Festival of Education and Lifelong Learning

The Festival of Education and Lifelong Learning is a series of free events hosted annually by the Centre for Education and Lifelong Learning team at National College of Ireland.



2023 Event Information

This event took place in the form of an interactive session from 10am-2pm on 1st June 2023.

Festival of Education and Lifelong Learning 2023


With the emergence and continued improvement and credibility of Chat GPT, this year’s Festival focused on the implications of artificial intelligence tools for teaching, learning and assessment in higher education, taking the form of an interactive session 10am-2pm, 1 June 2023, internal to NCI, led by Professor Leo Casey, Director of the Centre of Education and Lifelong Learning and Sam Casey, Digital Learning Manager.


Exploring the abilities graduates will require to succeed in the AI era, the types of learning pathways that will enable achievement of outcomes related to these abilities, and the types of assessments that can provide assurance of the achievement of these outcomes, Professor Casey made three predictions for teaching, learning and assessment in higher education:

  1. Students will learn a wider range of capabilities such as higher forms of reasoning, personal and professional values, and digital/AI world literacy;
  2. Adaptive tutoring and simulations will drive learning for basic knowledge and skills and higher education institutions (HEIs) will place a greater emphasis on enabling students to develop demonstrable professional abilities;
  3. HEIs will move away from artefact-based assessment towards processed-based evidence of student competence and shift the balance of contact time from teaching as lecturing to teaching as assessment.

2022 Event Information

These events took place between 1st-2nd June 2022.

Pedagogies and possibilities for FET professionals

When: Wednesday 1st June
Time: 10.00am - 12.30pm
Where: National College of Ireland

Further Education and Training in Ireland meets the needs of diverse learners across a range of singular contexts, including apprenticeships, prison education and Youthreach. Are there distinctive pedagogies in these contexts and how have they been shaped by experiences over the past two years? 

This engaging seminar explored the challenges, strategies and emerging innovations in the FET sector in Ireland. 

Session Chair: Dr Conor Mellon, CELL, NCI 

Part one featured a panel which addressed the question ‘Is there a pedagogy for FET?’ and explored the implications for professional development. 


  • Gráinne O’Donoghue, MA Educational Practice Student (NCI), Youthreach Teacher, Gorey 
  • Jonathan Brittain, Apprenticeship Manager at NCI 
  • Laetitia Maloney, Deputy Principal of Carlow Institute of Further Education and Training 
  • Dr Leo Casey, CELL, NCI 

Part two also looked at this theme, exploring how micro-credentials can open up flexible development pathways for FET professionals, and showcased how NCI programme design and delivery is supporting innovation in diverse FET contexts. 


  • Carrie Archer, Professional Development Coordinator, City of Dublin ETB, Lecturer, NCI 
  • Ashley Stephens, Professional Development Coordinator, Kildare Wicklow ETB, Lecturer, NCI 
  • Dr Michael Goldrick, CELL, NCI

Frontiers of practice-based research in Early Childhood Education

When: Wednesday 1st June
Time: 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Where: At National College of Ireland

Practice-based research matters for early childhood education and for the professional development of early childhood educators. It is also a distinctive feature of our culture and the programmes we offer at the Centre for Education and Lifelong Learning, National College of Ireland. Attendees to this event were able to share in our practice-based research in digital storytelling and progressive mindful reflection and to hear about the opportunities for early childhood educators to conduct practice-based research on our Master of Arts in Educational Practice. 

Session Chair: Anna Barr, CELL, NCI 

Part one of the seminar, hosted in association with PLÉ, focused on our work in digital storytelling and gave the opportunity to explore digital technology as a pedagogical tool. During this interactive, hands-on session, facilitated by Dr Marianne Undheim and NCI students, you were guided through an experiential process to co-construct an animated digital story and explored the educational use of animated digital stories in the Irish context and beyond. 


  • Dr Marianne Undheim, Associate Professor and Lecturer at the University of Stavanger, Norway 


  • Karine Mcmahon, Early Childhood Education & Care Student, NCI 
  • Lisa Glyn, Early Childhood Education & Care Student, NCI 

Part two of the seminar focused on our work on progressive mindful reflection as an approach to reflective practice grounded in Vygotsky’s theoretical ideas. During this session, you were guided through an experience of mindful reflective practice and had the opportunity to share ideas and experiences related to reflective practice in education. 


  • Dr Meera Oke, CELL, NCI 
  • Dr Leo Casey, CELL, NCI

This is P-TECH!

When: Thursday 2nd June
Time: 10.00am - 12.45pm
Where: At National College of Ireland

At this event we introduced the new P-TECH programme. We discussed the background of the P-TECH model and how it has been adapted for Irish education through a committed partnership process. We explored the development of the P-TECH curriculum and highlight some of the programme innovations. Finally, we showcased aspects of the students’ learning and shared experiences and reflections from the first year of programme. 

Session Chair: Dr Leo Casey, CELL, NCI 

Part 1: Sowing the Seeds. This part of the session outlined the background of P-TECH, its aims as an educational model and discusses how the work and contribution of the partners that has brought P-TECH to this point in the Irish context. 


  • Dr Leo Casey, CELL, NCI 
  • Aidan Giblin, P-TECH Project Manager

In Part 2, Exploring P-TECH. In this part of the discussion, we looked at the new P-TECH Curriculum and how it was developed. The discussion also highlighted elements of the programme’s teaching & learning approach and showed some examples of student work. 

Contributor: Dr Ita Kennelly, CELL, NCI 

Part 3: Impact and Perspectives on Learning. In this session, presenters from key stakeholders outlined their involvement with the P-TECH programme and shared their reflections on student learning including the programme’s structured work placement for Transition Year. 


  • Yvonne Conaty, P-TECH Industry Programme Manager 
  • Damhnait Digan, Project Specialist, Cisco
  • School Principals, P-TECH Schools, NEIC