CIDREE EXPERT MEETING, Dublin, June 21st – 22nd 2018

Aims, values and vision underpinning primary curriculum


Delegates from Belgium (Flanders), Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Ireland attended an expert meeting on 21st and 22nd June 2018 in the offices of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), Dublin, Ireland. Hosted by the NCCA, the thematic focus of the meeting was curriculum change, with emphasis on the aims, values and vision underpinning a primary curriculum.

Day 1 began with an overview of the context for the Expert Meeting. This was followed by presentations from the delegates in which each jurisdiction described its current curriculum change process with reference to the vision for education, the impetus for change, and how the vision is articulated in curriculum or policy documentation. The second session on day 1 looked at the current context for redevelopment of the primary curriculum in Ireland. In a session led by Dr Thomas Walsh, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, day 1 closed with a closer examination of the historical contexts for the current developments in Ireland through the lens of a critical engagement with the Introduction to the Primary School Curriculum (1999).

The opening session on day 2 viewed curriculum through three lenses: a theoretical lens, a political lens, and a values-led lens. In the second session on day 2 delegates engaged in a philosophy circle which afforded them opportunities to look critically (albeit light-heartedly!) at a range of provocative values-related statements about curriculum. In this closing session delegates agreed that engagement with their CIDREE colleagues offered valuable opportunities to clarify issues for their own countries. Especially important in this context was the recognition of the avenues that exist for ongoing contact and support across this European partnership.

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CIDREE National Coordinators’ Meeting 2018, Ljubljana, 22 - 23 March 2018

This meeting was hosted by the National Education Institute of Slovenia (ZRSS). National Coordinators from 12 European countries discussed their institutions’ current and future priorities and developed some new ideas for future CIDREE activities. Luc Weis, the new CIDREE president, presented an update on planned events and grants for 2018.

CIDREE EXPERT MEETING, Glasgow, November 15 - 17, 2017

Supporting teachers' professional judgment in physical education

The meeting focused on learning, teaching and assessment. Specifically, what countries have in place to support professional judgement. Opportunities arose throughout the three days to discuss what we mean by ‘understanding standards’ and how each country supports teachers to develop their confidence, knowledge and skills to make professional judgements on performance.
The overall objective of physical education is to support young people to experience the joy of movement; to develop the skills, knowledge, capabilities and attributes that are the foundation for an active lifestyle and life-long enjoyment of physical activity. This meeting provided an appropriate forum for professional dialogue around these retrospective standards and whether they rightly reflect the rationale of each country’s PE curriculum from a sport or health perspective.

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CIDREE Project National Education Reports, Edinburgh, October 30-31, 2017

A comparative view of national education reports in European countries

As part of the CIDREE Project 2017 National Education Reports, a meeting was held in October 2017 at the headquarters of the Scottish Government in Edinburgh. Under the chair of SKBF, those responsible from Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland and the Netherlands discussed the first results of the comparative work on national education reports from eight European countries.

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CIDREE Expert Meeting, Dublin, May 11 – 12, 2017

Curriculum structure, time allocation, and transitions

Delegates from Luxembourg, Netherlands, Scotland, Slovenia, Sweden, and Ireland attended an expert meeting on 11th and 12th of May 2017 in Bedford Hall, Dublin Castle, Ireland. Hosted by Ireland’s National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), the thematic focus of the meeting was curriculum change, with an emphasis on curriculum structure and time allocation and transitions.

During the first session on day 1, a representative from each of the participating countries gave a short presentation to the group, offering an overview of ‘curriculum structure, time allocation, transitions and progression’ in the speaker’s jurisdiction. The presentations were followed by a Question/Answer session which afforded opportunities for clarification of key ideas and terminology. The second session on day 1 focused on experiences from each of the participating countries of introducing curriculum change; discussion centred on the key determinants of success and/or challenge of this process.

Day 2 began with a
provocation session during which three invited guests presented on topics relating to the theme of supporting transitions and progressions within the curriculum; each of the guests provoked a key question to be explored during small group discussions. The concluding panel discussion afforded the participants opportunities to share and compare patterns of practice from the different jurisdictions in a tangible and nuanced manner.
The second session on day 2 gave the visiting delegates an opportunity to focus on an issue or area of professional interest from their own jurisdictions and a chance to problematise that issue and search for workable solutions with critical support from NCCA personnel. Delegates appreciated this chance to work with a fellow professional from a different country acting as a sounding-board in the exploration of an issue or concern.
Day 2 concluded with a plenary session in which delegates explored and shared critical lessons or key messages that each participant would take from the expert meeting. Delegates agreed that engagement with their CIDREE colleagues offered valuable opportunities to clarify issues for their own countries. Especially important in this context was the recognition that
in the final analysis, the similarities that promote dialogue across our countries are more remarkable than the differences that appear to separate us.

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