2023 Symposium

Concepts of Child-Centredness revisited:

Images – Institutions – Impacts

13th of May, 2023

11:00 – 17:00 h


Organised by the Patron Body of Sligo School Project

Educational practice in school or at home is always linked to guiding ideas and certain visions of what is “right and wrong.” Such ideas and basic assumptions are often expressed in terms that seem to explain everything in just a few words. But they are rarely looked at for their substance and their essential relationship to daily practices.

For teachers and parents alike, caught up in the thralls of everyday busy-ness it is often difficult to allow for thought to go beyond solving the sheer practical day-to-day issues. For the day of the Symposium we grant ourselves the freedom to pause and think together a bit deeper.

In this year’s Symposium we take up threads that developed from last year’s discussion of concepts of child-centredness. For this purpose we have produced a discussion paper as a starting platform and a point of reference. We recommend that participants have read the discussion paper in advance, it can be found here.

The Symposium will take place on Saturday, 13th of May, in the time from 11:00 – 17:00 h at Sligo School Project, Abbeyquarter, Sligo (F91XF51). There will be three sessions on the day. For the first two session we have invited two guest speakers:

erica-norway1-150x150Erica Burman

Professor of Education, at the University of Manchester, will address images of child, children, childhood in the context of child-centredness. She brings an interdisciplinary perspective to the topic, building on critical psychology, feminist and childhood studies.


gerry macruaircGerry Mac Ruairc

Established Professor of Education and Head of School in the Schooling NUI Galway, was a teacher and school inspector. He will look at the specific situation in Irish schools, drawing on questions of practice and the role of teachers as cultural workers.


During their sessions, both Erica and Gerry will provide an initial input of approx. 30 minutes, followed by a discussion based on this input.

The third session this year will be reserved for all participants for an open discussion, taking into account Erica’s and Gerry’s session, referring back to the discussion paper, and connecting to their own practices in their relevant fields, be that as parents, teachers, educators. In this manner we hope to give more space to everyone to voice their opinions and get into an even more lively exchange of thought.

Home-made food will be provided during breaks.

Child-minding is available on request.

Participation in the symposium is open to anyone with an interest in the topic of the day.

Participation is free of charge, but prior registration is necessary.

For registration please click here for a registration form (in Word-format). Please provide us with the details requested and send the form to our email-address: soha2000@gmx.net, we will then get in contact with you to confirm participation.

Alternatively, if you despise registration forms, you may just as well put into an email (sent to soha2000@gmx.net): Your name, your email-address, your contact phone number, your institutional background (if applicable), how you heard about the symposium, would you bring children with you to the symposium (and if so, how old are they), and any questions that you would like to ask. We will then get in contact with you to confirm participation.