A celebration of unique project management training for teachers was held on completion of the ‘Project Management Skills for Life for Teachers’ initiative which is run with the grant support of the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF).
The initiative, which is now in its second year, is run in conjunction with Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) and delivers project management and project-based learning training and mentoring to teachers. 36 second level teachers participated nationwide this year, aiding their pedagogy and assisting in providing high-quality instruction for students.
‘Project Management Skills for Life for Teachers’ is fully aligned with Key Skills, which help learners develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to face the many challenges in today’s world and are at the heart of the new junior cycle specification. Project management training for educators enables innovative and effective project based learning and allows teachers to use Project Based Learning (PBL) to bring key skills to life in classrooms.
The initiative began with an intensive week-long training in project management fundamentals followed by participation in PMIEF’s ‘Managing the Learning Project’ micro-credential programme. Earning the micro-credential allowed teachers to provide easily verifiable evidence of their knowledge and experience in integrating project management into their instruction for enhanced student learning and outcomes.
To conclude the initiative a number of teachers have been selected to study at the Buck Institute for Education’s annual PBL World conference in Napa, California to further build their capacity to integrate project management into their classrooms. All participants will now go on to promulgate PBL within their own classrooms and schools with the support of their colleagues.
Teachers from twelve different counties (Carlow, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Laois, Limerick, Louth, Monaghan, Sligo, Waterford, Wexford), a wide range of both subject areas (including Science, Maths, Business and English) and schools (Community Colleges, Community Schools & Volunteer Community Schools) are represented which allows for shared learning and collaborative practises which otherwise may not be possible.
The initiative is part of a wider collaboration between JAI and PMIEF to develop project management skills in classrooms nationwide. 2,000 students have completed the PM Skills for Life programme since its inception in the 2015/16 school year. The programme facilitated by industry volunteers brought TY students through the core principles of project management after which they actioned their own projects demonstrating the skills they acquired through participation.
The event attendees experienced first-hand the learning impacts of the PM Skills for Life programme as transition year students from St Munchin’s College, Corbally, Limerick demonstrated how they developed project management skills.
During the morning John Gorman, Principal, Rosses Community School and organisational pyschologist Ruth Mullally also provided their insights into the benefits of effective project management.
Helen Lowe, a participating teacher in St Munchin’s College, Corbally, Limerick said: “I am delighted to have participated in this wonderful initiative which has empowered me to utilise project management in my classroom, enhancing my instructional abilities as well as ultimately improving my students’ outcomes by helping them to also acquire and apply project management knowledge to their learning, especially those that are project-based.”
“The 21st century demands a skilled workforce that drives organizational success and meaningfully contributes to the global economy. This requires the abilities to think critically, communicate effectively, and collaborate thoughtfully, competencies inherent to project management,” said Jeannette Barr, Executive Director of PMIEF. “PMIEF is delighted our partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland professionally develops teachers to integrate project management into their curricula so they can more deeply engage students and help them strengthen these capabilities.”
Helen Raftery, CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland, said: “We are proud to partner with PMIEF to develop teachers’ project management competencies, both to enhance their pedagogy and build confidence in deploying project based learning, which will ensure that second level school students gain an even better understanding of project management fundamentals, which are ultimately skills for life.”