Today was FANTASTIC! We took a train to Limerick and toured the Mary Immaculate College which is a College of Education for primary teachers in Ireland. We met with the Vice President of Academic Affairs as well as an expert in Special Education, Dr. Patsy Daly.
They were both very informative in terms of comparing the Irish and American educational systems (which is the goal of our trip). I was very interested to learn about the teacher preparation programs of Ireland since the training of teachers is vastly different than ours.
To become an elementary teacher in Ireland, one attends a special College of Education that prepares them to teach students in grades K-8 (as in the equivalent in the US) while those wanting to teach on the secondary level will attend another year of study at the university to become an expert in a specific content (like our content areas in the US). I really appreciate the amount of training that goes into teaching in Ireland and what a prestigious profession it is.
We had a wonderful tour around the campus where we met very lovely staff! After we toured the campus, we came back to Cork for dinner and some laundry! Tomorrow is another full day in Cork which is great because it's such a wonderful city. Friday we are going to the Ring of Kerry which we've been told (by many, many people) is the most beautiful part of Ireland so I am very excited to experience that!
More to come!