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Current Projects

Experiences of Deaf Children in Gaelscoileanna

Shedding light on a heretofore unexamined aspect of Deaf Education in Ireland. While many deaf children in mainstream primary schools apply for an exemption from the Irish language, a growing number of deaf children are enrolling in Gaelscoileanna across the country. This exploratory qualitative study examines the language experiences of these children, their parents and their schools as they become the first generation of children who are Deaf in Gaelscoileanna.
More information available from Elizabeth Mathews.

Collaborative Self-study in Higher Education

Collaborative self-study in higher education: exploring a pedagogy unique to teacher education. This research aims to evaluate the effectiveness of collaborative self-study as an approach to understanding and articulating a pedagogy unique to teacher education. The research questions include the following:

  1. In what ways has collaborative self-study contributed to our designing, implementing and evaluating the new course modules (SIE 301 collaboration and SIE 302 curriculum and pedagogy) for special and inclusive education?
  2. How do we view the content and pedagogy of these modules differently?
  3. What factors contributed to/hindered this approach?

More information available from Fiona King and Anna Logan.

Experiences of Children with Special Educational Needs

Educational experiences and outcomes for children with special educational needs: A secondary analysis of data from the Growing Up in Ireland Study. A collaborative project between staff from the IoE and ERC commissioned by the NCSE, this is secondary analysis of Ireland’s national longitudinal study of children, Growing up in Ireland (GUI). Results of the first set of analyses relating to when children were age 9 examined educational, well-being and engagement outcomes of children with special educational needs. A second report in press, uses data from GUI when children were aged 9 and 13, and considers the extent to which special educational needs have changed or remained the same over time; it examines progress in some of the outcomes examined in the first report, along with additional outcomes, such as transition to post-primary school, and considers differences between children with special educational needs in terms of types of special needs, socio-economic, school and home contexts, and outcomes.
More information available from Joe Travers and Órla Ní Bhroin.

Teacher Assistant Partnership in Special Schools (TAPSS)

Teacher SNA/CA partnerships in special schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland. This is a Cross Border research project in collaboration the University of Ulster funded by the Standing Conference on Teacher Education North & South (SCOTENS) which  aims to investigate an under-researched dimension of special educational needs provision in Ireland and Northern Ireland, namely the nature of teacher-assistant partnerships. Classroom support for pupils with special educational needs is commonly provided by Special Needs Assistants (SNA) in Ireland and Classroom Assistants (CA) in Northern Ireland. The post of SNA/CA is common to both mainstream and special school sectors. It is generally viewed as a collaborative partnership, with support staff working alongside and under the direction of teachers. Although the post of SNA/CA is recognised as having much potential, to date, the relationship with class teachers has been largely unexplored. The project, therefore, is designed to explore this relationship from the perspective of the SNA/CA.

More information available from Anna Logan.

SEBD in Post-Primary Education

Supporting those with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) in poat-primary contexts.  The focus of this research is on the interface between Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) and the mainstream post-primary sector in the Irish education system. This includes supporting schools and teachers to improve experiences and outcomes for students presenting with SEBD. More specifically, this investigation centres on examining the understandings of SEBD held by teachers (including principals) in this sector and how this impacts on those experiences and outcomes.
More information available from David McKeon

Social Justice Leadership

Social justice leadership in different national contexts. The International School Leadership Network is an international collaboration between members of the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) and   University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA). These scholarly bodies focused on educational leadership are based in the UK and USA respectively.  

The overall research questions focus on:

  1. What is ‘social justice leadership’, and what does it look like when we see it?
  2. How can an international and comparative methodology enhance our understanding of what social justice leadership means in different national contexts?

More information available from Fiona King and Joe Travers.