General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

 
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A Passion for Teaching

01-05-2007

Prof Day
Prof Christopher Day

LOCAL TEACHERS EXPERIENCE A 'PASSION FOR TEACHING'

The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland hosted its second annual lecture at The Queen's University of Belfast yesterday. Teachers and educationalists from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were addressed by the eminent academic and author Professor Christopher Day.

Professor Day, is Professor of Education and co-director of the Centre for Research on Teacher and School Development at the University of Nottingham, he explored strategies to improve the quality of teaching, highlighting curriculum change, self-evaluation, and the importance of continuing professional development. However, he was also convinced that quality teaching is not just about intellectual endeavour but also requires emotional connectedness and commitment. In his view, the significance of emotions in sustaining the morale of teachers has been long underestimated. His work in this area offers new insights at a time when teachers are being asked to implement the most radical policy agenda since 1947.

His lecture also explored issues such as, professional identity, reflective practice and the need for policy makers to understand the importance of the 'moral purposes' of professional endeavour.

Commenting on Professor Day's visit the Chairperson of GTCNI Mrs Sally McKee said, "Professor Day's visit is timely in the midst of unprecedented educational, social and political change in Northern Ireland. It is therefore essential that policy makers work in collaboration with us and acknowledge the repository of professional expertise that teachers have gained over many years. It is only by utilizing this experience that current policy initiatives will have any chance of success".

The Registrar of GTCNI Eddie Mc Ardle commented, "We, in GTCNI, were privileged to have Professor Day as our guest lecturer. His academic work has significantly influenced the work of the Council in the development of its Code of Values and Professional Practice and also in its recent reviews of teacher competences and continuing professional development. Indeed, the Council is conscious that recent Department of Education policy initiatives in relation to curriculum reflect an understanding, on the part of policy makers and administrators, of the importance of professional autonomy and the significance of continuing professional development for all teachers. We in GTCNI look forward to continuing, with Professor Day, what has been a stimulating and rewarding dialogue".

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