Faculty of Education professor shares expertise with innovative pilot project in Northern Ireland

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Faculty of Education professor shares expertise with innovative pilot project in Northern Ireland

Published on September 30 2011

This fall Faculty of Education professor Dr. John Novak was a celebrated guest speaker at the launch of a new pilot project in Northern Ireland - the International Fund for Ireland’s Welcoming Schools Project. A three year initiative, the project aims to develop a “welcoming schools agenda” built on the foundations of inclusivity, respect for others and a celebration of diversity within each school culture. The project will support schools to take proactive steps to make them a more welcoming place for all pupils regardless of religion, race or creed with the eventual aim of increasing the diversity and mix within the pupil intake.

A renowned scholar, author and academic expert in the study of invitational education (the art of making schools welcoming to everyone) Dr. Novak participated in the initial training for schools and was recognized for his work in brining an international perspective to the project.

Over the next three years 24 schools will take part in the pilot program with eight participating in the first year. If successful, the project’s model could be used as a framework for shared education in other countries.

At the opening launch celebration on September 23, Dr. Novak expressed his enthusiasm about the program, and its potential impact on the global educational landscape. “I am excited about this project and am looking forward to sharing ideas about welcoming schools that have been developed around the world,” he said. “Connecting with the inviting school movement is a chance for educators from around the world to sustain creative practices that make a difference in students’ lives.

For more information, visit www.internationalfundforireland.com.


Dr. Novak with School students and administrators

(L-R) Meabh Toman, Remik Machowski, Eibhnin Derby, Elze Pranckienaite from Presentation and Tanaghmore Primary Schools with (B L-R) Dr John Novak, Denis Rooney, Chairman IFI and Jane Simms, Welcoming Schools Project Manager