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Church of Ireland Centre

Gillian Kennedy, Sandra Deacon, Ricky McMahon, Dean Ross

Research Seminar 24th October 2017

On Tuesday 24th October the Church of Ireland Centre (CIC) in  DCU Institute of Education hosted a research event for fourth year B.Ed students, University staff, personnel from Ugandan teacher education providers visiting the University, personnel from schools in the CIC network of placement partner schools and invited guests. The seminar, held in DCU All Hallows Campus, is the first of a series of events aimed at promoting exchanges of views between the University and the network of schools associated with the Church of Ireland Centre.  The event was chaired by Rev Prof Anne Lodge. 

There were presentations  by  four recent BEd graduates based on final year research dissertations. The topics included an exploration of the promotion of Universal Design for Learning in the classroom (Gillian Kennedy), an examination of PE and adaptations for children with Autism (Ricky McMahon), an exploration of teachers’ perceptions of pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties (Dean Ross) and an examination of benefits of   a mindfulness intervention in the primary classroom (Sandra Deacon). As well as sharing their research findings, the four presenters offered much practical advice about the process of undertaking research to students present who are just beginning their final year projects. 

The presentations engaged the interest of undergraduate students currently engaged in research work and sparked many questions and comment from the audience.  Ms. Sarah Richards, principal of Whitechurch National School, commented on the value of the research work undertaken by each of the presenting graduates.  She noted how their work contributed to their professional expertise and practice.

In the second part of the seminar, Dr. Jacqueline Fallon (NCCA and formerly a member of staff in DCU and CICE) presented on a cross-border research undertaken in collaboration with a colleague from Stranmillis University which examined reflective work undertaken by B.Ed students North and South during School Placement in infant classrooms.  The title ‘Playful Teaching and Learning across Ireland – a student-teacher intervention’ was of particular interest to the students present who had participated in the study.

Following these presentations there was an opportunity for discussion and questions.  As the event ended one of the Ugandan teacher educators spoke of the strong model of sharing professional practice which was evident and indicated that he would consider running such an event in his college in Uganda due to the likely benefits which would accrue to both undergraduate students and practicing teachers.

It is hoped to run further events to support dialogue and sharing of practice between the Church of Ireland Centre, DCU Institute of Education, and its network of partner schools. 

22nd May, 2018