Innovation and creative best practice: lessons from Ireland

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Presentation at Summer School of University of the Basque Country, Donostia, July 2010. Dr Alan Bruce, ULS

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Innovation and creative best practice: lessons from Ireland

  1. 1. Innovation and creative best practice: lessons from Ireland Dr Alan Bruce ULS Dublin Donostia June 2010
  2. 2. <ul><li>History as nightmare </li></ul><ul><li>Fragmented identities </li></ul><ul><li>Culture - loss and transformation </li></ul><ul><li>Structure - imposition and control </li></ul><ul><li>Change and uncertainty - globalization </li></ul><ul><li>Learning in the periphery </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable empowerment - case studies and potential directions </li></ul>Themes
  3. 3. <ul><li>“ History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awaken ” </li></ul><ul><li>James Joyce </li></ul>1. The impact of history
  4. 4. <ul><li>Ultima thule of Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Decentralized and localized </li></ul><ul><li>Separate but connected </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Discovery ’ and colonization </li></ul><ul><li>Viking cities, Norman religion </li></ul><ul><li>What lies beneath: Celtic and absorptive </li></ul>Lineages of Ireland
  5. 5. <ul><li>Myths of the Golden Age </li></ul><ul><li>The survival imperative: learning, monasticism and the Middle Ages </li></ul><ul><li>The codification of racism: Kilkenny Statutes 1367 </li></ul><ul><li>The Tudor conquests: plantation and removal </li></ul><ul><li>The emergence of ‘ Church ’ </li></ul>From kingdom to colony
  6. 6. <ul><li>Collapse of the Gaelic order 1607 </li></ul><ul><li>The wars of ‘ religion ’ : Confederation and the Stuarts </li></ul><ul><li>Cromwell, ethnic cleansing and slavery </li></ul><ul><li>The New Order: Ascendancy and latifundia </li></ul><ul><li>The perpetual rebellions </li></ul><ul><li>The birth of republicanism </li></ul>Colonial impact: experiment and genocide
  7. 7. <ul><li>Act of Union 1801 </li></ul><ul><li>Catholic Emancipation 1830 </li></ul><ul><li>The Famine 1847-50 </li></ul><ul><li>Mass emigration: the growth of Irish America </li></ul><ul><li>Catholic stranglehold: nationalist dreams </li></ul><ul><li>Protestant supremacy: unionist reaction </li></ul>Nation and catastrophe
  8. 8. <ul><li>Revolution and transformation </li></ul><ul><li>Partition: the two States </li></ul><ul><li>Flirtation with fascism: the South </li></ul><ul><li>Flirtation with Empire: the North </li></ul><ul><li>Broken economy: departed people </li></ul><ul><li>The eruption of the North 1969 </li></ul><ul><li>The link to Europe </li></ul><ul><li>The prosperity fantasia </li></ul>Ireland in the 20th century
  9. 9. <ul><li>What is Irishness? </li></ul><ul><li>Gaelic, Norman, English, Viking, Jewish, Huguenot, German, African… Basque </li></ul><ul><li>Partitioned minds - loss and opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>The absent story - gender and family </li></ul><ul><li>The lasting threads: music, poetry, soul </li></ul>2. Fragmented identities and culture
  10. 10. <ul><li>Dreamspaces of the Celtic imagination </li></ul><ul><li>Histories of alternative learning: monastic, dispersed, oral, hedge-school, alternative </li></ul><ul><li>A word on Pearse and The Murder Machine </li></ul><ul><li>Saving values or preventing thought - the stranglehold of authoritarianism </li></ul><ul><li>Post 1922: the carnival of reaction </li></ul>Locating learning
  11. 11. <ul><li>Ireland in the UK (1801-1922): cultural assimilation vs. social laboratory </li></ul><ul><li>National Schools Act 1831 </li></ul><ul><li>Churches and the State </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher training and model schools 1840s </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on basics and results </li></ul><ul><li>Class inequalities </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Education </li></ul>Structure and control
  12. 12. <ul><li>Centralization </li></ul><ul><li>Academic elitism </li></ul><ul><li>Private/public dichotomies </li></ul><ul><li>Control and power </li></ul><ul><li>The Vocational Education Act 1943 </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Mike Cooley and Tom Murphy </li></ul><ul><li>Resistance to change </li></ul><ul><li>Fighting for rights: corporal punishment to standards </li></ul>Legacies
  13. 13. <ul><li>Locating contexts: European, American, global </li></ul><ul><li>The transformation of language: Gaelic to English and beyond </li></ul><ul><li>Coping with loss and death </li></ul><ul><li>The rural idyll </li></ul><ul><li>The psychic nightmare: abuse and institutionalization </li></ul>Discovering the roots
  14. 14. <ul><li>Seismic shift in human relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive pressures </li></ul><ul><li>New forms of work organization </li></ul><ul><li>New diversities </li></ul><ul><li>Instant, multidimensional communications </li></ul><ul><li>Quality standards </li></ul>3. Globalized realities
  15. 15. <ul><li>Globalization </li></ul><ul><li>process and impact </li></ul><ul><li>Labour market and work </li></ul><ul><li>innovation, competitiveness, adaptability </li></ul><ul><li>Paradigms of inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>equality and diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Standards, skills, transferability and inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>learning and development in unequal environments </li></ul>Imperatives for Ireland
