A Study of the Impact of Peer Mediation Programs on the Ability of Schools to Effectively Educate Students on the Concepts and Mechanisms of Conflict and its Management
Supervisor: Professor Aislinn O'Donnell
Synopsis of Thesis:
Internationally Peer Mediation, the resolution of conflict for school children by schoolchildren, has long enjoyed the support of participants, stakeholders, educational policy makers and researchers. Its positive impact on both school life and student development has been established consistently and comprehensively.
Its benefits do not seem to end there. Research in jurisdictions where peer mediation is well established reports better student outcomes in later life, particularly in relation to professional achievement.
Interestingly, despite specific curricular provision for conflict management programs, there are very few active peer mediation programs in Ireland. As a consequence there is an ever-widening research gap between Ireland and the leading countries in this field such as the United Kingdom, Norway, Canada and the United States.
This research seeks to begin the process of understanding this gap and will report on three peer mediation programs in Co. Cork, Ireland.
Alec is a workplace mediator, certified with the Mediators Institute of Ireland.
His professional activities also include strategic mission and vision development, negotiation skills training, conflict management process development and change management facilitation through his company, HR Evolution Ltd.
He is an active member of the Kennedy Institute Workplace Mediation Research Group based in Maynooth University.
Alec has an MSc in Human Resource Management from the University of Limerick and is currently engaged in a doctoral research program looking at peer mediation, a
process whereby schoolchildren learn to manage youth-related interpersonal conflict.
Shaping the Agenda 1: Exploring the Competencies, Skills and Behaviours of Effective Workplace Mediators
Oct 10, 2016, Kennedy Institute Workplace Mediation Research Group
Shaping the Agenda 2: Implications for Workplace Mediation Training, Standards and Practice in Ireland
Oct 10, 2016 Kennedy Institute Workplace Mediation Research Group
Conference Papers and Organisation:
Bridging the Gap Between Workplace Mediation
Research and Practice: The Irish Experience
Presented at the North-West Dispute Resolution Conference, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, 2016
Shaping the Agenda 1&2: Key skill and competency themes from the literature and their implications for practice.
Presented at the North-West Dispute Resolution Conference, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, 2017
Membership of Organisation:
Kennedy Institute Workplace Mediation Research Group (www.kiwmrg.ie)
Mediators Institute of Ireland
Blog/Web Page Developed:
Expanding the Pie - Negotiation Skills Workshop: http://negotiation.ie/expanding-the-pie/
International Interest/International Experience:
2012 Academic visit; Toulouse Business School, France.
The Educational Experiences of Refugee Children Enrolled in Irish Schools who have Fled War and Conflict: The Current Situation and The Road Ahead
Supervisor: Professor Sharon Todd
Education in times of conflict, equality, refugees, arts-based methodologies, decolonial theory.
This research will examine experiences of refugee children in Irish schools who have fled war and conflict and investigate both individual and collective student opinions in light of present policies and practices. As Ireland welcomes an increasing number of refugees from countries affected by war, it is an appropriate time to reflect and analyse the experience of the children enrolled in schools across the country and through the childrens’ voices assess ways in which their transition, and overall participation in school can be most effective. Research conducted with the students will be arts based. This will empower participants in creating a representation of their schooling irrespective of language or literacy barriers. Student voice and academic literature will be brought together to challenge deficit thinking which currently prevails in the education of refugees. The research will sit between policy and experience and be of not only academic significance but social relevance in how refugee students are accommodated in Irish schools both now and in the future.
I studied a BA in English and History at Maynooth University graduating in 2007. Following this I undertook a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and spent the next four years teaching in a secondary school in Ireland before moving to Australia where I undertook the roles of Head of Department; English, in Catholic Schools in Perth. I spent four years in Western Australia which included over two years working in a country setting five hours north of Perth. While in Australia I completed a Master of Education; Leadership and Management through the University of Notre Dame Australia. I returned to Ireland in July 2017 to begin my PhD with the Education Department at Maynooth University.
John Hume Scholarship recipient.
