Leaders in educational policy, CPD, and education for sustainability will come together in a panel discussion to discuss the crucial role that schools play in the climate and ecological emergency. Schools are preparing students for today’s society. That is a society that has caused the climate and ecological emergency. We need to give our students the education that we didn’t receive, so that they can do what we have not done, protect the natural world. Even now, many people still do not understand the magnitude of the climate and ecological emergency. Schools have a pivotal role to illuminate the challenges we face and highlight the actions that we can take. During the Climate and Nature Summit educators and students will be discussing their thoughts on an educational revolution. This panel discussion provides a space for Principals, Deputy Principals, and educators to consider how sustainability can be woven into the fabric of school life
CHAIR: ELLA MCSWEENEY
Ella McSweeney is a food and farming journalist and presenter.Valerie Lewis - Educational Policy and Development Officer ETB Ireland.
Valerie is an advocate of citizenship education and student engagement through active learning, inclusion, and sustainable development. Valerie uses her skills and experience in curriculum planning and the development of resources, to translate existing and new content into engaging classroom materials. Valerie has designed the Take 1 Programme for ETB post primary students, to embed the Sustainable Development Goals in teaching and learning, at post primary level, mapping the SDGs to the learning outcomes of curriculum subjects. www.take1programme.com
is Schools & Youth Programme Executive at SEAI since 2003. She is responsible for developing a programme which teaches children about saving energy at school and at home, sustainability in their lives and climate change. This is achieved through workshops for children and teachers, competitions, projects, and classroom-based activities. Aoife holds a degree in Business Studies & Languages, a Certificate in Environmental Education from Cornell University and is currently studying Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education at the University of Edinburgh. In her spare time, Aoife is a founding member of Baldoyle Tidy Towns, which has a focus on Biodiversity and Sustainability. She is also passionate about cycling and kayaking and as a former Scout leader loves getting children to enjoy the outdoors
Elaine Nevin is the National Director of ECO-UNESCO, one of Ireland's leading organisations in environmental education and education for sustainable development. She holds a BA in Geography and Political Science, an MA, a Higher Diploma in Education and has worked in the field of environmental education and education for sustainable development (ESD) in both formal and non-formal settings for over 20 years. Elaine has led the development and growth of ECO-UNESCO and its range of education, training and youth programmes. These have included ‘Youth for Sustainable Development’ – a peer education and youth leadership programme for 15-18 year olds, ‘ECO-choices’ – an environmental health and well-being programme; ‘Green Pathways’ – an accredited green youth employment programme; the ‘Young Environmentalist Awards’ which recognises and rewards young peoples’(10-18) work in environmental protection through action projects and ‘Learning2Change’ – a programme of workshops, teacher training, Student Council training promoting ESD in secondary schools. Elaine has led ECO-UNESCO’s partnership with UNESCO as a Key Partner of UNESCO’s Global Action Programme (GAP) in ESD and its current international framework ESD for 2030. She is a Ministerial Appointee to the 8th EPA Advisory Committee, served as a member of the 7th EPA Advisory Committee and was a Ministerial Appointee to the 6th EPA Advisory Committee. Elaine has also written a range of education resources and has advocated for environmental education and education for sustainable development as a critical component to achieving sustainability for over 20 years. She believes engaging, educating and empowering young people is essential and that environmental education and Eco literacy, which builds knowledge, skills, values should be a core part of our education. Elaine is a member of the Department of Education and Skills Advisory Committee for the Irish National Strategy on ESD. For more information about ECO-UNESCO please see https://ecounesco.ie/
RACHEL O’ CONNOR Rachel O’ Connor is the Principal of Ramsgrange Community School in Co. Wexford since 2013. Rachel is the President of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, NAPD. She has worked as a whole-school associate for the JCT. She is a Leadership Associate for the PDST delivering on the Misneach and Comhar programmes and a mentor for Newly Appointed Principals for the Centre for School Leadership, CSL.ESCI Representative
The Education Support Centres in Ireland (ESCI) is the umbrella organisation for the National Network of Teacher/Education (Support) Centres, which comprises 21 Full-time and 9 Part-time Education Centres. Education Support Centres (ESCs) organise a varied local programme of professional learning activities for teachers, special needs assistants, ancillary staff, school management and parents to meet identified needs at school level. The local programme includes the provision of courses, training programmes, professional peer learning engagements, workshops, seminars, support groups and conferences. A significant feature of the local programme is that participants engage in these activities electively outside of school hours. On behalf of the national support services in education and the Department of Education (DE), Education Support Centres organise and facilitate the delivery of programmes for teacher professional development. Support services offer professional learning opportunities to teachers in a range of pedagogical, curricular and educational areas. Education Support Centres provide a unique learning space, fostering collaboration which allows schools at a local level to mediate national change. The Education Support Centre in Ireland are delighted to collaborate with Fifty Shades Greener, Irish Schools Sustainability Network and Susan Adams Education for Sustainability to deliver this innovative COP26 Climate & Nature Summit and we look forward to supporting the delivery of the Teacher CPD sessions on a range of topics in sustainability.