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Educational Disadvantage Centre

EDC NEWS 2020/2019 

NEW BLOG FOR BOOK BY PAUL DOWNES

GROWTH MINDSET AND CONSTRUCTIVISM IN A DEIS PRIMARY SCHOOL

Fiona Murphy

Congratulations to Fiona Murphy (pictured), Research Associate with the Educational Disadvantage Centre and M.Ed Graduate, Poverty and Social Inclusion Special Option, on her target article with Dr. Hugh Gash, Growth Mindset and Constructivism in Irish Primary Schools: Implications of a Qualitative Study, published in the international journal Constructivist Foundations:

Murphy F. & Gash, H. (2020). I can’t yet and growth mindset. Constructivist Foundations, 15 (2): 83-94

As a target article, it was the subject of responses from 9 peer commentaries in the journal. These included from: Arne Engström Strömstad Academy, Sweden; Dewey I. Dykstra, Jr.Boise State University, USA; Michelo DelMonte Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland; Professor Leslie P. Steffe University of Georgia, USA; Professor Robert J. Martin Truman State University, USA; Philip Baron, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as from DCU’s:

-          Dr. Mary Shine Thompson: (2020). Growth Mindset and Constructivism in Irish Primary Schools: Implications of a Qualitative Study. Constructivist Foundations, 15 (2): 95-97

-          Dr. Dolores Corcoran: (2020). I Never Knew I Was Good at Maths. Constructivist Foundations, 15 (2): 114-116 and

-          Dr. Paul Downes:  (2020). A Spatial Turn for Constructivism: Concentric and Diametric Spatial Systems Framing Meaning for Exclusion and Inclusion to Challenge Failure Identity, Constructivist Foundations, 15 (2): 98-100

The authors’ response to these peer commentaries was also published:

 Gash, H. & Murphy, F. (2020). The ecology of teaching and learning, Constructivist Foundations, 15 (2): 118-121 

Fiona Murphy’s lesson outlines for her Growth Mindset Classroom Intervention (GMCI) that was the basis of the study are available for schools on the Educational Disadvantage Centre website: https://www.dcu.ie/edc/Growth-Mindset-Classroom-Intervention.shtml-1

WHAT LONG TERM IMPACT WILL SCHOOL SHUTDOWN HAVE ON CHILDREN?

Irish Times, Saturday June 27th 2020.

Closing schools over Covid 19 is set to cause lasting harm, particularly for children with special needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, writes Carl O’Brien. READ MORE

NEW GOVERNMENT MUST URGENTLY FACE UP TO THE CRISIS OF PUPILS' NEEDS IN DEIS SCHOOLS: DR PAUL DOWNES and NIAMH MURRAY

Irish Independent 24th June 2020

READ PAUL DOWNES' AND NIAMH MURRAY'S FULL ARTICLE HERE

REVIEW OF PAUL DOWNES' RECONSTRUCTION AGENCY IN DEVELOPMENTAL AND EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY

Forum: Qualitative Social Research has published a review of Paul Downes’ Reconstructing Agency in Developmental and Educational Psychology: Inclusive Systems as Concentric Space. Author: Birgitte Lund Nielsen, Forum: Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 21, No. 2, Art. 23 – May 2020

SUPPORTING SPEECH, LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION IN THE PRIMARY CLASSROOM AND BEYOND: AN ONLINE SUMMER COURSE FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IS A SUMMER COURSE OFFERED BY THE CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE – CDI

This course is co-authored by Aoife Merrins Gallagher an experienced primary school teacher who is an INTO PhD candidate in the School of Language and Literacy in the Institute of Education in DCU and Dr Sylwia Kazmierczak-Murray, a CORU registered speech and language therapist who is a post-doctoral Research Associate with the Educational Disadvantage Centre.  Both disciplines have merged to provide a practical, useful and informative summer course for teachers. This course has been approved by The Department of Education and Skills, participants qualify for 3 EPV days on course completion.  READ MORE

DCU’S EDUCATIONAL  DISADVANTAGE CENTRE LAPTOP APPEAL TO SUPPORT LOCAL STUDENTS

The Educational Disadvantage Centre in DCU’s Institute of Education has launched a laptop appeal to support students in local DEIS schools to continue their education remotely.  READ MORE

VISITING RESEARCHER TO THE EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE CENTRE

Paul downes and andrew mccoshan 

In early March one of our Senior Research Associates, Dr Andrew McCoshan, pictured here with Paul Downes, spent time at the Centre as a Visiting Researcher. Andrew is a research consultant who spends most of his time working on projects for the European Commission in the lifelong learning and vocational training fields. The visited provided an opportunity for Andrew to broaden his perspective on education and training, to strengthen connections with staff within the Centre and Institute of Education more broadly and to see some examples of how the Centre is actively engaging with local communities.  

Andrew had discussions with a number of members of the Centre with similar interests to his own. ‘They provided an excellent opportunity to share experiences and identify areas where we might work together in the future’, he says. With a background in geography, Andrew was particularly interested to learn more about the Centre’s community activities and had the chance to accompany Centre Director Paul Downes and Hub Coordinator Elaine Davis on a visit to the Kilbarrack Lifelong Community Learning Hub. ‘I spend too much time sitting behind a computer researching policies related to poverty and social inclusion in education’, Andrew notes, ‘so it was excellent to get out and see one in practice, especially one designed to get local people into teaching – I don’t think I’ve come across that before. It was really inspirational.’ 