I have worked in Australia for four years where I taught a small number of refugee students within a private Catholic Secondary School. As Head of English I designed specially tailored programmes for the integration and education of these students into the Australian school system. I have also organised and participated in two immersion trips to East-Timor where my initial interest in the education of children following war and conflict first developed.
Thesis Title: Frivolous or fundamental? Exploring the Nature, Value and Consequences of Children’s Pastime Activities in Contemporary Ireland
Supervisors: Dr. Catriona O’Toole & Professor Sharon Todd
My research looks at children’s pastime activities and their relationship with children’s socio-emotional wellbeing. The project also explores parental decision-making around children’s leisure time activities.
Thesis Title: Towards a Queer Religious Ethos: Disrupting Heteronormativity in Faith Schools
Supervisors Prof. Sharon Todd, Dr. Thomas Walsh
Synopsis of Thesis
My thesis offers a theory of ‘religious ethos’ capable of disrupting heteronormative logics in faith school settings. The conceptualisation of ‘religious ethos’ I wish to bring is one that is ‘queer’: it seeks to theorise religious ethos in ways that avoid seeing identity as fixed and unchanging, and time as inevitable and self-fulfilling. Using resources from queer theology in this regard, the thesis will queer four elements that I see as constituting the ethos of a faith school: the pedagogies engaged with in schools, the relationships that exist within schools, the daily rhythms of school life, and the values from which and towards which the life of a school orients itself. By offering a theory of a ‘queer religious ethos’ the thesis seeks to disrupt heteronormative logics in understandings of the life of faith schools, while also offering a radical reimagining of ‘religious ethos’ itself that is fundamentally educational in character.
I began my doctoral studies in the Department of Education in 2015. Prior to this, I had completed a Bachelor of Religious Education with English at Mater Dei Institute (2014), and a Master of Science in Equality Studies at UCD (2015). My research interests are in the philosophy of education, the relationship between religion and education, queer and feminist theories, queer and contextual theologies, and religious studies. My doctoral work is funded by the Irish Research Council.
The Government of Ireland (Postgraduate) Research Scholarship, Irish Research Council (2016-2019).
‘Education, queer theology, and spiritual development: Disrupting heteronormativity for inclusion in Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faith schools’ (2018), International Journal of Children’s Spirituality 23:3.
Conference papers and organisation
‘Reimagining ethos, disrupting heteronormativity: The faith school at the nexus between immanence and transcendence’, Society for Women in Philosophy Annual Conference: Philosophical Perspectives on Contemporary Ireland, University College Dublin, 8-9 March 2018 (forthcoming).
‘The Catholic Church and Education in Ireland: Queering the Relationship’, Doctoral Students’ Annual Conference, University College Dublin, 27 May 2017
‘Queering 'progressive' responses to heteronormativity in Irish schools’, Philosophy of Education Society Annual Conference, Crowne Plaza, Downtown Seattle, USA 16-20 March 2017
‘Towards a Responsible Religious Education for Young LGBTI People in Ireland’, PhD Symposium: At the Forefront of Contemporary Research with Children and Young People in Ireland, Children's Research Network, Maynooth University, 6 September 2016
‘Opening conversations: Achieving equality for LGBT people in Irish schools’, Department of Education, Maynooth University, 29 January 2016.
Membership of organisation
Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain.
Religion and Spirituality Special Interest Group, Philosophy of Education Society.
Phenomenology and Existentialism Special Interest Group, Philosophy of Education Society.
Blog/web pages developed
‘The ‘faith’ school at the nexus between the horizontal and the vertical’, (2017), Faith Schooling: Principles and Policies, University of Warwick: https://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/faithschooling/entry/the_faith_school/
International Interest/International Experience
My research engages with conceptualisations of faith schooling across Jewish, Christian, and Muslim contexts, and therefore speaks to international settings where such schools are prevalent (including Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, and South Africa).
Thesis Title: Is Play the Only Way? A Rights-Based and Participatory Case Study with Children, their Families and Educators in India.
