Reflecting, Reconnecting and Re-Engaging with the Core Purpose(s) of Education

Conference Year: 2022
Conference Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk
Reflecting, Reconnecting and Re-Engaging with the Core Purpose(s) of Education

The 20th annual SCoTENS conference was held on 20-21 October 2022 in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk. This year’s theme was Reflecting, Reconnecting and Re-Engaging with the Core Purpose(s) of Education.  Since our last face-to-face conference in 2019, the world has experienced unprecedented challenges, not only as a result of the global pandemic but, more recently, in the context of the war in Ukraine. In Ireland, diversity and inclusion remain significant challenges and this conference explored the links between education, schooling and societal wellbeing. It afforded delegates and speakers a timely opportunity to pause and reflect, reconnect with each other, and re-engage with the core purpose(s) of education. 

Almost 100 delegates attended from all over the island of Ireland, and were welcomed by Dr Gabrielle Ni Uidhir, (St Mary’s University College (northern co-chair) and Minister Norma Foley, Minister for Education provided the opening remarks. 

There were two outstanding keynote addresses by Prof Kathleen Lynch, Professor Emeritus, University College Dublin and Dr Rachel Shanks, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Aberdeen.

Following a call a call for expressions of interest/presentations which attracted a wide range of insightful presentations by researchers from north and south of the border, there were parallel sessions on both days under the themes:  Learning from the past and looking to the future, Wellbeing, Social Justice and Collaboration

The conference also featured the sixth annual doctoral roundtable where ten doctoral students were given an opportunity to present their ongoing research work and receive informal feedback from their peers and SCoTENS committee members.

On Thursday evening Eoghan Duffy, Principal Officer, Shared Island Unit, Department of the Taoiseach launched the Shared Island / SCoTENS Research Initiative 2021 Reports – Projects BUDDIES and SHARED.  The project leads spoke on the findings of their research.

The final session of the conference was a Panel Discussion chaired by Dr Conor Galvin featuring Dr Rachel Shanks, as well as invited guests: Prof Joe O’Hara, School of Policy and Practice, Dublin City University, Ms Anne Marie Moylan, Principal, Scoil Mhuire Naofa Carrigtwohill, Co Cork, Mr Garry Matthewson, Principal, Holy Family Primary School, Derry and Ms Maria Stewart, PhD researcher, Ulster University

If you missed out on the conference or indeed would like to have a look at the recordings, please see all below:

Opening of conference by Minister for Education, Minister Norma Foley and our first Keynote address by Prof Kathleen Lynch:

Second Keynote address by Dr Rachel Shanks:

Panel Discussion lead by Dr Conor Galvin: