Episode 5 – EU Institutions is live!

Hi All,

Happy New Year to all my subscribers and any ‘randomers’ who have stumbled onto the website! Episode 5 – EU Institutions is now Live!!! In this episode, I’m joined by my colleague Ms Vicki Malcolm, a teacher of European Studies here in The King’s Hospital, to explore the main institutions of the EU – the Parliament, Commission, and Council. I chat with students about their experience of the ‘Euroscola’ competition which won them a trip to the EU Parliament in Strasbourg, and get a valuable insider’s perspective on the Parliament from Brian Hayes MEP. I spend a bit of time giving a very brief outline of the EU’s historical development and try to help students get their heads around the idea of the ‘Qualified Majority Voting’ system of the EU. All in all, it’s a jam packed episode. We’re already getting lots of positive feedback about the episode, particularly the ‘Listen Along’ worksheet. Make sure you give it a listen and spread the word far and wide!

You’ll also notice a few additions to the website. I’ve uploaded a number of new ‘Key Thinker Quizzes’ and have updated ‘useful podcasts’ to include some suggestions from other teachers. My favourite of those is Kathleen Lynch’s interview on the “Reboot Republic” Podcast. It’s really relevant to lots of our course material and it provides an excellent example to students as to how to use data to support their arguments. There’s also a new Thomas Hobbes revision ‘notes’ sheet to help students to see the contemporary relevance of Hobbes and to offer suggestions on how to write about him coherently.

The editing is already underway on the next episode on ‘Brexit’ and I hope to have that finished in the next few weeks (barring all of life’s usual disasters getting in the way!). Future episodes that are already in the pipeline include an interview with Colm O’Gorman of Amnesty International Ireland and our second ‘Key Thinker’ podcast, looking at the life and work of John Locke with I’m hoping to record in the coming weeks. There’s so much to do!

Finally, if you have found these podcasts useful as either a teacher or a student and you’d like to make a very small donation (I’m suggesting €3 – the price of a cup of coffee!) then I’d love if you could do so here. I really don’t mind working for free (if I think it will help students and teachers), but as things stand there’s a “not insignificant” cost associated with paying for domain hosting and for a SoundCloud account that can continue to make sure that I can upload sufficient material for the podcast to be of long-term value to students. I’d really appreciate any support you can give, but if you’d even have to think twice about a donation, then keep your money! As of right now there have been over 1,300 downloads of the five episodes I’ve completed (I’m as surprised as you are, trust me!). Help me keep it free for the students that really need it!

I hope ye enjoy the episode. I’d love to hear any (constructive) feedback you might have, and particularly to hear about any other useful resources that I could add to the ‘Episode Notes’.




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