Supervisors: Dr. Catriona O’Toole and Dr. Bernie Grummell
Synopsis of Thesis:
The overarching aim of the doctoral study is two-fold. The first aim is to develop a rich, contextual understanding of children’s play in an early childhood education (ECE) setting and marginalised community in urban India. The second aim is to problematise the application of dominant minority world discourses, theories, and research methodologies to the lives of young children in living majority world contexts. The research questions include: (1) What types of play and early learning experiences are children engaged in? (2) Is play constructed as having educational value? (3) Is it appropriate to apply minority world theories, discourses, and practices universally to the lives of children in the majority world? (4) How can a minority world researcher research appropriately in a majority world context?
The study seeks to understand the value and cultural nuances of play in majority world contexts and diverse childhoods. Using a combination of a post-colonial and socio-cultural lens, it also questions dominant Minority world (Western) discourses about ethical research practices and methodologies when researching with young children in majority world contexts.
Taking a case study approach, it uses participatory methods to explore children’s play in a school in urban India. 120 children, their parents, teachers, and school management are participating in this study which uses a negotiated process to navigate the (sometimes unpredictable) nature of researching within a marginalised community. The use of art-based methods, observations, and informal interview discussions are employed to co-generate a ‘living picture’ (Clark & Moss, 2011) of children’s lived experience of ECE in the context of their individual society and culture.
Sinead has been working in the Early Childhood Education sector for fifteen years as a Montessori pre-school teacher, Montessori Primary school principal, a Montessori teacher trainer at levels 6-8, and as a lecturer in Early Childhood Education. Sinead has developed and written modules for early childhood education degrees; with a primary focus on play, Aistear, Montessori, communities of practice and professional practice. She has also voluntarily administrated, researched, and co-facilitated training for Montessori Alliance.
Sinead founded Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland – an online community of professional practice with over 4,000 members from across Ireland – in 2008 and actively administrates the group and populates the website. She has also been volunteering with an NGO in a school in urban India since 2010.
Sinead was awarded the John & Pat Hume scholarship from Maynooth University in June 2015.
Matson, S. (2015) ‘Historical and Cultural Evolution of the Montessori Method: Some Considerations for Irish Early Years Practice’, Children’s Research Digest (Vol. 2; 2) p 61-65.
Matson, S. (2014) ‘An Indication of the Current Working Conditions of Early Childhood Managers and Business Owners in Ireland’. Montessori Alliance.
Available at: www.montessorialliance.ie/media/
Matson, S. (2017)’Researching through Recovery: Embarking on a PhD post-brain surgery.’ A blog post for Women are Boring 27th March 2017.
Conference Papers and Organisation:
Matson, S. (2017) ‘Ethical Research with Children in Majority World Contexts: A Eurocentric approach?’ Children’s Research Network (CRNINI) ‘s annual conference, Charted Accountants House, Dublin 2, 29th November 2017.
Matson, S. (2017) ‘Researching with Marginalised Communities: Focus on Children.’ Workshop - Researching Methods Workshop: Exploring Practice and Challenges in the Field summer school held by Development Association of Ireland (DSAI) in Trinity College Dublin 27th June 2017.
Matson, S. (2017) ‘Can you see me? Can you hear me? Capturing the voices of marginalised children in majority world research contexts.’ Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Prescolaire (OMEP) Ireland, University College Cork, Cork, 20th May 2017.
Matson, S. (2016) ‘I see 6; you see 9: A reflection on the problematic nature of applying Western child development theory in a universal fashion when providing social supports to young children accessing early childhood education in India.’ Children’s Research Network Ireland and Northern Ireland (CRNINI) Annual conference, 6th December 2016.
Matson, S. (2016) ‘Is Play the Only Way? A participatory study with children and their families in India, exploring lived experiences of play, its perceived value, cultural nuances and influence on early childhood education.’ European Early Childhood Research Association (EECERA)’s 26th Annual Conference, Dublin City University, Dublin, 1st September 2016.
Matson, S. (2016) ‘Work Versus Play: A Challenge for Montessori Practitioners?’ Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Prescolaire (OMEP) Ireland, University College Cork, Cork, 23rd April 2016.
Matson, S. & Bowers, L. (2016) ‘Free Pre-School but at what cost? A snapshot of the financial instability and mental well-being of ECCE owners and managers in Ireland 2014’ Organisation Mondiale pour l’Education Prescolaire (OMEP) Ireland, University College Cork, Cork, 23rd April 2016.