We look forward to welcoming Andrew back in the near future.  Read more about Andrew HERE

REPORT INTO EARLY SCHOOL LEAVING IN COUNTY CARLOW PUBLISHED

Retention Rates of Leaving Certificate in County Carlow, authored by Davina Brady.  Published and commissioned by Carlow County Development Partnership. Foreword by Dr Paul Downes, who also spoke to launch the report.  READ MORE

BULLYING AMONG MAIN REASONS PEOPLE IN CARLOW LEAVE SCHOOL EARLY

 KCLR 96FM News & Sport.  Thursday February 27th 2020

The need for emotional therapy and counsellors in schools has been highlighted in a new report on early school leavers in Carlow.   Research was commissioned by the Carlow County Development Partnership in light of statistics which found the county had one of the highest rates of early leavers in the country.  READ MORE

Paul Downes (@23 mins) and Dylan Thomas, from Carlow County Development Partnership (@31 mins), spoke with Eimear Ní Bhraonáin of KCLR 96 FM. LISTEN HERE

Paul Downes (@21.45) spoke on Kildare FM’s Kildare Focus. LISTEN HERE

STUDY FINDS STUDENTS LEAVING SCHOOLS DUE TO BULLYING

Breakingnews.ie, Thursday 27th February 2020

Bullying is one of the main reasons young people leave school early.  That was the finding of a new report on early school leaving in Carlow.   The report also found half of young people who leave mainstream school early quit for mental health reasons.

"There are serious gaps in our system around emotionally counselling supports for young people in Carlow affecting their early school leaving today, said Dr Paul Downes, from the Educational Disadvantage Centre in DCU.   "This is an issue not only of relevance in Carlow but points to failures of national policy also."  READ MORE

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: NEW DÁIL MUST TRY TO ELIMINATE CHILD POVERTY

Irish Examiner, Thursday February 20th 2020

On this, the United Nations’ (UN) World Day of Social Justice, it is imperative that we take action to tackle poverty, social and economic exclusion and unemployment.  

We, the undersigned, call on the incoming government to prioritise the elimination of child poverty in any programme for government. Too many children in Ireland experience poverty. We see the impact of such poverty every day, on school attendance, academic achievement, participation, social engagement and educational aspirations.  Supporting children and young people to stay in school and supporting their performance and attainment is crucial to tackling child poverty and social inequality.

However, large class sizes, poverty and homelessness make it very difficult for children to properly engage at school.  Too many children travel long distances every day from their emergency accommodation to their school. Too many children don’t have access to laundry facilities or a hot nutritious meal at school. Too many children are struggling without access to emotional supports and counselling.

We need a clear cross-departmental strategy and increased investment to prioritise children’s rights to decent housing, healthcare, free education and comprehensive youth services. We are asking both government and members of the 33rd Dáil to make the right choices for children to ensure that Ireland is a country where every child, regardless of their circumstance, can reach their full potential. 

Suzanne Connolly, CEO, Barnardos; Tanya Ward, CEO, Children’s Rights Alliance; Dr Paul Downes, Director, Educational Disadvantage Centre, DCU; Pat Dennigan, CEO, Focus Ireland; John Boyle, General Secretary, INTO; Kieran Stafford, National President, Society of St Vincent de Paul.

CHILDREN'S CHARITIES CALL FOR ACTION ON CHILD POVERTY BY NEXT GOVERNMENT

Irish Examiner, Thursday February 20th 2020

Too many children are living in consistent poverty - with no access to hot meals at school or access to counselling.  That's according to a number of charities who have written a letter to coincide with today's UN's World Day of Social Justice. READ MORE

Covered also in regional media:

CHILDREN’S CHARITIES CALL FOR ACTION ON CHILD POVERTY BY NEXT GOVERNMENT

Western People Thursday 20th February 2020

Too many children are living in consistent poverty – with no access to hot meals at school or access to counselling.  The charities say too many children are homeless and travel long distances to school from emergency accommodation.  That’s according to a number of charities who have written a letter to coincide with today’s UN’s World Day of Social Justice.  READ MORE

CHILDREN’S CHARITIES CALL FOR ACTION ON CHILD POVERTY BY NEXT GOVERNMENT

Kildare Nationalist,  Thursday 20th February 2020

Too many children are living in consistent poverty – with no access to hot meals at school or access to counselling.  The charities say too many children are homeless and travel long distances to school from emergency accommodation.  That’s according to a number of charities who have written a letter to coincide with today’s UN’s World Day of Social Justice.  READ MORE

CHILDREN’S CHARITIES CALL FOR ACTION ON CHILD POVERTY BY NEXT GOVERNMENT

Laois Nationalist, Thursday 20th February 2020

Too many children are living in consistent poverty – with no access to hot meals at school or access to counselling.  The charities say too many children are homeless and travel long distances to school from emergency accommodation.  That’s according to a number of charities who have written a letter to coincide with today’s UN’s World Day of Social Justice.  READ MORE

