Supporting diverse children and youth in education in a collaborative way will be the focus of a two-day conference at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) on 14 & 15 June. Organised by MIC in collaboration with the MidWest Migrant Community Network (MMCN), the event will draw together educators, researchers, academics and multi-agency practitioners from Ireland alongside international educators who are interested in exploring how interagency collaboration can contribute to better support diverse learners and their families in schools.
According to Dr Finn Ó Murchú, Head of School at MIC Thurles: "It is most welcome to see our annual summer school back on campus. Our topic is leadership in the context of our wonderfully multicultural and diverse world. A world that is also in turmoil and requires good teachers and good school leaders like never before. A community response to supporting our pupils and teachers is also now essential and we look forward to hearing from a great line up of presenters speaking about the challenges, opportunities and powerful collaborative work that is going on in our communities. See you there on 14 & 15 June."
The two keynote speeches will be delivered by Professor Marie Parker-Jenkins (Emeritus UL), and Mr Mischeck Munthali, Director of Education in the Minister of Education in Malawi, with further engaging discussions led by Dr Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children, Professor Michael Healy, Vice-President Research at MIC, Dr Becca Lowenhaupt, Boston College, Santhi Corcoran, MMCN, Dr Finn Ó Murchú, Head of School at MIC Thurles, and Professor Lorraine McIlrath, Director of Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Interculturalism at MIC. Four workshops over the two-day event will explore the issues of discrimination & racism in Irish education, Traveller education, Refugees, asylum seekers & displaced communities, and Minority group education.
Speaking in advance of the MIC Thurles Summer School was Dr Santhi Corcoran, co-Chair of the Midwest Migrant Community Network: “This conference will focus on interagency collaboration with education in supporting diversity in schools. This is all about encouraging educators at all levels – from early childhood, through primary and post-primary and even at Higher Education – to look at community partnerships and collaborations with community organisations as a positive and fruitful engagement in supporting diverse student communities and their families in schools. It is also a celebration of the good academic and community initiatives happening in the MidWest of Ireland and a call for action in the MidWest in terms of supporting and enhancing educational potential of the diverse young people we serve.”