Title: Improving Progress for Lower Achievers through Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education (FaSMEd)
FP7 EU funded project will run for three years starting in January 2014
Dr. Majella Dempsey (PI)
Dr. Ann O’Shea
This project aims to:
- foster high quality interactions in classrooms in participating countries that are instrumental in raising achievement for low achievers which support teachers in enabling low attaining students to:
- Learn more mathematics and science
- Get better at learning mathematics and science
- Feel better about themselves as mathematics and science students (Watson & De Geest, 2005)
- and to:
- expand our knowledge of technology enhanced teaching and assessment methods addressing low achievement in mathematics and science
The objectives for the project are to:
- produce a toolkit for teachers to support the development of practice. (NB. The expression ‘toolkit’ refers to a set of curriculum materials and methods for pedagogical intervention)
- produce a professional development resource that exemplifies use of the toolkit.
- offer approaches for the use of new technologies to support the formative assessment of lower achieving students.
- develop sustainable assessment and feedback practices that improve attainment in mathematics and science for the targeted students.
- disseminate the outcomes of the project in the form of online resources, academic and professional publications, conference presentations as well as policy briefs to government agencies at a regional, National, European and International level.
We believe that these aims are congruent with the expected impact for the FP7 programme of enhancing the performance of students, reducing the number of low-achieving students and preventing early drop-out in mathematics and science.
Although it is not a major focus for this project, technological education will be addressed through the science curriculum and through developing strategies to ensure that students have day to day access to technology in their classrooms and learn how to use it effectively to support their learning.
Collaborative project across eight countries including Ireland
David Wright: (Coordinator) CfLAT, Newcastle University (UNEW) UK
Malcolm Swan: Centre for Research in Mathematics Education, Nottingham University (UNOTT), UK
Marja van den: Heuvel-Panhuizen Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht University (UNUT) Netherlands
Gilles Aldon: IFÉ-S2HEP,Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, (ENSL) France
Cristina Sabena: University of Turin, (UNITO) Italy
Baerbel Barzel: University of Education, Freiburg, (PHF), Germany
Barrie Barnard: African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Cape Town, (AIMSSEC), South Africa
Birgit Pepin: Sør-Trøndelag University College (HiST), Norway
Title of Project: Introducing a model for supporting student-teachers with a disability on teaching
placements and promoting inclusive practice: the ‘Disability Awareness and Education’ phase
Access Office Teaching Fellowship project 2013
Researchers: Ms. Maeve Daly, Dr. Catríona O’Toole and supported by departmental
subcommittee work involving Ms. Majella Dempsey and Dr. Rose Dolan.
Subcommittee: Supporting all students on professional placement
Project Theme: A key goal of professional teaching-practice placements is to enable students acquire the skills, knowledge and behaviour to become ‘fit to practice’ as competent teachers.Through this project, researchers propose to begin the process of adopting a model for supporting student-teachers with disabilities on their professional placements. The current project proposes to begin with the implementation of Disability Awareness Raising and Education activities, thereby specifically addressing the issues of diversity and inclusiveness within the Education Department. This project is underpinned by the social model of disability, which sees disability as socially constructed by physical and attitudinal barriers and marks an important shift from the medical model of disability, which takes a within-person-pathology view of disability (Oliver, 1996). The consultative nature of this project seeks to identify attitudinal and contextual barriers and facilitators for student-teachers with disabilities in our quest to support all students in achieving key competencies required for practice as competent teachers in our education system.
Methodologies and Development Education (MADE in Maynooth)
MADE in Maynooth is a small scale project supported by Irish Aid and designed to broaden the provision of Development Education in our department. The funding provides for the delivery of a dedicated Development Education week for students on the Professional Diploma in Education (PDE) as well as for staff capacity building in the area of Development Education.
Building Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) for Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers
DCU: School of Mathematical Sciences; School of Education Studies
NUIM: Department of Mathematics and Statistics; Education Department
Majella Dempsey, Education Department, Maynooth University
James Lovatt, School of Education Studies, DCU
Brien Nolan, School of Mathematical Sciences, DCU
Ann O’Shea, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Maynooth University
Research Assistants, DCU/NUIM
This project focuses on pre-service teachers’ Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) – see Ball, Thames and Phelps (2008). Ball and her colleagues
have defined MKT as ‘the mathematical knowledge needed to carry out the work of teaching mathematics’ (Ball Thames, and Phelps 2008, p 395). We will assess
student teachers’ current level of MKT under different headings, and design, deliver and research the outcomes of a unit dedicated to building their MKT.
- To what extent are pre-service teachers aware of the variety of mathematical tasks involved in mathematics teaching?