Matson, S. (2014) ‘A Playful Montessori?’ Children’s Research Network Ireland and Northern Ireland (CRNINI) annual conference, Dublin, 10th December 2014.
PhD Symposium: At the Forefront of Contemporary Research with Children and Young People in Ireland, Childrens Research Network Ireland & Northern Ireland in conjunction with Maynooth University, Iontas Building, Maynooth University, Kildare, 6th September 2016.
Childrens Research Network – Early Childhood Research Special Interest Group, Vice Chair 2016-2017.
Blog / Webpages developed:
Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland (MECPI) Community of Practice. http://www.earlychildhoodprofessionalsirl.com/
International Interest and Experience:
Volunteering with an NGO and school for preschool and primary children in Western India since 2010. Chairperson and founder of Ireland to India Education Project which is currently suspended for re-organisational purposes.
Current doctoral study is focusing on play and early childhood educational experiences in a school in urban India.
My name is Stacey Cahill and I'm currently a PhD student with the Department of Education. I currently work for the GAA as their National Health & Wellbeing Coordinator. My role includes the coordination of non formal education programmes, training and planning development and management of trained personnel. I'm also a former Kildare Ladies Footballer winning an All Ireland Medal in 2004. I still represent my club Na Fianna and hold captaincy for our senior ladies team. I recently graduated from NUIM with a Level 9 Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Leadership through the unique partnership with the GPA/WGPA. I'm fortunate enough to be able to work in an area I'm very passionate about and very grateful to get the opportunity to explore this further through my PhD.
Karen Buckley is a doctoral candidate in the Education Department in Maynooth University where she is exploring Teacher Education, Identity and Professional Development Practices Among Educators.
A proud graduate of Maynooth University, Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Sociology, a Master of Arts Degree in Sociology and Post Graduate Diploma in Education. Karen is a qualified post primary school teacher and has over 10 years’ experience in second and third level education. Karen has worked in a range of research settings, notably she lead a research project commissioned by Higher Education Authority (HEA) and ACE (Accelerating Campus Entrepreneurship) Consortium based in Dublin City University. Karen is Head of Research and Assessment in the Post Primary School of Education at Hibernia College. Her teaching role in Hibernia College involves delivering Research Methods modules to Professional Master of Education students, supervising research students, and assessing placement activities. Karen has recently established the Teacher Educator Network of Ireland and you can find the growing community on Twitter @TEN_Ireland. In October 2017, Karen was appointed to the Board of Council for Gaisce – The President’s Award, by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone. The objective of Gaisce is to allow young people to dream big and fulfil their potential. Karen hopes to perform a key role in securing better outcomes and brighter futures for young people during her term on the Board of Council.
Recent Conference Presentations:
Buckley, Karen 2017. “Early Reflections on exploration of Teacher Education” Paper presented to Doctoral Roundtable at SCoTENS, Louth, 13-14 October.
Buckley, Karen 2017. “Becoming: Teacher Educator Development” Paper presented to Regional Research Conference 2017, Dublin, 21 October.
Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI)
British Educational Research Association (BERA)
Higher Education Colleges Association (HECA)
Irish Higher Education Quality Network (IHEQN)
National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning
UNBUNTU Network Assembly
Ed.D student Year 1, Maynooth University
Thesis Title: Principal Personality and Its Implications for School Leadership
Supervisor: Dr. Victoria Showunmi
Synopsis of Thesis:
Within the Irish education system there seems to be an unspoken requirement for a School Leader to fulfil a host of other roles in a very social context, such as liaising with community and parent groups to fundraise or promote and participate in local events etc. Does this type of social demand within the Irish education system but the introverted/extroverted school leader at an advantage or disadvantage, thereby affecting their primary role to lead and improve teaching and learning?
