On Day 3, for a change of scene, we headed to the Library (many thanks to our Library colleagues for welcoming us and looking after us so well). The day began with a contribution from Matthew Martin who works in St Mary's Belfast. Matthew pitched a research idea that St Mary's, SWIFT and the Writing Centre in Maynooth University are curious about. The idea is at scoping phase at the moment and the hour we spent with Matthew was designed to give us some space to consider our research question and to begin to craft it more concisely. There was really useful feedback even in this short time and additional responses were captured on paper for Matthew to take away.
The day continued with two demos both from teachers who work in Educate Together schools. The theme of English as an Additional Language (EAL) ran through both of these demos. The demos in and of themselves were very engaging but equally interesting for me was the concern around English as a second or other language and what this means in the classroom. In all of last year's demos, as a topic, this issue did not feature that significantly; this year however, there is a great deal of interest and this seems like a clear reflection of the changing nature of Irish society as reflected in our schools. Both demos (from Rozz and from Orlagh) reinforced the use of technology and provided us with a range of ideas into and in support of writing. The theme of fairy tales also featured in both demos; in one demo we created our own fairy tale like story and in the other we revisited a fairy tale and turned it on its head.
At lunchtime we sat with our writers' group and informally chatted about the scheduled meeting the next day.
We finished the day, as we have every other day this week, with a contribution from colleagues from SWIFT 2014, today Jo and Chris. Chris and Jo spoke of scientific writing and writing observations. This sort of writing has not been explored to any great extent this week so it was good to look at a different register and different form.
For Day 4 we will be back in the Phoenix Building.