OVER 2,000 PROJECTS IN DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES SUPPORTED THROUGH COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMME

Gov.ie. January 3rd 2020

Mr Michael Ring TD, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, has today (Friday 3rd January) confirmed that 2,106 community initiatives around the country have been allocated a total of €4,524,124 under his Department’s Community Enhancement Programme. READ MORE

REPORT FRAMEWORK FEATURED IN HARVARD’S SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING HUB

The Social and Emotional Education (SEE) framework developed in the report published by the EU Commission of which Dr Paul Downes, Associate Professor of Education (Psychology), School of Human Development, Institute of Education is a co-author has been included as one of the frameworks in the Harvard University Explore SEL (social and emotional learning) – an interactive hub providing education leaders and decision-makers with tools and targeted knowledge to address their priorities. The tools and resources on this site support exploring, connecting, and comparing SEL frameworks and skills to build a broader and deeper understanding of SEL and related fields, to grow clarity and transparency, and to enable users to select a framework to guide their SEL work, and more.  The Report framework is featured under the title ‘EU NESET Framework for Social and Emotional Education‘.

This report Cefai, C., Bartolo P. A., Cavioni. V., Downes, P. (2018). Strengthening Social and Emotional Education as a core curricular area across the EU: A review of the international evidence. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union/EU bookshop was centrally cited as a key rationale by the EU Commission in its supporting documents for the new EU Key Competence for Lifelong Learning Framework, Personal, Social and Learning to Learn.   Dr Downes also gave the opening keynote presentation, Developing a holistic, differentiated, systemic framework for social and emotional education, at the international conference, Do We Need a Relational Revolution in Schools? Social, Emotional and Intercultural Competences for Inclusive Societies, Croatia, 28th & 29th January 2019  He wrote the foreword to the book, Ana Kozina (ed.) Social, emotional and intercultural competencies for inclusive school environments across Europe: Relationships matter.  Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovač, launched at the conference. The book is based on a research project across Slovenia, Denmark, Sweden, Croatia and Germany.

PAUL DOWNES IS A FEATURED AUTHOR WITH ROUTLEDGE

Routledge books from Paul Downes

INTO (IRISH NATIONAL TEACHERS ORGANISATION) MAGAZINE: HOT MEALS IN SCHOOLS BY PAUL DOWNES

EUROPEAN COMMISSION VIDEO ON EARLY SCHOOL LEAVING HEADLINE TARGET

The European Commission’s Directorate General Education and Culture has released a new video on the importance of preventing early school leaving and its strategic centrality to EU policy making in the context of early school leaving prevention being an ET2020 Headline Target. Dr Paul Downes, Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre, Associate Professor of Education (Psychology) in the Institute of Education, DCU was a contributor to the video regarding the impact of early school leaving. 

Contributors to the video also include the Austrian Minister for Education, Science & Research, Iris Eliisa Rauskala on the need for inter-Departmental collaboration between Education and Social Systems, and the French Minister for Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, on school climate and parental involvement. Other contributors include the Swedish Minister for Education, Anna Ekstrom and Michael Teutsch, Head of the EU Commission’s Unit for Schools and Multilingualism.

The video is available HERE

INTERNATIONAL KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS ON EARLY SCHOOL LEAVING: DR PAUL DOWNES

Dr Paul Downes gave two keynote presentations at Education Ministry Fora in Finland and Malta. The title of his keynote presentation at the Finnish National Agency for Education, Flexible Basic Education Forum, Lahti, Finland, September 23-24, 2019 was Beyond resilience to inclusive systems for prevention of early school leaving in Europe: A spatial-relational approach.

Dr Downes' other keynote presentation was from ELET (Early Leaving from Education and Training) Prevention to Promoting Inclusive Systems as Concentric Relational Space: Future Steps for a Holistic, Differentiated Systemic Vision across Europe. This took place at the ELET – The Way Forward, International Conference, The Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Employability, Ministry of Education and Employment, President’s Palace, Malta, November 27-29, 2019.  This presentation can be accessed HERE

Both presentations were based on his new book, Reconstructing agency in developmental and educational psychology: Inclusive Systems as Concentric Space. New York/London/New Delhi: Routledge 

PARENTS OF OVER 200 CHILDREN ISSUED WITH LEGAL PROCEEDINGS OVER SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

Newstalk, Thursday November 21st 2019

More than 200 children have attended school so little over the past two years that their parents or guardians have been issued with legal proceedings by Tusla writes Eoghan Murphy. READ MORE

INTERVIEW WITH DR PAUL DOWNES ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE ISSUES: RADIO NEWS FEATURES. THURSDAY NOVEMBER 21ST 2019. NEWS ON THE HOUR FROM 6AM TO 10AM

Today FM

Newstalk

MAJOR NEW STUDY ON EDUCATION AND HOMELESSNESS CALLS FOR NEW INITIATIVES TO PROTECT VULNERABLE STUDENTS

Launch of PMVT report

A major new research report, by DCU’s Educational Disadvantage Centre and Peter McVerry Trust, on young homeless men’s experiences of the education system has found a widespread need for reforms and additional supports for vulnerable young people in the education system. The report, Educational Gaps and Future Solutions sets out seven key recommendations to improve young people’s educational experiences and reduce risks of homelessness in the future. 