- Can pre-service teachers’ levels of MKT be raised through a taught unit that focuses on the reflective study of classroom practice?
Working Out? Family strategies in household employment and childcare and the impact on child well-being
Dr Delma Byrne and Dr Catriona O’Toole
Report commissioned by the Family Support Agency in collaboration with the Irish Research Council
This research involves secondary analysis of data from Growing Up in Ireland dataset, the national longitudinal study of children in Ireland. The research seeks to offer a dynamic understanding of the care and education that children receive over the period from infancy to middle childhood. We examine how childcare arrangements vary across family structures (single parent families, dual parent families and consideration of extended families) and household employment structures (work rich vs work poor households, female headed vs male headed). Drawing on the quantitative and qualitative data, we examine if there is evidence of family ‘strategising’ in decisions around household employment and childcare arrangements. We also examine the extent to which such decisions are informed by consideration
of child well-being.
A further aim of the research is to examine the impact of childcare on child wellbeing. In line with previous research, we seek to disentangle various aspects of the childcare settings (e.g., type, intensity, and quality of care) and investigate how these aspects influence children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical health outcomes. The analysis will involve exploring a range of factors relating to child, parent, and family characteristics (e.g., child’s temperament, parental mental health, family income), which have been identified in previous research as influencing the association between childcare and developmental outcomes. This study is the first major, systematic analysis of the impact of childcare in Ireland, and is likely to have important implications at both policy and practice levels.
Creative Narrative Inquiry Research
Researchers: Dr Grace O’ Grady and Dr Nicky O’ Leary
Creative Narrative Inquiry into the shifting identity of teachers as they begin to situate themselves differently as guidance counsellors in the school landscape.
In this study we draw on arts-based activities (self-portrait drawing, collage and creative writing) to provide a creative space for a group of teachers who are currently training as guidance counsellors to creatively construct and reconstruct narratives of self. This discursive space is comprised of a series of workshops, structured around the production and audiencing of creative images and the conversations that are sparked by the participants’ work. In the unfolding of the discursive threads we attempt to make visible some of the ways the pre-service guidance counsellors construct their identities, the cultural/institutional discourses and dominant discourses of self they habitually draw on as teachers, how they are positioned by these stories/ideas/discourses and how they reposition themselves in the school landscape as guidance counsellors.
Theorizing identity as discursively constructed lends itself to a method of re/presentation that disrupts unified thinking. Drawing largely on the French postmodern philosophers, Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘figures’ especially the ‘rhizome’ (1976/2004) and the feminist poststructuralist ideas of Davies (2000), Richardson (2005) and others to conceptualize this study enables us to challenge inherited research structure and match form with content. While positioning ourselves in a postmodern/poststructuralist conceptual frame, we attempt to remain transgressive of fixed boundaries and categorizations.
The narrative/discursive process is made more accessible by the use of visual image-making, at times, helping to unfold the unrecognized, unacknowledged or unsayable stories that we all hold (Leitch, 2008). We use a creative narrative approach in using metaphors/figures to conceptualize the form andcontent of the inquiry and in drawing on arts-based methods in our work with the student guidance counsellors.
Davies, B., & Harre, R.(2000) “Positioning: The discursive production of selves” in B. Davies (Ed.), A Body of Writing 1990 – 1999. CA: Altamira Press.
Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1976) Rhizome, introduction. Paris: Editions de Minuit.
Deleuze, G., & Quattari, F (1984/2004a) Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. (R. Hurley, M. Seem, H. Lane, Trans) London: Continuum.
Leitch, R., & Mitchell, R. (2007) “Caged birds and cloning machines: how student imagery ‘speaks’ to us about cultures of schooling and student participation” in
Improving Schools. Vol. 10, No 1, pp 57-75.
Leitch, R. (2008) “Researching Children’s Narratives Creatively through Drawings” in P. Thompson (Ed.), Doing Visual Research with Children and Young
People. New York: Springer Publications.
Richardson, L., & St. Pierre, E.A. (2005) “Writing: A Method of Inquiry” in K. Denzin and Y.S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research. (3rd
Edition) London: Sage Publications.
The Dissolving Boundaries Programme uses educational technology to facilitate cross-cultural educational links between schools in the North and South of Ireland. It is jointly funded by the two Departments of Education. It is one of the largest ‘technology in education’ programmes currently in operation on this island. Set up in 1999 following the signing of the Belfast (‘Good Friday’) Agreement the programme currently supports approximately 200 schools to undertake cross-cultural online and face-to-face exchanges during the school year. The programme has involved as many as 40,000 pupils in primary, post-primary and special schools over the years.
The Education Department Maynooth University manages the programme with colleagues in the School of Education at the University of Ulster.
