A progressive education is a programme that aims to make the lives of disadvantaged children better.
The idea behind progressive education, is to create a system of learning that is based on a more inclusive and responsive approach to learning, said Mr Byrne.
The aim of progressive education means that all children are given a chance to develop their talents and talents are shared equally among all students, said Prof Byrne.
For example, all students will get a chance at learning the piano, he said.
The initiative is one of a number of programmes in the Irish education sector that aim to encourage more people to have more opportunities for learning.
Mr Byrne said there was a huge amount of emphasis on inclusive learning in the public school system, and there were also issues with teachers and principals.
A number of teachers have resigned in recent years, he added.
“There are huge pressures on teachers and administrators, and a lot of stress is put on principals and school principals,” he said, adding that the emphasis on equity and inclusion is important.
In the new year, the State has introduced new legislation, which means the State Government has been required to consider and make decisions about all education issues in order to provide a better education system, Prof Byrne said.
We are looking to improve the outcomes of children in the education sector, to improve their learning, and to make sure that we have a more progressive and inclusive education system that gives children a better future, he explained.
The Government has also launched a new education partnership called the National Education Alliance, which aims to support the development of a more equitable education system.
Prof Byrne said the Alliance is designed to support all levels of education in the State, with the primary school sector being the most vulnerable.
This is the first year that the Alliance will be a part of the Government’s Education Framework, which he said will help to address the issue of the school budget.
“We have to think beyond the individual classroom to consider how we make our schools better for our children, and we have to look at the whole school system and look at what we can do to improve outcomes,” he explained, adding the Alliance’s focus is on supporting all schools.
I think the Alliance would support all schools to make better choices and decisions in the long term, said Professor Byrne.
Education Minister Richard Bruton said the Government was committed to increasing the level of opportunity for children to learn and that education was a key part of this.
He said the new Government would also look at a range of other areas such as improving skills, ensuring there are enough teachers in the classroom, improving access to education, and encouraging teachers to take more responsibility for children’s learning.
“This Government is committed to creating a fairer education system in the future for all children in this country,” he added, adding it would be part of his focus to ensure that all schools are meeting their standards in the new academic year.
As part of a broader plan, the Government is investing in new schools, he noted.