Vinny is a native of Newbridge in County Kildare and currently works as principal in Scoil Bhríde National School in Nurney County Kildare. He works as a music tutor with Hibernia College training primary school teachers. Vinny also provides College workshops in multi-class primary school teaching and works as a science tutor with STEM, an RDS Foundation led Science teaching and learning programme . He also serves as a judge at the annual RDS Primary Science Fair. However alongside his professional teaching career, his role as both a husband and father and his love of Gaelic sports, he has a great passion for music.
Vinny is currently studying at Maynooth University for a Doctorate in Education (EdD). Vinny holds an honours masters degree in education and school leadership from Maynooth University, an honours masters degree in computer music from Maynooth University, an honours higher diploma in primary education from Hibernia College, an honours higher diploma in music technology from NUI Maynooth, an honours post graduate diploma in educational studies and special education needs from Trinity College Dublin, an honours bachelors degree in music education from Trinity College Dublin, an honours diploma in music education from DIT College of Music and an honours diploma in education practice and ICT skills from JEB Dublin.
Membership of Organisation:
Irish National Teachers Association
Blog/web pages developed:
Vinny’s interests lie in
- School Leadership and Personality
- School Leadership and Occupational Health Psychology
- School Leadership Skills Transfer
- Lesson Study and Case Study Knowledge
- The Philosophy of Education
- Multi-Class Teaching
- Curriculum Development
Supervisor: Dr. Grace O’ Grady
Thesis Title: Dancing on the Threshold of Time: An Orphic Journey into the Second Half of Life Using Creative Narrative Inquiry
My thesis is concerned with exploring the lived experience of transitioning from the first half of life to the second, through the archetypal mythical framework of Orpheus and Eurydice, a tale about a journey of re-membering and re-searching, a journey about losing and re-finding, a journey about transformation. The first half for many is often defined by the roles, responsibilities and identities forged and the work done in the second half is signposted by their ending. This transition is accompanied by a number of psychological changes which include coming to terms with the shedding of former roles and identities and re-finding those parts of oneself which have been neglected or forgotten along the way. I am hoping to add another level of understanding and insight into this pivotal developmental transitionary period by mapping, describing, depicting and capturing the nature and the essence of this experience.
A Narrative Inquiry into Student Experiences of School Library Space and Its Impact on the Development of Junior Cycle Key Skills
Supervisor: Dr. Grace O’Grady
Short biography: I have a background in education and long-term interest in curriculum development. I have worked in a range of environments in Ireland and abroad. I was seconded to the Professional Development Service for Teachers for several years, focusing on teacher continuous professional development in literacy, numeracy, differentiation, inclusion and school self-evaluation. I have also worked as a CLIL tutor on Erasmus+. Currently I am a Deputy Principal in a large post-primary school where I lead on various areas including the Droichead programme and the Digital Strategy. I am an associate advisor with Junior Cycle for Teachers.
My particular research interest is in revealing stories told by participants, emphasising that while there may be stories of challenge, many stories tell of success. My work is rooted in the notion that humans are storying creatures (Sikes and Gale, 2006) and Connelly and Clandinin’s definition of narrative inquiry as ‘a portal through which a person enters the world and by which their experience of the world is interpreted and made personally meaningful’ (2006). My research themes have included journaling in the maths classroom, diversity and inclusion. My Ph. D research project is a narrative inquiry into student experiences of a school library space and whether this engagement can help students to develop the Junior Cycle Key Skills of Being literate, Staying well, Being creative and Communicating.
Meegan, J., Morris, E. & O’Flanagan, D. Narrative Conversations: A Performance Piece, Irish Narrative Inquiry Conference, Sligo, April 2018
O’Flanagan, D. – Stalking with Stories: Tales of a Library Project – poster presentation, Narrative Matters Conference, Enschede, Net
Email address: email@example.com
Thesis Title: Improving Student Achievement Through Technology Enhanced Formative Assessment in the Science Classroom
Supervisors: Dr Majella Dempsey & Dr Delma Byrne
I am interested in the area of assessment at second level, particularly in formative assessment and the use of co-operative learning in the classroom. My research investigates how teachers can use technology in class to enhance their assessment processes while simultaneously increasing student attainment in science. My research is part of the EU funded FaSMEd project which looks at formative assessment in science and maths in Europe and South Africa. It is envisaged that by the end of the project student attainment in science will have increased and teachers will adapt formative assessment practices more fluidly in the classroom.