  16. 16. <ul><li>Patterns of constant change </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent migration mobility </li></ul><ul><li>Outsourcing </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible structures and modalities </li></ul><ul><li>End of job norms </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge economy </li></ul><ul><li>Structural inequalities </li></ul>Imperatives for work
  17. 17. <ul><li>Professional formation </li></ul><ul><li>Best practice and lifelong learning </li></ul><ul><li>Standards and ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Learner centred </li></ul><ul><li>Skills acquisition for competitiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation imperatives and constant change </li></ul>Impact on policy
  18. 18. <ul><li>Unexamined histories </li></ul><ul><li>Sectarian realities </li></ul><ul><li>Identity and modernity </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntarism and charity </li></ul><ul><li>Educational hierarchies </li></ul><ul><li>Intercultural dialectics </li></ul>Policy and innovation: themes
  19. 19. <ul><li>The dream evaporates </li></ul><ul><li>Europe ’ s Puerto Rico implodes </li></ul><ul><li>Banking scandals to cuts: unraveling the welfare system </li></ul><ul><li>Learning for what? </li></ul><ul><li>Rolling scandals and corporate ethics </li></ul><ul><li>What about the State? </li></ul><ul><li>And where is Europe? </li></ul>The impact of crisis 2008
  20. 20. <ul><li>Radical re-structuring of world economy </li></ul><ul><li>Interconnected information/communication </li></ul><ul><li>Differential access to resources </li></ul><ul><li>Staff competence and buy-in </li></ul><ul><li>Skills acquisition to skills application </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring universal access </li></ul>Identified issues in new creativity
  21. 21. <ul><li>An assumption of stable work patterns and linear economic development is no longer possible </li></ul><ul><li>Learning systems must innovate and respond accordingly </li></ul>The bottom line…
  22. 22. <ul><li>When all else fails - try something different! </li></ul><ul><li>Central policy focus - rescue banks, then create the smart economy </li></ul>4. The innovation mantra
  23. 23. <ul><li>Entrepreneurship </li></ul><ul><li>Education standards </li></ul><ul><li>Venture capital </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Risk-taking </li></ul><ul><li>Global reach </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence and authenticity </li></ul><ul><li>Critical capacity and self-correction </li></ul>Innovation critical factors
  24. 24. <ul><li>The work of Dan Breznitz (GIT) Innovation and the State (2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Israel (State stimulation, strategic technologies, US over-dependence) </li></ul><ul><li>Taiwan (end-stage production, inequalities, quality) </li></ul><ul><li>Ireland </li></ul>Policy needs models
  25. 25. <ul><li>Weak venture fund network </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive power in State agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Total stagnation in start-ups since 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Over reliance on MNCs </li></ul><ul><li>Poor linkage </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of strategic shared goal setting </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation is not a rabbit form the hat </li></ul>Irish innovation policy
  26. 26. <ul><li>Identification of what is unique </li></ul><ul><li>Fostering critical reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Democratic accountability and transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of real best practice </li></ul><ul><li>Playing to the strengths: food, agriculture, technology, community, services, arts </li></ul><ul><li>Letting go - the stranglehold of bureaucratic thinking: innovation by diktat </li></ul>Making innovation work
  27. 27. <ul><li>The obvious: Bailey ’ s; Riverdance; Tullow; IADT; film and sound (Ardmore) </li></ul><ul><li>Critical discourse </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding what you ask for </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging the system: resistance to innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity challenges, never conforms </li></ul>5. Case studies
  28. 28. <ul><li>Legacies of violence and war </li></ul><ul><li>Approaching difference - training for communities </li></ul><ul><li>Equality discourse - parity of esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Developing competence in fragmented environments </li></ul><ul><li>Certification, value and progression </li></ul><ul><li>Sectarianism and loyalist change </li></ul><ul><li>Gender, religion, identity </li></ul>Expac: Conflicts of Interest
  29. 29. <ul><li>Workshop based seminars </li></ul><ul><li>DVD footage - multimedia </li></ul><ul><li>Distance learning support </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Personal testimony </li></ul><ul><li>Structured conflict transformation training </li></ul>Expac: developing a curriculum
  30. 30. <ul><li>Communities: loyalist and republican </li></ul><ul><li>Mediated cooperation </li></ul><ul><li>NIACRO </li></ul><ul><li>RCN </li></ul><ul><li>Monaghan VEC </li></ul><ul><li>Councils ’ GRO network </li></ul>Expac: impact
