Dublin Teacher Seminar

July 22-July 29, 2018

The Dublin Teacher Seminar is based in Trinity College, Dublin. Participants on the Dublin Teacher Seminar join the long tradition of creativity, innovation, and intellectual inquiry at Trinity, which has shaped some of the world’s most provocative and insightful thinkers.

The Residence

Trinity is the country’s oldest and most prestigious university, and is one of just seven universities in Britain and Ireland to have been founded before 1600. In the earliest days of its existence, it was based outside the city walls in the dissolved Catholic Priory of All Hallows – part of the Tudor monarchy’s efforts to consolidate its power. In the 21st century, it has become the gravitational center of Dublin. It hosts around 17,000 students across the arts and humanities, business, engineering, law, and the sciences. Among its many illustrious alumni are four Nobel Laureates – Ernest Walton (Physics), William Campbell (Medicine), Samuel Beckett (Literature), and Mairead Maguire (Peace). The Seminar is housed in comfortable, modern rooms in centrally-located University halls. James Joyce remarked that “I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world.” Little wonder – as well as being adjacent to many cafes, pubs, and restaurants, participants are within walking distance of the National Gallery, the National Museum, the Oscar Wilde House, City Hall, Dublin Castle, the Cathedrals of St Patrick and Christ Church, and the seafront near Dublin Port, as well as Trinity College Library, which contains over six million books.

Applying to College: A Global Perspective

This study group surveys the increasingly global reach of college counseling. Participants discuss college selection processes in different countries; the respective merits of SATs, A-Levels, and the IB; the schisms and similarities between UCAS and the Common Application; the early decision and early action debates; different types of personal statements and essays; and everything in between. Led by an American counselor based in Europe, this course will be augmented by local experts and guest lecturers.

Irish Literatures

Drawing on the extraordinary wealth and variety of voices to have come out of Ireland - from pre-Christian myths to Roddy Doyle, via the towering figures of Swift, Wilde, Yeats, Synge, Joyce, and Beckett - participants seek to determine what, if anything, is Irish about them. In doing so they pay particular attention to the interplay of locale and memory, national cultures, and foreign influences, looking at the enduring influence of Ireland’s pre-Christian heritage but also at the external influences that contributed to shaping Irish voices. This Study Group will be of particular interest to teachers of literature, language, and history.

Celtic Cultures

This course draws on academic disciplines from ethnography, literature, and historiography in order to shed light on Ireland and Europe’s Celtic past. What cultural, geographical, and social characteristics were unique to the Celts, and to what extent are they visible in Ireland today? Participants discover who the Celts were, trace their development and legacy from their origins to the present, before studying the development, decline, and revival of Celtic folklores in the Irish context. The course concludes by interrogating Celtic heritage in the media and the popular imagination today. It will be especially well-suited to teachers of Geography, History, Language, Philosophy, Religion, and related subjects.

Issues in Irish History

Immersing themselves in the latest scholarship, participants address some of the most controversial moments in Ireland’s fraught and complex history, considering issues as chronologically diverse as her role in the creation of Empire and whether the Troubles are actually over. In addressing these controversies, the Study Group seeks to situate them in Ireland’s long term history while also placing them in their wider European and global contexts. Whenever possible the Study Group Seminars are illustrated and complemented by visits to relevant sites, thereby providing new ideas and materials for the classroom.