More details: http://www.dissolvingboundaries.org/
People: Ms. Angela Rickard, Mr. Nigel Metcalfe and Ms. Alma Grace
Dr. Pádraig Hogan, Anthony Malone
The TL21 Professional Development Programme is both an innovative professional development programme for teachers and an ongoing pedagogical research initiative. Arising from the major research project “Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century” (TL21 2002-07), its first dissemination phase took place during 2008-12, under the title “TL21 Transfer Initiative”. This highly acclaimed initiative literally involved the transfer of ideas, energies and leadership of pedagogical advances from the university to participating Education Centres and schools in various parts of Leinster. The TL21 Professional Development Programme is the current stage of this work-in-progress. Its structure is that of clusters of schools working with an Educational Centre in their geographical region. These clusters cultivate professional learning communities that enable educational practitioners, including school leaders, to share ideas regularly at CPD workshops. This promotes the two main TL21 aims: (a) to strengthen teachers’ capacities as the authors of their own work; (b) to enable students to become more active and responsible participants in their own learning. There is a university accreditation option in the programme for participating teachers and this allows them to undertake action research studies that add fresh yields of insight to the advanced professional knowledge of educational practice. For further information visit www.nuim.ie/TL21
KeyCoNet is a European Policy Network on Key Competences in School Education focused on engaging researchers, practitioners and policy-makers in a dialogue on the implementation of key competences in primary and secondary school education.
The project, funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission, will run over a 3-year period (2012 - 2014) and will identify and analyse key competence development initiatives dealing with implementation processes in various European contexts. Maynooth University is an associate member of the group.
In March 2013 students from the BSc Science Education third year class shared their experience of developing key skills with a group of European educationalists hosted in Ireland by NCCA. For more information see http://keyconet.eun.org/welcome
Follow this link http://youtu.be/baTeFcRjz4w to see a video of students from the BSc Science Education talking about their key skills development throughout their course and developing key skills with their students in schools.
This work is on going and Maynooth University ’s involvement is part funded by the NCCA.
Participant: Majella Dempsey
Guidance Counselling Projects
National Centre for Guidance in Education – NCGE
• Ms Margaret Keating and Dr Grace O’ Grady
~ Drafting Counselling Competencies for Guidance Counselling Education Programmes (Committee of Directors of Studies in Guidance Counselling)
• Dr. Grace O’ Grady and Mr Arthur Dunne
~Testing the Lifelong Guidance Policy Development European Resource Kit with current cohort of students on the Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling.
Using Focus Group Research within the structure of the Vocational Guidance module, opinions regarding the usefulness of the kit are gathered and analysed.
• Mr Arthur Dunne
~Programme development and facilitating the pilot in a pilot programme for the IGC, “Advancing Counselling Competence”, which aims to offer practicing guidance counsellors advanced counselling training, with special emphasis on competence, cognitive complexity, reflective practice, and the new Pluralistic approach to practice (John McLeod and Mick Cooper).
• ~Facilitating a pilot project with the Irish Prison Service, where we are training staff and inmates in Loughan House Open Prison in Choice Theory/Reality Therapy. We will be using a research design already used by Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, which demonstrated significant positive change in inmates in a women’s prison in California who were taken through a Choice Theory training programme.
The VITALL project is an NDLR (http://www.ndlr.ie/view/view.php?id=727) supported project promoting the professional development of language teachers. Arising from a partnership between the Education Department, Maynooth University, the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) and the Post Primary languages Initiative (PPLI), the project, completed in 2012, sought to address the practicalities of encouraging reflection on practice, professional dialogue and innovative practice among Modern Language teachers in Irish schools.
The videos created and used in the VITALL project were recorded in language classes in second level schools throughout the country and they portray the implementation and discussion of the real practice of teaching a range of languages (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish). They continue to be accessible through an interactive website www.vitall.ie that was used in conjunction with face-to-face professional development seminars for teachers at pre-service and in-service level that were conducted as part of the project in its active stage.
For more details see: http://eprints.nuim.ie/4510
Ms. Angela Rickard (PI)
Dr. Céline Healy
Dr. Kevin Mc Dermott (PDST)
Ms. Karen Ruddock (PPLI)
Discover Sensors Project with BSc Science Education students
Discover Sensors supports teachers of Junior Certificate Science in the use of inquiry based science teaching, learning and assessment. Central to the project is the Discover Sensors Framework by science teachers, for science teachers.
Formative assessment methods and tools form a major part of the Discover Sensors programme. We have developed assessment booklets which seek to inform the teacher (and student) of the student understanding for all of the junior certificate science topics. See http://www.discoversensors.ie for more information.