Speaking at the publication of the report today, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust Pat Doyle said,  “This new and important research allows Peter McVerry Trust to move beyond anecdotal reports from service users about their interaction with the education system and establish a robust evidence basis for our future work and for the education strategies of the state". 

Mr Doyle said the education system presents an opportunity to encourage positive outcomes for young people and prevent homelessness for vulnerable young people: “Given the early age and length of time people will engage with the education system, it presents the best opportunity to positively impact on life outcomes for people. That is particularly true for those who may be more vulnerable or likely to experience homelessness due to their life circumstances". 

At the time that these research interviews were undertaken, there were 104 participants aged 18 - 38 years of age staying in Peter McVerry Trust’s services who had been educated in Ireland. As a result, this study’s sample of 51 participants constitutes 29.6% of all eligible participants.

Key findings:

●        Significant deterioration in the interviewees’ experiences of education following their transition from primary to secondary school

●        Rates of suspension and expulsion from school significantly higher than the national average, with 55% of participants having experienced reduced access to education via suspension, rolling suspension or expulsion

●        68% indicated that they had experienced ‘traumatic childhood events’

●        Inadequate emotional counselling and therapeutic supports in and around schools

●        The challenge and barriers to education when accessing emergency homeless accommodation yet 79% of participants interested in further education or training.  

Sarah Murphy, lead author and Research Associate with the Educational Disadvantage Centre, DCU Institute of Education, said:

"This report reveals a range of preventable system failures in the Irish education system that are still ongoing today. These failures increase the risk of exclusion from the system and participation in society with knock-on impacts that heighten the risks of homelessness.

The high number of participants who were suspended or expelled from school supports a call for a national target of no student to be suspended or expelled from school but to instead be given adequate multidisciplinary team supports at both primary and post primary levels.

Furthermore, the high levels of those who have experienced trauma and with little or limited emotional counselling or therapeutic supports in and around their school is a glaring gap in supports to prevent trauma impacting on wider parts of a young person's life". 

Among the recommendations of the research is a call for the Department of Education to make a new funding stream available for mental health supports for young people, to include specialised counselling services to address emotional issues and trauma experienced by vulnerable and at risk young students. The report recommends the establishment of a distinct funding strand to develop Community Lifelong Learning Centres, to meet the diverse holistic educational needs of vulnerable young people. The report also calls for the Department of Education and Skills, together with the Teaching Council, to provide and lead a strategic commitment to enhance focus on conflict resolution skills for secondary school teachers through initial teacher education and professional development programmes. Access the report here:

Sarah Murphy, Gráinne McKenna & Paul Downes (2019). Educational Gaps and Future Solutions:  A study of the holistic educational needs and experiences of a sample of homeless men in Dublin aged 18-38 Years.  Dublin: Peter McVerry Trust

Executive Summary of the Report

DIFFICULTIES IN EDUCATION CAN CONTRIBUTE TO HOMELESSNESS, REPORT FINDS

CatholicIreland.net,Thursday November 7th 2019

The research allows the Peter McVerry Trust to move beyond anecdotal reports from young men who use homeless services about how they fared in the education system and it will help influence the future education strategies of the State, writes Ann Marie Foley. READ MORE

Watch Peter McVerry Trust and DCU’s Educational Disadvantage Centre’s research discussed here.

HOMELESSNESS AND EDUCATION

Pat Doyle, Chief Executive Peter McVerry Trust, and Sarah Murphy, Educational Disadvantage Centre in DCU, discuss new research from DCU's Educational Disadvantage Centre into young homeless men's educational experience with Mary Wilson on RTE’s Drivetime, Wednesday 6th November 2019

PETER MCVERRY TRUST AND DCU'S STUDY ON EDUCATION AND HOMELESSNESS CALLS FOR NEW INITIATIVES FOR VULNERABLE STUDENTS

A major new research report, by DCU’s Educational Disadvantage Centre and Peter McVerry Trust, on young homeless men’s experiences of the education system has found a widespread need for reforms and additional supports for vulnerable young people in the education system. The report, Educational Gaps and Future Solutions, sets out seven key recommendations to improve young people’s educational experiences and reduce the risks of homelessness in the future.  Peter McVerry Trust, November 6th 2019,   READ MORE 

Report covers

  Sarah Murphy Peter McVerry

OVER HALF OF HOMELESS MEN MISSED EDUCATION DUE TO EXPULSION OR SUSPENSION

Report calls for better student support instead of expelling or suspending pupils, write Mark Hilliard and Carl O’Brien. Irish Times, November 6th 2019.     READ MORE

PMVT launch 

THE IRISH TIMES VIEW ON SCHOOL ABSENTEEISM: THE LEFT-BEHIND

Many vulnerable children are slipping through the cracks of the education system due to largely preventable system failures.   Irish Times, November 6th, 2019    READ MORE

Sarah Murphy Peter McVerry

Sarah Murphy Peter McVerry

SUSPENSIONS AND EXPULSIONS OF BOYS FROM SCHOOL LINKED TO HOMELESSNESS

Irish Independent, November 7th 2019. READ MORE  

An end to pupil suspensions and expulsions is called for in a new study that draws a link between unhappy educational experiences and homelessness among young men, writes Katherine Donnelly.   Irish Independent, November 7th 2019.   READ MORE

