Unleashing the power of play at recent Education Conference

Over 300 educators gathered at the Tullamore Court Hotel for the INTO Education Consultative Conference 2023, immersing themselves in a world of playful learning and creative exploration. The conference, themed Play and Creativity, served as a vibrant hub for educators to delve into the transformative power of play and its potential to improve educational outcomes.

From the outset, the conference set the stage for an engaging and thought-provoking journey, with keynote addresses by renowned education experts, Aideen Howard, Director of the Ark, and Dr. Glenda Walsh, Head of Early Years Education at Stranmills University. Their insightful presentations ignited discussions and spurred participants on to reimagine the role of play in their classrooms.

During his address, Aidan Gaughran, Cathaoirleach of the Education Committee, noted a third of the delegates were attending this year’s Education Conferences for the first time, which is positive and encouraging. Alice O’Donnell (District 8) and Lisa Magennis (District 1) on behalf of the INTO Education Committee presented the findings of the INTO survey titled Playful Pedagogy Awareness.

Over the course of the conference, delegates and guests engaged in lively group discussions and had a plethora of workshops to choose from. Here’s some feedback received from conference delegates:

The group discussions were fantastic to get an opportunity to communicate with other teachers and hear ideas from them.

As this was my first time attending a conference I was really amazed by how powerful the teaching and learning community can be when they are united and working towards a common goal. I think the passion and interest at the conference was palpable and there was a real drive for best practice.

The Ark – Samba Drumming Workshop – I found the whole experience incredible and the workshop really demonstrated the concept of play in a way I’d never experienced before. 

The conference concluded with a keynote address by Dr Glenda Walsh with a presentation entitled A Pedagogy of Play: Exploring the Power of Playful Teaching and Learning in Practice.

Click to view the photo gallery looking back at the 2023 Education Conference.

You can also have a browse through the video archive.