Relational pedagogy and the Relation Centered Education Network (RCEN)

Wednesday, October 25, 2023 - 16:00 to 17:00
MUSSI Seminar Room, 2.31, Iontas

The value of relationships for human development and effective education is widely acknowledged by different fields of research. Numerous studies have emphasised the role of social interactions in cognitive development, demonstrating that social context and relationships are critical for learning and cognitive growth. Therefore, the premise that relationships are foundational to effective education and human development is well established. Nevertheless, understanding and enactment of relational pedagogies in practice can be challenged by neoliberal agendas of measurement and accountability, structural issues like increasing class sizes, the complex conflicts and power dynamics that can overshadow the focus on individual student-teacher relationships, and lack of clarity on what is actually meant by ‘relational pedagogy’.
This event will begin with an exploration of key principles of relational pedagogy by Professor of Education Sasha Sidorkin, Dean of Sacramento State University in the USA. Sasha will engage with the question ‘Why do we need relational pedagogy’ and introduce the Relation Centered Education Network (RCEN). This is the inaugural event of the RCEN webinar series.
Dr Leah O’Toole of the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, Maynooth University will then share some examples of research based in MU that is relevant to relational pedagogy. She will be joined by Professor of Education Merete Moe of Queen Maud University in Norway to share ongoing work on developing a comprehensive edited Handbook of Relational Pedagogy with contributors from around the globe.
Finally, attendees will have the opportunity to share their thoughts, and examples of their work that is relevant to relational pedagogy through open discussion and reflection together.

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