Sarah Murphy Peter McVerry

Sarah Murphy Peter McVerry

 NEW STUDY SHOWS YOUNG HOMELESS MEN MORE LIKELY TO HAVE BEEN TO BE EXCLUDED AT SCHOOL

Young homeless men are more likely to have been excluded from school, either through suspension or expulsion, a new study examining their experiences of the education system has found, writes Jess Casey.   Irish Examiner, November 6th 2019.   READ MORE

Sarah Murphy and Paul Downes 

HALF OF HOMELESS MEN ‘EXPELLED OR SUSPENDED AT SCHOOL’

Students should never be suspended or expelled from school and instead should be helped with their behaviour, an academic from Dublin City University has said, writes Ronan Early.  Times UK, November 6th 2019.   READ MORE

Sarah Murphy 

THE LINKS BETWEEN ADVERSE SCHOOL EXPERIENCES AND HOMELESSNESS

Opinion: new research on education and homelessness calls for initiatives to support vulnerable students and homeless people, writes Sarah Murphy. (pictured below). RTE.ie / Brainstorm  November 6th 2019.    READ MORE

Sarah Murphy

'THE TEACHERS HATED ME': HIGH RATE OF SCHOOL SUSPENSIONS AMONG HOMELESS MEN REVEALED BY NEW STUDY

Failings in the school system increase the risk of homelessness, according to a new study. Homeless men are more likely to have faced suspension and exclusion from school, a new study from Dublin City University suggests.  The Journal, November 6th 2019.   READ MORE

MORNING IRELAND'S IT SAYS IN THE PAPERS, RADIO 1, WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 6TH 2019

HOW SLEEP LOSS AFFECTS CHILDREN AND TEENS' EDUCATION AND HEALTH

RTE.ie    Tuesday October 15th 2019

Opinion: successive Irish governments have been asleep at the wheel in relation to sleep loss in children and young people. Irish policy makers need to wake up to the issue of sleep loss affecting children and young people's education and health. Most children and young people need at least nine hours of restful sleep each night. Sleep loss impacts on a wide range of aspects in a child’s education, such as his/her attention, reasoning, memory, motivation and school performance, as well as social and behavioural aspects, such as interaction with both teachers and peers, writes Paul Downes, DCU. READ MORE

DCU STUDY SHOWS SCHOOL AND HOME INTERVENTIONS CAN IMPROVE CHILDREN’S POOR SLEEP HABITS

A Dublin City University study shows a notable improvement in children’s sleep behaviours by implementing a short school and home-based programme.  

The link between inadequate sleep levels in children and poor engagement with school is well documented, with poor sleep duration causing excessive daytime sleepiness, which leads to problems with concentration, attention and cognitive functioning.  

This study carried out at the Educational Disadvantage Centre, DCU Institute of Education, has found that by implementing a five-week intervention programme, the attitudes of school children towards their own sleep behaviour, their motivation to improve their sleep health and their approach to using electronic media before bedtime, greatly improves. 

KEY FINDINGS:

Notable improvement in child-reported daytime sleepiness, particularly among high-risk children - 63% of participants reported feeling that they needed more sleep going to school, post-intervention this was reduced to 32%.

Improvements in both weekday and weekend bed and wake times, with an increase in children going to bed before 11pm post intervention - before the intervention, 75% of the group were going to bed before 11pm, post-intervention, this rose to 96%.  Post-intervention, 75% of the group reported that they would go to bed earlier in future.

Increased awareness of the negative impacts of the use of electronic media on sleep

The programme includes curricular-based lessons on sleep health in school; parental involvement in the form of an information session with a professional sleep health consultant; and sleep diaries by children, allowing them to reflect on their own sleeping habits.

Commenting on the study, Dr Paul Downes, Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre and co-author of the report, said:

“This inexpensive, brief intervention reveals real change in sleep behaviour patterns on nights before schooldays and awareness of this issue among these pupils in this DEIS primary school, albeit in this small sample. It offers real promise for replication and development elsewhere.   Previous research carried out for the Educational Disadvantage Research Centre has shown that almost two-thirds of pupils were taught by teachers who said that their teaching was limited to some extent or a lot because pupils were not getting enough sleep.   This intervention, which is innovative in its approach, provides a possible model for implementing a sleep health programme in the Irish primary curriculum to address the current Irish national policy neglect of this issue. There is a glaring silence on this key educational and health issue of sleep deficits which will hopefully be remedied in the next National Children's Policy Framework. We would certainly welcome a broader investigation into the potential of school-based interventions.”

 The study involving 24 sixth-class pupils in an Irish urban school context of high poverty, published in the Irish Educational Studies journal, was carried out by Ciara Hargadon and Dr Paul Downes, of the Educational Disadvantage Centre at DCU’s Institute of Education and can be accessed HERE. 

