Now showing items 1-20 of 129

    • 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.
    • Irish Primary Teachers’ Perspectives into the Teaching of Physical Education: Exploring the Games Strand and the Factors that Influence the Teaching Methodologies and Approaches in Current Classrooms

      Brassil, Aoife (2023)
      The PE strand unit Games engages with the student’s instinct to play. Using a mixed methods approach and purpose sampling, Irish primary school teachers were surveyed (N=22) and interviewed (N=2) for the purpose of acquiring the primary data. Findings were analysed thematically and interpreted using PP. Perspectives of the primary school teachers of PE in the classroom; their knowledge of and application of the Games Strand and teaching approaches used were investigated. Findings identify the Games Strand as the dominant strand with CL and direct teaching used in approaches; effective implementation being under the influence of many factors i.e., self-confidence, misunderstandings, access to external facilitators and resources including CPD training.
    • Teacher Perspectives on the Practice of Teacher Read Alouds in Senior Classes of Primary School, to form part of Students’ Literacy Learning Experiences

      Hannon, Yvonne (2023)
      The aim of this dissertation was to explore the extent to which the practice of the teacher reading aloud is evident in senior classes of primary schools in Ireland. It endeavoured to gain an insight into the motivations, benefits, and possible challenges of implementing this practice. A mixed-method data collection approach was applied with online questionnaires (n=27) and semi-structured interviews (n=2). Results indicate that all respondents read aloud to their students at varying levels. Modelling good reading, language development opportunities and fostering a love of reading were the primary benefits, with finding a suitable book as the most prevalent challenge to the practice.
    • Teacher Perspectives on the Role of the Green Schools Programme in Supporting the Environmental Literacy of Primary School Pupils

      Carty, Brendan (2023)
      Despite its popularity, little evidence exists to support the impact of the Green Schools programme on pupils’ environmental literacy. This paper sought to discover how impactful the programme is. A mixed methodology was used, and research focused on the perspectives of teachers involved with the programme. Participants strongly agreed that the programme impacts pupils’ environmental literacy, that it provided pupils with opportunities to make significant environmental contributions and to influence the environmental decisions of others. This contrasted with findings in other studies. Overall, it was found that the Green Schools programme is an impactful programme, worthy of consideration.
    • Use of cooperative learning methodology in the teaching and learning of mathematics in primary school – teachers’ perspectives

      Narostek, Joanna (2023)
      This study explored Irish teachers’ perspectives on the use of cooperative learning methodology in mathematics in primary school. Research questions addressed frequency and types of cooperative learning used by teachers, as well as its benefits and challenges. A mixed method approach, informed by pragmatist philosophical paradigm, was taken, with quantitative data gathered from 21 questionnaires, and qualitative data from two semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that half of teachers use structured types of cooperative learning on a regular basis. According to participating teachers, the most significant benefits of CL are academic gains, improved social skills, and language development, while the most significant challenges are a range of academic ability among pupils, pupil relationships and behaviour management, and organisational issues.
    • Teachers' Perspectives on teaching the Primary School Music Curriculum: Experiences and Methodologies

      Horgan, Mary (2023)
      The purpose of this study was to determine teachers’ previous experiences in musical education and its impact on their competence and confidence to provide valuable music experiences. Despite the limitations of this mixed methods study, the questionnaires (n=30) and semi-structured interviews (n=2) uncovered and explored teachers’ perceptions on both existing and potential methodologies for the teaching of music at primary level. Examination of the findings confirmed that while teachers valued the benefits of musical education, there was a strong correlation between their previous musical experience and their levels of confidence and self-efficacy in delivering the Primary School Music Curriculum, particularly in the teaching of a musical instrument.
    • 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.
    • Digital literacy for all: reflections on creating a short course in digital literacy

      Byrne, Ann; Davey, Emberly; O'Dowd, Irene (2024)
      Presented at the A&SL LAI Conference, 21st of March 2024, Dublin, Ireland. In today’s internet-dominated interconnected world, where anyone with a phone can publish something and share it worldwide, critically assessing the integrity of information has never been more important or more challenging, and to do this successfully requires digital literacy skills. Inspired by global initiatives such as the United Nations SDGs and the European Commission’s DigComp framework, we created an open digital educational resource to help foster digital literacy within our institution and beyond. This project ties in with an ongoing academic integrity project within our institution; it also coincides with the increasing availability of generative artificial intelligence systems that can potentially spread misinformation at scale. In this context, we feel the project is a very timely one. In this paper, we reflect on the process of developing the course, share what we have learned along the way, and indicate future directions for the project.
    • School Placement in Initial Teacher Education: Partnership or Paralysis