Thesis Title: Young People and School Refusal in Second-Level Schools in Ireland
Supervisor: Dr. Catriona O’Toole
I am interested in exploring the issues surrounding school refusal both in Ireland and in the international context. My PhD research project focuses on the issues of school refusal on a number of levels incorporating the individual, interpersonal, organisational, communal and cultural threads within the research process. Furthermore, the project draws on the Developmental Systems Theory (DST) as an approach that can provide an alternative framework in exploring the issues that arise for the young person and school refusal. My professional background is in psychology and education. I have worked as a secondary school teacher in Ireland and London. I have also worked as an assistant research psychologist with adults who have a learning disability and in the field of mental health and young people.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan Donegan - Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT)
Joan Donegan works as Deputy General Secretary with the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT). She has a comprehensive knowledge of industrial relations procedures and employment law and has many years experience dealing with work place conflict issues within private and public sector companies and community/voluntary/education sectors throughout the twenty-six counties of Ireland. University College Cork is one of seven European universities undertaking the GENOVATE project which seeks to ensure equal opportunities for women and men by encouraging a more gender-competent management in research, innovation and scientific decision-making bodies. Joan Donegan participates as a strategic collaborator on the GENOVATE International Advisory Board and the GENOVATE Institutional Management Board (IGMB). Since 2012 Joan Donegan has participated on the European Trade Union Committee for Education Standing Committee for Equality. The work of the ETUCE Group is aimed at implementing gender equality strategies to address continuing inequality in career outcomes for female academics and researchers across Europe. Joan Donegan has been elected by the Standing Committee onto the ETUCE Working Group for Equality to assist in enhancing the work of the ETUCE Standing Committee. Joan Donegan is also a qualified Mediator with a practicing certificate from the Mediation Institute of Ireland and designs and delivers programmes on conflict intervention, group dynamics, artistry and practice of leadership skills, strategic thinking and planning and the practice of self-care. Joan Donegan has also been actively involved in casework with victims and offenders on behalf of Restorative Justice Services Ireland. Joan Donegan has an Honours MA from Maynooth University in Mediation and Conflict Intervention Studies. She is currently continuing her studies as a PhD student with the Education Department at the University. The objective of her research is to explore initiatives, which challenge gender inequality towards career progression in Academia. This interest originates from her professional background as an industrial relations officer and will comprise of a mixed methods case study of gender equality initiatives with which she has been professionally involved. It arises from her interest in exploring the transformative possibilities offered by such institutional initiatives to achieve greater gender equality.
Thesis Title: Composing Stories to Live by: An Arts Based Narrative Inquiry into children’s experience of the five foundations of social emotional and academic learning program You Can Do It (YCDI)
Supervisor: Dr Grace O' Grady
Thesis Synopsis: The aim of my study is to explore how 8 primary school children compose their individual stories to live by (Clandinin and Connelly, 2000), through creative conversations based around the five foundations of the social emotional and academic learning program, You Can Do It Education! (YCDI), and other conversations on the school landscape. In his study, I attend to participants’ experiences of the YCDI program and whether these experiences have helped their development in the five foundations of the YCDI program (Organisation, Confidence, Getting Along, Resilience and Persistence). I invite others to consider YCDI conversations as spaces where children engage in meaning and identity-making on the school landscape, where tensions arise as shifting ‘stories to live by’ bump up against dominant narratives of school, home and culture in an ‘out of classroom places’(Clandinin and Connelly, 1999).
Dr Thomas Walsh & Dr Bernie Grummell
The Role of the Principal as a Practitioner of Distributive School Leadership and Its Impact on Culture and Reflective Practice in the School Environment
I am presently the Principal of a seven day boarding school. The context of my research is focused on the role of the Principal as a key participant, player and contributor to the discourse and dialogue in promoting a practice of distributive leadership in a school culture. I am also interested in the role that school culture plays on the ability and custom of a professional to engage with reflective practice within their own educational space together while contributing to the reflective culture of the professional paradigm in their learning community.