STUDY SAYS SCHOOL INTERVENTION CAN HELP POOR SLEEPERS

Irish Examiner, Monday October 14th 2019

Simple interventions at school and at home can improve children's poor sleep habits, writes Sarah Slater. READ MORE

SCHOOL INTERVENTION IN SLEEP MAY HELP CHILDREN GET TO BED EARLIER, NEW STUDY FINDS

The Journal.ie   Monday October 14th 2019

A sleeping programme taught in school and at home might be the answer to improving children’s sleep behaviour, according to a study by Dublin City University (DCU).   As part of the study, 24 sixth-class children in an urban DEIS primary school were taught a sleep-based class by their teacher at school and their parents at home for five weeks. A study of sixth-class pupils found a 21% rise in those going to bed before 11pm after learning more about sleep, writes Orla Dwyer. READ MORE

STUDY PERSUADES PUPILS TO SHUN PHONES BEFORE BED

The Times  Monday October 14th 2019

Primary schoolchildren are three times more likely to believe they should avoid using electronic devices an hour before bedtime after they took part in a study on sleep.   A Dublin City University study that sought to monitor and change the sleeping habits of 24 sixth-class pupils in a disadvantaged area reported an “increased awareness of the negative impacts of the use of electronic media on sleep”.    Before the five-week study, less than one in five children agreed that they should not use electronic devices an hour before bedtime. After the study, almost half of the children agreed with the statement.  The study found that after the “five-week intervention period” where children were asked to record times they went to bed, woke and how they felt, writes Ronan Early

BEDTIME 'TOO LATE' FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN WHO SUFFER SLEEP DEPRIVATION

Irish Independent, Monday October 14th 2019  

Huge levels of sleep deprivation among 11 and 12 year olds in a disadvantaged area have emerged in a new study showing that a quarter were not in bed before 11pm.  A further one in three (33pc) were only tucked up between 10pm and 11pm.  There was a dramatic improvement in sleep habits after a trial conducted by researchers at the Dublin City University (DCU) Educational Disadvantage Centre writes Katherine Donnelly. READ MORE

DCU STUDY ON HOW TO IMPROVE CHILDREN’S POOR SLEEP HABITS

Schooldays Newshound, Monday October 14th 2019

A Dublin City University study shows a notable improvement in children’s sleep behaviours by implementing a short school and home-based programme.  The link between inadequate sleep levels in children and poor engagement with school is well documented, with poor sleep duration causing excessive daytime sleepiness, which leads to problems with concentration, attention and cognitive functioning.   This study carried out at the Educational Disadvantage Centre, DCU Institute of Education, has found that by implementing a five-week intervention programme, the attitudes of school children towards their own sleep behaviour, their motivation to improve their sleep health and their approach to using electronic media before bedtime, greatly improves.  READ MORE

SCHOOL SHOULD IMPROVE SLEEP

Irish Daily Star. Monday October 14th 2019

School and home help can can improve children's poor sleep habits a study shows. READ MORE

SCHOOL KIDS REST BETTER ON UNI PLAN

The Sun, Monday October 14th 2019

School and home interventions can improve children's poor sleep habits a new study claims, writes Aoife Bannon. READ MORE

STUDY SHOWS SCHOOL AND HOME INTERVENTIONS CAN IMPROVE CHILDREN'S POOR SLEEP HABITS

Irish News, Monday October 14th 2019

Pupils improved their awareness of the negative impacts of the use of electronic media on sleep

Children's poor sleep can be improved greatly by teaching better habits in school and home, research has found.  A Dublin City University (DCU) study showed a notable improvement after five weeks writes Simon Doyle. READ MORE

Listen back to Ciara Kelly's Newstalk interview with Paul Downes, Monday October 14th  2019  Lunchtime Live from 1.29.55 onwards

HOT SCHOOL MEALS SHOULD BE A ROUTINE FACT OF IRISH LIFE

Irish Times, Saturday October 12th 2019

Patchiness of Government scheme shows up the extent of food extremes that coexist here, writes Diarmaid Ferriter. READ MORE

IRISH TIMES INTERVIEW WITH PAUL DOWNES: HOT MEALS IN SCHOOLS FOR HUNGER PREVENTION.   Irish Times, Saturday September 14th 2019 

Paul Downes' interview (p14-15) in 'Skill Set and Match' , CEDEFOP's September 2019 issue can be READ HERE

37 COUNTRY REVIEW OF EARLY SCHOOL LEAVING HEADLINE TARGET PUBLISHED BY EU COMMISSION: DR PAUL DOWNES

Dr Paul Downes, Associate Professor of Education (Psychology), Director of DCU’s Educational Disadvantage Centre, Institute of Education is co-author of a major review of early school leaving policies across 37 European countries just published by the European Commission, Assessment of the implementation of the 2011 Council Recommendation on Policies to Reduce Early School Leaving (Donlevy, Day, Andriescu & Downes 2019)

This formal review for the Commission operates against the background of Early School Leaving being one of the two headline EU2020 targets for all of education across the European Union. It examines the progress of all EU member states in reducing early school leaving, in developing national policies and strategies, and in implementing the concrete recommendations of the 2011 Council Recommendation on Early School Leaving in their national strategies over the past decade.

The study covers 37 countries, the EU 28, the 4 EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway) and the 5 EU candidate countries (Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey). As well as reviewing Early School Leaving national strategies and policies across all these countries, 10 of the 37 countries were selected for more detailed case studies, including Ireland.

