Monday 26th June

Theme – What is the nature and purpose of learning?


Summer Course


CRILT/ Executive 1

Welcome & Opening

Ms Gina Quinn, President of National College of Ireland with Dr Rose Rudnitski, Dean of Education, Mercy College, New York

Theme: Fundamentals of Learning

Group activity & inquiry

Open Workshop & Seminar

Kelly Theatre

Workshop: The Nature and Purpose of Learning – Posing Questions and Stimulating Inquiry’

  • Dr Leo Casey, Director of Learning & Teaching and Education Programmes, National College of Ireland
  • Bertram (Chip) Bruce, Professor Emeritus in the School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

This is the first and perhaps most essential question for educators. When we inquire as to the ‘nature of learning’ we look to ‘how’ and ‘why’ humans have developed such a powerful capacity to learn. Perhaps this highly developed ability to learn is what makes us stand apart from other species. Additional questions spin out from this inquiry: is there one form or many forms of learning? And, if there are many, what are the characteristics of each? The answers to these questions are important for educators everywhere and they lay the foundation for further investigation on what makes a good teacher.


Kelly Theatre

Seminar: ‘Natural Born Learners’ Early Years Education and Inquiry Throughout Life

  • Dr Meera Oke, Education Programmes, National College of Ireland
  • Professor Nóirín Hayes, Trinity College Dublin

The pre-seminar workshop and open seminar will be of relevance to those who have an interest in inquiry based learning and viewing the threads of learning from very early on, and throughout life. We will explore Early Childhood Education from the perspectives of inquiry, play, rights and purpose of early learning. Participants are invited to discuss competing discourses on Early Years Education. Contributors will critically deliberate the unique nature and purpose of Early Childhood Education and trace its relevance through the life span. The seminar will also be of interest to all those who educate and train persons working with children as well all those who directly educate, teach and care for children.