Symposium: Publicness of Education: The Past, Present, and Future of an Educational Ideal

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Maynooth University has announced a one-day symposium organised by the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy, Maynooth University.

Public education as education funded by public means, accountable to the public, and accessible to everyone, is a key institution of modern democracies. On the one hand, public education is the expression of the democratic values of liberty, equality, and solidarity. On the other hand, public education plays a key role in promoting and sustaining these values.

Today there are signs that this configuration of public education is in decline and that other priorities have taken over. The rise of school choice, privatisation and commercialisation has eroded the democratic governance of public education and has led to new patterns of educational segregation and inequality. New public management has caused a shift from democratic to technocratic forms of accountability, with a strong focus on meeting the needs of ‘customers’ rather than being oriented towards the common good. It has thus also challenged the role of the state as a key actor in serving and securing the common good.

The question this raises is what the future for public education, in schools, colleges and universities, may look like. But rather than only focusing on the future, there is also the question of the past: How ‘public’ has education been so far? And there is the question of the present: How ‘public’ is education today? What are the pressures? And where are the possibilities?

The Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Maynooth University is organising a one-day seminar to reflect on these issues, with a focus on the state of public education and the publicness of education in Ireland.

Symposium Details:
·       Date: 9th May
·       Time: 08:30 – 17:00
·       Location: Renehan Hall, St Patrick’s College, South Campus, Maynooth University

Keynote and Panellists:

Opening Address: Maynooth University President, Eeva Leinonen

Scene-setting Talk: Carl-Anders Säfström, Director of the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy, Maynooth University; Gert Biesta, Professor of Public Education at the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy, Maynooth University

Keynote Address: Karl Kitching, Professor of Public Education and Director of Research in the School of Education, University of Birmingham

Panel Discussions: Dearbhil Lawless – AONTAS, Sharon Todd MU, Joe Oyler MU,, and Simon Lewis, Principal and host of “If I were the Minister for Education” Podcast,

Secure Your Spot: Please indicate your interest in attending by registering via the Eventbrite page

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At Maynooth it is the individual that matters. For your postgraduate studies, the small class sizes and one-to-one guidance from senior lecturers and global researchers will challenge and inspire you. Furthermore, you can also contact the Graduate Studies Office for any one-to-one advice and support you might need. You will be joining the 20% of the Maynooth University student population who are undertaking Masters, Diplomas or Research programmes, working and studying towards their personal or professional development goals in a supportive academic teaching and learning environment.

Maynooth University’s researchers and academics hail from more than 95 countries and our alumni network comprises more than 70,000 people across the globe.

At Maynooth, senior academics and internationally respected researchers challenge and inspire students in small classes and with one-to-one supervision, helping emerging scholars to reach their academic potential and build a stand out resume or CV.

The postgraduate cohort includes students who hold John and Pat Hume Doctoral awards, Irish Research Council, Mitchell, Fulbright and SFI scholarships, reflecting Maynooth University’s academic excellence across disciplines.

The Graduate Studies Office is dedicated to ensuring a unique and valuable postgraduate experience for each and every student. If you would like to find out more about MU’s postgraduate courses please enquire here.




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