Top 12 headlines in Irish education this summer


Here’s the news in Irish education:

Schools are for drilling

Points are for counting

The Leaving Cert is a fix

Maths was too easy, but now it’s too hard

Everyone’s an entrepreneur 

Change is a bad thing

Education is a means to an end

Teachers are disposable

Teachers are on the gravy train

Embarrassing the Minister is the only way to get to college

Schools are churches 

Schools aren’t churches
Those are the headlines, have a happy return to school…

Reads of the Week #29


This week there’s poetry about hurling and home by Thom Hickey, how hurling compares to ‘other codes’ by Daithi Toms, George Couros on how the ability to simplify is often the easiest route to success, a review of an old favourite English textbook, how to turn a short poem by Robert Frost into a whole (and interesting) book of analysis, and finally someone stole a consignment of rifles a few months before the Easter Rising, now we know who they were.

All the reads since January are here in tweets. 

This is the archive of all the posts so far.

Image credit.

Reads of the Week #28


This week idioms, poetry, exams and teaching are on the menu.

First from, how idioms are translated into other languages.

Next, here’s Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem “Forever“, it’s great.

Kenny Pieper about the wrongs and rights of exams.

Also on exams James Theobald is fed up of people saying they don’t matter.

Andy Tharby has five strategies for teachers to model good practice for students

And finally George Couros has five things he’d never do in a classroom again

Image credit

All the articles are here in tweets.

This is the archive of all the posts so far. 

Reads of the Week #27 


First, in this week of commemorating 70 years since the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this piece is about the 190,000 survivors of the bombs who are nearing the end of their lives. 

This is a beautiful visualisation of Sylvia Plath’s The Fig Tree from zen pencils

This short analysis of Hopkins’s ‘The Windhover’ from Interesting Literature is very handy. 

Alexis Petridis writes here on the weird and intense world inhabited by audiophiles

Finally, and for some political reading here’s a piece on where the Scandinavian welfare state came from from Jacobin Magazine.

Here’s the archive of all the articles 

Here’s where to find all the links to the articles on Twitter. 

Image credit 

Reads of the Week #26


Loretta Young made her name in Classic Hollywood as a great beauty — and for the cover-up of one of the industry’s greatest scandals: concealing a child, born out of wedlock, with Clark Gable, one of the era’s biggest stars. It wasn’t until recently that even Young learned the right words for what she’d been hiding for decades.

Is there such a thing as a natural teacher?

Poem of the week is To Helen About Her Hair by Robinson Jeffers.

A close reading of the first line of To Kill a Mockingbird from Book Riot.

 Thom Hickey wrote this and I liked it a lot: Paul Simon, John Gorka, Seamus Heaney, Slievenamon & My Dad.

Dianne Murphy asks: English or SEN? Does it really matter who manages the delivery of a reading intervention?

Michael Taft goes through some of the main spending and tax features to see just how much of a challenge we would face in moving towards the Nordic Model.

All the tweeted links to the above and many other Reads of the Week are here

The archive of collections is here

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Reads of the Week #25


A bumper crop this week as we were away on holidays in Dingle.
First, the Key to Leadership is running and a good meeting and understanding that leaders and managers are not the same thing.

Metaphor is not the sole preserve of Shakespearean scholarship or high literary endeavour but has governed how we think about and describe our daily lives for centuries, according to researchers at Glasgow University.

Niall Murray in the Irish Examiner has written a brilliant summary of what’s wrong with special education provision in Ireland.

Pushing responsibility down the hierarchy makes for better organisations, including schools.

There’s no denying that had he been alive today, Orwell – the great opponent and satirist of totalitarianism – would have deplored the bureaucratic repression of HR.

Mary Ann Reilly shared this beautiful poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca: I Am Offering this Poem.

This is most honest writing about the loss of a child I’ve read, heartbreaking and raw.

For historians: The Fall and Rise and Fall of Pompeii.

And finally, the flipping Evolution of Profanity.

Here are all my reads of the week and this is the archive

How do we fix Irish Education?


I wrote this article for the summer edition of Forum on how education in Ireland is being hit by the economic crisis and the GERM, and teacher and union responses to that onslaught.   

Thanks to Howard Stevenson for the invitation to contribute.