This three-year project brings together students from seven colleges of education in Dublin, Belfast and Limerick to study and do teaching practice in the other jurisdiction. It is based on the belief that young teachers have a key role in overcoming prejudice and misunderstanding.
The seven colleges are:
- St. Mary’s University College, Belfast
- Stranmillis University College, Belfast
- Church of Ireland College of Education, Rathmines, Dublin
- St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin
- Coláiste Mhuire, Marino, Dublin
- Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
- Froebel College of Education, Dublin
This work will build on the experience of a one-year project carried out in 1999-2000 (funded by the respective government agencies responsible for international education exchanges) which involved 20 students from colleges of education in Belfast and 20 colleges of education in Dublin spending two weeks in colleges and on school placements in the other jurisdiction.
The project evaluation will be used to decide on the viability of a longer-term extension of the exchange, together with specific proposals about how administrative difficulties can be overcome so as to allow participants in the exchange to be recognised for the purposed of assessing teaching practice.
The North/South Committee of the Inspectorate at the Department of Education and Science in Dublin believes
a student teacher exchange, such as this project, has great potential for the development of long-term professional links between teachers in both jurisdictions.
The committee has said it looks forward to assisting in the extension of the project.