      Casey, Elva (2024)
      The concept of partnership in school placement is not new to the initial teacher education (ITE) reform agenda (Furlong et al., 2000). Despite its prevalence in the rhetoric on placement, the nature of partnerships, the definition of partners, and the extent to which partnerships are voluntary or enforced are all far from universally accepted facts. Harford and O’Doherty (2016) argue that the partnership metaphor has been applied very loosely to describe collaboration and consensus, without any real definition of what is meant by it. Partnership in school placement is often discussed in policy documents and guidelines as a fait accompli, but when we probe the use of the word, we find it can be applied to many ways of organising collaboration between higher-education institutions (HEIs) and schools (Gorman & Furlong, 2023). It can vary in meaning depending on who uses it, whether site of practice, HEI, professional body, or student teacher. It can also be used to reflect distinct interpretations and motivations (Stuart & Martinez-Lucio, 2004). If we cannot agree on what partnership is, how can we hope to understand who the partners are and how they should fulfil their roles? This article posits that the confusion around partnership has hindered the development of school placement into a meaningfully experienced first step in the continuum of professional development, resulting in a paralysis of reform in school placement.
    • Inclusion as Lived and Felt in the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme: A case study exploring spatial discourses of inclusion

      Curneen, Annmarie (Education Matters, 2024)
      Parity of esteem has long been an enduring theme of educational discourses of inclusion. This article examines parity of esteem through the lens of the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) programme by focusing on spatial discourses of inclusion. For this article, parity of esteem relates to issues of value and recognition of difference and the resulting experience of inclusion as something that is lived and felt in school contexts. The article draws on research conducted by the author over a 10-month period with four case-study schools in the north-west of Ireland. The LCA programme is a distinct, modular, self-contained, two-year Leaving Cert pre-vocational programme. It ‘emphasises forms of achievement and excellence which the established Leaving Certificate has not recognised in the past. It offers a specific opportunity to prepare for and progress to further education and training’. (PDST, 2019, p.7). The programme incorporates work experience and learning that takes place outside the classroom. It is ringfenced, meaning it is separate from but equal to the Leaving Certificate Established (LCE) programme and is not part of the CAO points system. However, recent changes announced as part of Senior Cycle redevelopment mean that since September 2022 LCA students ‘have the opportunity to take Leaving Certificate Mathematics and, where possible, a Leaving Certificate Modern Language’ (DoE, 2022).
    • When the Mind Meets the Body: Health and wellbeing for schools

      Burke, Jolanta; Dunne, Padraic J.; Doran, Annemarie (Education Matters, 2024)
      Most risk factors for developing non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, are established during adolescence. Urgent action is required to prevent the premature death of this cohort in Ireland as a result. We conducted a quasiexperiment combining positive psychology and lifestyle medicine to help students improve their sleep, nutrition, stress management, and physical activity. Here we reflect on our findings and the implications for school wellbeing policy and practice.
    • HECA Research Conference 2023: Sharing an Open Research Landscape

      O'Dowd, Irene; Byrne, Ann; Butler Neff, Linda; O'Sullivan, Patricia; Browne, Andrew; Zorzi, Debora; O'Connor, Noel; McKenna, Robert; Haugh, Trevor; Finkbeiner, Kristin; et al. (Dublin Business School, 2024)
      This paper provides a succinct overview of HECA's second annual research conference, held at DBS on November 14th 2023.
    • Building a Community of Practice for Academic Integrity Workshop

      Casey, Elva; O'Dowd, Irene; Byrne, Ann (2023)
      This workshop was delivered at the second annual HECA research conference held in DBS Dublin on November 14th, 2023. The presentation outlined the establishment of a community of practice (CoP) for academic Integrity at Hibernia College. Participants were invited to discuss setting up a CoP within their own organisations.