The review extracted ‘heat maps’ of structural indicators identified as key for system development and reform for early school leaving prevention, intervention and compensation, building on the evidence-informed EU policy documents in this area since the 2011 Recommendation.

The review sets out a range of key policy recommendations for the EU Commission and National Governments on this issue. These recommendations will inform the post-ET2020 Education planning regarding headline targets in education, Erasmus + and European Social Fund (ESF) funding strands regarding early school leaving and social inclusion measures generally. The report also outlines recommendations for dialogue between the EU Commission and the international research community regarding early school leaving, including dialogue with universities with regard to initial teacher education on this issue.

TWO NEW BOOKS BY DR. PAUL DOWNES, PUBLISHED BY ROUTLEDGE

Reconstructing Agency in Developmental and Educational Psychology:  Inclusive Systems as Concentric Space, 1st Edition

reconstructing agency

Concentric Space as a Life Principle Beyond Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Ricoeur:  Inclusion of the Other, 1st Edition

concentric space

DR PAUL DOWNES ADDRESSES EU PRESIDENCY FORUM ON THE ROLE OF COMMUNITY LIFELONG LEARNING CENTRES IN SUPPORTING MARGINALISED STUDENTS

Paul Downes

The Romanian EU Presidency and Cedefop Policy forum: What role for community lifelong learning centres? The potential of one-stop shops for preventing youth at risk from disconnecting took place in Brussels, on May 29th, 2019.

Dr Paul Downes, Associate Professor of Education (Psychology) and Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre at DCU’s Institute of Education, gave an invited presentation Community Lifelong Learning Centres as a Gateway to Multidisciplinary Support Teams to set out the framework for the Forum’s dialogue.     The Forum contributors included: Michael Teutsch, Head of Unit for Schools, DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission; Dr Max Uebe, Head of Unit, Employment Strategy, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, European Commission; Johanna Koponen, Counsellor, Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union and Professor João Costa, The Secretary of State for Education, Portugal.   

The Romanian EU Presidency and Cedefop Policy Forum is a direct expansion on the Roundtable on this theme hosted by the Educational Disadvantage Centre, in the Institute of Education, DCU in September 2017, attended by the EU Commission and Cedefop (the EU Commission’s Centre for Vocational Education and Training). The Educational Disadvantage Centre has worked with the Lifelong Learning Platform for the official briefing paper that informs this EU Presidency Forum Implementing a Holistic Approach to Lifelong Learning: Community Lifelong Learning Centres as a Gateway to Multidisciplinary Support Teams http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/briefingpaper_cllc.pdf   

The Lifelong Learning Platform represents over 40 European-wide civil society networks in the field of education, composed of 50,000 institutions and associations involved in lifelong learning in Europe.  Welcoming this event, Dr Downes said:  “This EU Presidency Forum offers an exciting opportunity to combine the forces of two key supports - multidisciplinary teams in and around schools, and community lifelong learning centres - into a one-stop-shop for marginalised students.   It provides an important opportunity to see pioneering projects in this area – many of whom are local projects that we have worked directly with, such as those in Stockholm, Munich and Dublin. These are examples of the mediating role that the Educational Disadvantage Centre plays between local community and municipality contexts, and EU and national policy makers. It is to be strongly hoped that these integrated one-stop-shop gateway models will inform future EU policy documents and funding strands, such as the European Social Fund (ESF), contributing to the future postET2020 agenda for education in the EU. This model brings services closer to the community to engage so-called ‘harder to reach’ groups and recognises there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting people with complex needs.”    

Read the press release here

For further information about the Forum, visit

http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/events-and-projects/events/policy-forum-

what-role-community-lifelong-learning-centres/programme

http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/concept_note_.pdf

DCU IOE ROUNDTABLE LEADS TO BRUSSELS EU PRESIDENCY FORUM

Belvedere House

A high-level roundtable discussion on lifelong learning - spearheaded in 2017 by DCU’s Educational Disadvantage Centre in the Institute of Education - has proven to be the catalyst for a major EU policy forum on the topic being hosted in Brussels in May this year.

DCU Institute of Education’s Educational Disadvantage Centre organised and hosted a Roundtable on combining community lifelong learning centres and multidisciplinary teams led by the Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre, Dr. Paul Downes, in September 2017.

This Roundtable was attended by the EU Commission, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone TD; Cedefop (the European Union's European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training); Vice-President of the European Parents’ Association, Claudio Masotti; Tusla, Aontas, and Familibase Ballyfermot, and a range of other key stakeholders. Dean of the Institute of Education, Dr. Anne Looney, welcomed the participants.

Following on from that event, Cedefop is leading the organisation of an international policy forum in Brussels, What role for community lifelong learning centres? The potential of one-stop shops for preventing youth at risk from disconnecting, as part of the Romanian EU Presidency.

This event, which takes place on May 29, 2019, has been organised in conjunction with the Lifelong Learning Platform for Europe, representing over 40 European-wide civil society networks in the field of education, composed of 50,000 institutions and associations involved in lifelong learning in Europe.

A joint official briefing paper between the Lifelong Learning Platform for Europe and DCU’s IoE Educational Disadvantage Centre has been developed for the event, in dialogue with Cedefop, Implementing a Holistic Approach to Lifelong Learning: Community Lifelong Learning Centres as a Gateway to Multidisciplinary Support Teams.