  31. 31. <ul><li>Better awareness of the other </li></ul><ul><li>Joint actions against discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Training supports for equality measures </li></ul><ul><li>Access to further education </li></ul><ul><li>Progression and accreditation </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative technologies </li></ul>Expac: outcomes
  32. 32. <ul><li>Iconic brand - largest Irish private employer (to 1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Founded 1783 Re-founded 1947 </li></ul><ul><li>Tradition as leading Irish employer </li></ul><ul><li>Growth years 1950-90 </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation: profile, quality, tradition </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis and collapse 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Learning innovation </li></ul>Waterford Crystal
  33. 33. <ul><li>From employment to employability </li></ul><ul><li>Development of in-company Learning centre (1996) </li></ul><ul><li>From craft to techno-art </li></ul><ul><li>Learning and training policy </li></ul><ul><li>Design and ergonomics </li></ul><ul><li>Developing learner buy-in </li></ul>In-company learning
  34. 34. <ul><li>Excellence through People (Fás) 1996 </li></ul><ul><li>Positive to Disability (NRB) 1997 </li></ul><ul><li>National Training Award (IITD) 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Third level linkage and progression </li></ul><ul><li>WIT </li></ul><ul><li>UCC </li></ul><ul><li>NCI </li></ul>National innovation
  35. 35. <ul><li>Crystal Now 1996-98: skills and access for women </li></ul><ul><li>CODE 1999-2000: disability and innovative learning </li></ul><ul><li>New Start 1998-2000: guidance for adult learners </li></ul><ul><li>KTCEP 1996-98: IT support and technology in manufacturing </li></ul><ul><li>Voltaire 1998-2000: on-line training for staff </li></ul><ul><li>Sesame 1999-2001: factory to university progression </li></ul><ul><li>Prospero 1999-2002: Virtual design platforms </li></ul>European innovation
  36. 36. <ul><li>National Certificate in Workplace Skills </li></ul><ul><li>National Certificate in Employability </li></ul><ul><li>Occupational Assessment model </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated e-portfolios </li></ul><ul><li>Dispersed learning centres </li></ul><ul><li>On-line texts, materials and research </li></ul><ul><li>Personalized tutoring supports on-line </li></ul><ul><li>On-line assessment and guidance </li></ul>Innovative outcomes
  37. 37. <ul><li>Bradóg Regional Youth Service </li></ul><ul><li>Target: inner city youth, social deprivation, educational disadvantage </li></ul><ul><li>History of learner support </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on creative engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Family liaison </li></ul>Bradóg: Mediastacks
  38. 38. <ul><li>The aim of the training is to give a variety of media production, facilitation and project management skills to practitioners working face-to-face with young people </li></ul><ul><li>To increase their capacity to undertake youth-in-action projects involving digital media. </li></ul><ul><li>By using the ‘ stack ’ of media exercises in various arrangements ‘ tailor ’ the media experience based on their knowledge of needs, capacity and interests. </li></ul>Mediastacks program
  39. 39. <ul><li>Builds on youth-work methods and strategies of community empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>Develops creative and expressive skills for youth </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on confidence building and personal growth through creative self-expression </li></ul><ul><li>The acquisition of digital video techniques and methods </li></ul><ul><li>Development of group facilitation skills and processes that enhance media production in a non-formal youth setting </li></ul><ul><li>Development of media literacy </li></ul>Mediastacks aims
  40. 40. <ul><li>Bradóg has developed a reputation over the last 6 years in pioneering methods of engaging disadvantaged youth in digital media. </li></ul><ul><li>Founded Reel Youth Film Festival in 2002 which now has 25 participating youth projects across Dublin. </li></ul><ul><li>Youth regularly participate in national and international Youth Film events and won the Fresh Film Award in 2003 (2nd in the Cube of Ibsen Norwegian Film Festival in 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Bradóg regularly delivers digital media training for youth organizations in Ireland on techniques to engage with marginalized youth with digital media. </li></ul><ul><li>Bradóg is a member of the E.M.N ( www.empowermedia.tv ) that seeks to empower young people through use of digital media. </li></ul>Outcomes
  41. 41. <ul><li>Planning for equal outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for equal access </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding tokenism - systemic approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstream - destination or challenge? </li></ul><ul><li>Learning from difference </li></ul><ul><li>Learning to learn and un-learn (Toffler) </li></ul><ul><li>Fostering innovation and equality </li></ul>Transformative learning
  42. 42. <ul><li>Training of trainers </li></ul><ul><li>Multilingualism </li></ul><ul><li>Developing skills </li></ul><ul><li>Developing attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Developing buy-in </li></ul><ul><li>Setting targets </li></ul><ul><li>Review, evaluation and research </li></ul>Future directions
  43. 43. <ul><li>Dr Alan Bruce </li></ul><ul><li>ULS Dublin </li></ul><ul><li>www.ulsystems.com </li></ul>Thank you Go raibh maith agat

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