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Recent Submissions

  • Teaching students with EAL: Collaboration and preparation in post-primary schools

    O'Donoghue, Eoin (2023)
    The following study explores the area of English as an additional language (EAL) and how much training teachers in a post-primary school in Ireland receive and to what extent they collaborate with each other when teaching students of EAL. Using thematic analysis from three long interviews from the same school, the findings suggest that teachers are not given the sufficient training in how to teach EAL and are given little encouragement to collaborate with one another on the topic by the Irish educational system. The findings also suggest the need for proper EAL training has become more relevant since the arrival of Ukrainian students in 2022.
  • Teachers’ perspectives on student underperformance in Leaving Certificate Accounting

    Murphy, John (2019)
    This study examines the reasons for student underperformance in Leaving Certificate Accounting. Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory was used to perceive and distill the literature. Thirty-minute, semi-structured interviews were conducted with five experienced post primary Accounting teachers. Thematic analysis drew out three key and several sub-themes. Student underperformance can be attributed to approximately thirty reasons including mobile phone distraction, lack of self-belief, absenteeism, reasons that would not be lost on many people. What is far more interesting is that the reasons for underperformance can be broadly attributed to interactions between stakeholders across a range of ecological systems: The home; The School and the government.
  • An Investigation of Teachers’ Perspectives on Effecting Teaching Strategies Employed by Post-Primary Teachers in DEIS and Non DEIS Schools to Support Academic Motivation and Engagement.

    O'Donnell, Grace (2023)
    This mixed-methods study investigated active teaching methodologies (ATM) employed by teachers to support academic motivation and engagement, while exploring the influence of socioeconomic factors on student motivation and engagement. The research included twentynine teacher surveys and two semi-structured interviews. According to the findings, all participants used ATM, which increased student motivation and engagement. However, classroom management issues, particularly in DEIS schools, hindered ATM implementation. Socioeconomic factors perpetuated educational poverty cycles. Teachers played a critical role in mitigating the impact of socioeconomic factors on students’ academic success. The findings also highlighted the need for adequate training and CPD to effectively implement ATM.
  • The most effective differentiation methods in PPE Classrooms

    Barrett, Ciarán (2023)
    A self-study, semi-structured interviews (N =2), questionnaires (N =30) and DR was used to gather primary data of PPE in Irish public schools. Probability/Non-Purposive sampling was undertaken, and inclusivity criteria adopted. Thematic analysis identified that educators should connect and build relationships (incl. extra-curriculum engagement) with students before implementing differentiation strategies. Successful strategies include differentiating instruction, worksheets, notes, homework, and tests; with active strategies such as using ICT, groupwork and mind maps; monitored via student achievement. The EPSEN Act (2004) requires reform and further address provided by the DoE. Limitations and recommendations for future pedagogical practice and research have been outlined.
  • Perspectives of Modern Foreign Language Teachers on the Inclusion of Students with Dyslexia

    Callanan, Niamh (2023)
    Modern foreign language teachers (MFL) are more mindful than ever of differentiating for students with dyslexia and other language processing difficulties. Despite this, there is a lack of research based in Ireland that examines dyslexia in the MFL classroom. Using a qualitative approach and convenience sampling, five MFL teachers were interviewed to gather data on MFL teachers’ experiences of including students with dyslexia. This data was thematically analysed and interpreted with reference to extant studies on dyslexia in the MFL classroom. The findings identify that Irish MFL teachers view students with dyslexia positively but feel that there is a lack of support at an administrative and state level.
  • Improving Educational Engagement in the Travelling Community: Effective Pedagogies to Ensure the Achievement of Learning Outcomes

    Carley, William (2023)
    This research project explored ways in which educational engagement rates could be improved for students from the Travelling community. Using a qualitative approach, data was collected using five semi-structured interviews. Teachers who participated were asked about the problems causing low engagement rates for Traveller students in their schools and what pedagogies were effective in tackling this issue from their perspective. The data collected indicated a number of pedagogies that could be used specifically to improve the educational engagement of students from the Travelling community however it also highlighted the room for further improvement and development in the area.
  • Student Motivation Towards French and Motivational Strategies - Teachers' Perspectives in an Irish Post-Primary Context

    Letourmy, Sophie (2023)
    This study examined students' motivation to learn French, uptake of French at Senior Cycle, and motivational strategies from teachers' perspectives in an Irish post-primary context. Data was collected using a mixed-methods approach through a questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions. Teachers reported that students are moderately motivated to learn French (57.5%). The apparent disparity between students' interests and strengths and the perceived insignificance of speaking French as a native English speaker demotivated students. Senior Cycle subject choice was primarily influenced by Higher Entry matriculation requirements and teachers' main motivational strategy emerged as technology.
  • Exploring effective methodologies to support the learning of students with SEN in the mainstream classroom

    Timmons, Megan (2023)
    This dissertation seeks to investigate the most effective techniques for teaching SEN students within mainstream classrooms based on the interpretivist research paradigm. Qualitative methods such as interviewing staff responsible for providing SEN provisions will be used in this study. Effective teaching strategies such as differentiated instruction and collaboration with professionals were identified from the research, but challenges related to curriculum adaptation were highlighted too along with limited awareness among teachers and stakeholders. Creating a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for students with SEN is possible by implementing these recommendations in schools.
  • Barriers to second language acquisition for students with dyslexia: A practitioner focused study

    Toomey, Máire (2023)
    This study investigates the challenges to second language acquisition for students with dyslexia, from a practitioner perspective. It is a small-scale, qualitative study. Through a series of five interviews with stakeholders in education at second-level, it poses questions about best practice in supporting dyslexic students in the Modern Foreign Language (MFL) classroom. Through careful thematic analysis, the principal finding of the study was to identify a highly individualised approach to differentiation as the key to effective support. The study also identifies the main challenges in MFL teaching, including issues of time and teacher expertise, and recommends strategies that could be used to meet these challenges.