Dr. Downes will be interviewed at the event, as well as giving an invited presentation on these issues. Participants in the EU event will also include representatives from the European Commission’s Directorate General, Education and Culture; Directorate General, Employment; and representatives from the Romanian and Finnish EU Presidencies.

REPORT PRESENTED TO FRENCH EDUCATION MINISTRY 

French principals with Paul Downes

In October 2018, the Educational Disadvantage Centre, Institute of Education, hosted and organised a visit from a group of French secondary school principals from Zone d’Éducation Prioritaire schools in areas of high poverty in Paris.  Their visit was to investigate aspects of a positive school climate in Irish DEIS schools and its role in early school leaving prevention. This followed on from Dr Paul Downes’ keynote presentation, Early school leaving: taking a holistic, differentiated and systemic international perspective on the issue, at the International Comparisons Conference on Early school leaving, jointly organized by the French National Council for Evaluation of the School System (CNESCO) and the International Centre for Pedagogical Studies (CIEP) Sorbonne Universities, Paris, 9-10 November 2017. In this presentation, Dr. Downes highlighted how school climate issues of a sense of belongingness were 50 percentage points below the OECD average for France in PISA, with regard to socio-economically marginalised students.    

The French principals’ report to the French Education Ministry on school climate learning from Irish contexts based on their visit can be accessed HERE

EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE CENTRE: MCVERRY TRUST FUNDED STUDY ON HOMELESSNESS 

The Educational Disadvantage Centre, Institute of Education, DCU has received funding from the McVerry Trust to undertake a study on young homeless men’s experience of education. The study will be undertaken by Sarah Murphy, Grainne McKenna and Dr. Paul Downes. 

The research will examine experiences of young homeless men aged 18-35 availing of emergency or temporary accommodation with the McVerry Trust. It will focus on their educational experiences and school supports with a view to making policy recommendations that will inform preventative strategies and existing supports for young men at risk of or experiencing homelessness in Ireland. Teachers, School Principals and Home School Liaison Teachers will also be interviewed. 

INTERAGENCY ACTION PLAN 2019-2021 FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN DUBLIN NORTH WEST INNER CITY 

In his role as Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the Area Based Childhood Programme in Dublin North West Inner City, funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Paul Downes, Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre, Institute of Education, DCU has helped lead the community consultation process that informed the new Interagency Sustainability Action Plan 2019-2021 for Children and Young People in the area. 

The Interagency Action Plan, devised after a year-long series of local community stakeholder consultation processes, was launched by Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohue in November 2018.  An implementation committee is being established to progress the Action Plan recommendations.  The Area Based Childhood Programme consortium for the Dublin North West Inner City consists of 32 local services, including community groups, schools, crèches and statutory services.  

Dr Downes spoke at the launch to emphasise the importance of key recommendations in the Action Plan such as local community one stop shop hubs, combining multidisciplinary teams and community lifelong learning centres, mental health services, domestic violence support services. These bridge health and education needs, through a community development vision.  He also emphasised the finding in the Action Plan regarding how local community services need new spaces and are under pressure from rising rents.  

Minister Donohue welcomed the Action Plan and committed to engage in further dialogue towards consideration of implementation of its findings. Ms Eadaoin Kelly, Principal, St. Mary’s DEIS Primary School, Dorset St. also spoke at the launch. Ms Kelly is a graduate of St. Patrick’s College, undertaking her elective minor specialism with the Educational Disadvantage Centre.

The Interagency Sustainability Action Plan 2019-2021 for Children and Young People can be accessed HERE

Paul Downes ABC Interagency plan   Paul Downes   Paul Downes

Claire O'Connell

Claire O'Connell is the successful recipient of the Educational Disadvantage Centre Research Fellowship on Prison Education funded by the Irish National Prison Service. The three year fellowship is in the area of prison literacy and prisoners' perceptions of education in prison.  Claire works as a teacher and guidance counsellor with the City of Dublin ETB Education Service to Prisons. She completed her BA in NUI Maynooth in 2000, and also studied for a Postgraduate Diploma in Adult and Community Education there in 2008. In 2013 she graduated with a Masters in Education from Trinity College Dublin, specialising in Educational Guidance and Counselling. The primary focus of her M. Ed research dissertation was the field of prison education, exploring the role of guidance counselling in facilitating the successful transition of prisoners back into the community upon release. As a first year PhD student with the Educational Disadvantage Centre in the DCU Institute of Education, she is currently carrying out research into literacy levels and participation in education programmes in prisons across Ireland. The literacy and language competencies of prisoners are being assessed as part of a study focussing on the educational needs of those held in custody commissioned by the Irish Prison Service.

PUBLICATION OF TWO NEW PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES FROM THE EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGE CENTRE

Hargadon, C. & Downes, P. (2019). The neglected issue of sleep: A curricular and home-based intervention for improving sleep patterns among sixth-class children in an Irish urban school with high levels of poverty. Irish Education Studies (forthcoming, accepted for publication)

Downes, P. (2019). Transition as a displacement from more fundamental system concerns: Distinguishing four different meanings of transition in education. Educational Philosophy and Theory. DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2018.1561366