PM Skills for Life programme since its inception in the 2015/16 school year.

The programme facilitated by industry volunteers brought TY students through the core principles of project management after which they actioned their own projects demonstrating the skills they acquired through participation.

The event attendees experienced first-hand the learning impacts of the PM Skills for Life programme as transition year students from St Munchin’s College, Corbally, Limerick demonstrated how they developed project management skills.

Tara Whyte a participating teacher in Merlin College, Galway said: “I am delighted to have participated in this wonderful initiative which has empowered me to utilise project management in my classroom, enhancing my instructional abilities as well as ultimately improving my students’ outcomes by helping them to also acquire and apply project management knowledge to their learning, especially those that are project-based.”

Jeannette Barr, Executive Director of PMIEF said: “The 21st century demands a skilled workforce that drives organizational success and meaningfully contributes to the global economy.

“This requires the abilities to think critically, communicate effectively, and collaborate thoughtfully, competencies inherent to project management.

“PMIEF is delighted our partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland professionally develops teachers to integrate project management into their curricula so they can more deeply engage students and help them strengthen these capabilities.”

Helen Raftery, CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland, said: “We are proud to partner with PMIEF to
develop teachers’ project management competencies, both to enhance their pedagogy and build
confidence in deploying project based learning, which will ensure that second level school students
gain an even better understanding of project management fundamentals, which are ultimately skills
for life.”