The Higher Education Authority (HEA) published a report this morning suggesting that Trinity and its associated college, the Marino Institute of Education (MIE), be recognised as a centre of excellence for “initial teacher education”.
In 2012, an International Review Panel on the structure of teacher education in Ireland was created. The purpose of the report published this morning was to review the implementation of this panel’s reforms.
One of the key reforms recommended by the review panel in 2012 was the combining of all higher education institutions that offer teacher training into six centres. The purpose of this proposal was to ensure that initial teacher education be carried out in a research-led, university environment.
In light of the proposal the panel suggested the joining of the teacher education departments at Trinity, MIE, the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and University College Dublin (UCD) into one centre.
However, the report published today, having reviewed the situation, now suggests two separate centres, one comprising of Trinity and the MIE and one comprising of UCD and NCAD.
This decision followed a meeting between those leading the report and representatives of the four institutions involved on May 3, in the Vice Provost’s office in Trinity. During this meeting a document was presented, agreed upon by all four institutions arguing for the two separate centres.
The document described the proposed joining of the four institutions as the “exception” to an otherwise “logical pattern” of aligning “a university and one or more smaller designated teacher education institutions”. It further pushed back against the “restructuring and alignment of two major research universities”.
Early this morning, Professor Damien Murcan, Head of the School of Education at Trinity, tweeted his congratulations to the staff of the School of Education and the MIE on being recognised as a separate centre of excellence. He welcomed the report as a recognition of the staff’s “commitment to research-led quality [initial teacher education] in Ireland”.