We are currently piloting a 4 year programme of CPD for junior Cert science teachers. Our school project groups are currently; Kildare VEC (9 schools), Louth VEC (6 schools), Kildare Secondary Schools (6 Schools) and Co. Cork VEC (11 schools). All these groups are at various stages of the 4 year programme.
The Programme of CPD takes a blended approach - face to face sessions are supported by many on-line resources (exemplar frameworks for junior certificate topics, stimuli to engage students, data sets and video tutorials among others).
Discover Sensors has also developed a science teacher community of practice. Through the forum in the teacher area of the website, registered teachers can discuss any issues and share best practice.
For the first time this year, we are partnering with Maynooth University to introduce our Framework approach to teaching and making all the resources available to BScEd students.
Maynooth University Leader: Majella Dempsey
2012-2015: Chipulikano Chakuti Pawe Kusintha Pakachitiro Kavinthu / Transformative Engagement Network (TEN-hunger), led by National University of Ireland, Maynooth
The Transformative Engagement Network (TEN) is a research project funded through the Programme for Strategic Cooperation between Irish Aid and Higher Education and Research Institutes. The project partners are Maynooth University (lead), University of Mzuzu, Malawi, Mulungushi University, Zambia and the Zambian Open University. The project seeks to enhance the capacity of universities to better serve the needs of smallholder food producers within vulnerable communities as they cope with the challenges of climate change. The project will seek to initiate new knowledge flows and exchanges of expertise between rural communities, the agencies and organisations that work with each community, and between national and international bodies concerned with agriculture, food security, nutrition and climate change. In doing this, the partners will demonstrate the potential of universities to promote and facilitate a range of participative, inclusive engagements between these stakeholders with a view to enhancing the capacity of food insecure smallholders and agencies working with them to adopt climate-sensitive agricultural techniques and to improve the nutritional status of community members. A masters level degree and a number of short under graduate courses will be developed for in service policy makers and service providers involved in climate change and food security. A research network and repository about demand-led agricultural production, climate change adaptation and nutritional outcomes will be established in order to provide widespread global access to research generated by the masters’ students and the project in general. The repository will also act as a hosting platform where other relevant research can be shared.
The Maynooth University project team are: Professor Anne Ryan (PI) - Department of Adult and Community Education, Dr Bernie Grummell - Departments of Education and Adult and Community Education, Emeritus Professor Martin Downes - Department of Biology, and Dr Conor Murphy - Department of Geography.
National Evaluation of the HEAR and DARE Supplementary Access Schemes to Higher Education
Delma Byrne is a PI on the National Evaluation of the HEAR and DARE supplementary access schemes to higher education. The evaluation is funded by the HEAR/DARE Strategic Development Group.
The HEAR and DARE schemes seek to improve access to higher education for students from long-term educationally disadvantaged households, and students with a disability. The evaluation draws on the use of existing administrative data, as well as new qualitative data collection. In evaluating the schemes, we consider the profile of applicants, in terms of individual, school and regional characteristics; and compare the profile and outcomes of HEAR and DARE applicants relative to all other CAO applicants in terms of (i) CAO choices, (ii) participation in Higher Education and (iii) progression from first year to second year in higher education.
The evaluation team is inter-disciplinary, drawing on insights from Sociology of Education and Economics of Education, with Dr Aedin Doris and Dr Olive Sweetman at the Department of Economics as Associate Investigators.
Thresholds of Inequality: A Cross-National Study of Educational Inequality
Delma Byrne is co-coordinator with Professor Samuel Lucas at the University of California, Berkeley, of an EQUALSOC Research Group on Effectively Maintained Inequality: A Cross National Assessment of Educational Inequality'.
The project is a thematic work programme of the EQUALSOC International Network of Excellence, funded under the EU 7th Framework Programme.
The research group includes partners from eighteen European and International countries, with the objective to interrogate the structure of educational systems across institutional contexts, and their role in the reproduction of social inequality. In doing so, we also consider the political economy of skill formation across diverse institutional contexts.
Counselling Competencies for Guidance Counselling Education Programmes
Margaret Keating and Grace O’Grady are involved in ‘Drafting Counselling Competencies for Guidance Counselling Education Programmes’ (Committee of Directors of Studies in Guidance Counselling’. Margaret Keating is also involved with EuroGuidance and represents NCGE at the European schools.
Lifelong Guidance Policy Development European Resource Kit
Grace O’ Grady and Arthur Dunne are involved in a European initiative/project to test the Lifelong Guidance Policy Development European Resource Kit with a current cohort of students on the Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling. Using Focus Group Research within the structure of the Vocational Guidance module, opinions regarding the usefulness of the kit are gathered and analysed.