Educational Disadvantage Centre header
Educational Disadvantage Centre

Minor Specialisms

Minor Specialisms

The Educational Disadvantage Centre offers three minor specialisms to 3rd year BEd students, all related to the area of social inclusion and equality in education.


Course director / facilitator: Dr. Paul Downes (Director, EDC)
Many student teachers prefer to teach in DEIS schools as it is here where they can channel their energy into making the most difference in children's lives. A key need is for culturally competent, relational teachers who can understand and relate to children, and their families, from diverse backgrounds. Student teachers need to be prepared for the practical realities of adopting a relational approach to engaging with pupils' educational and holistic needs. An ability to relate to people from the local community is also an important asset and it is hoped that through experience of meeting and communicating with local people from Ballyfermot, and working in Ballyfermot, students' confidence and competence in working in DEIS schools will increase.


Course director / facilitator: Dr Seán Mc Donnell (Archways)
The prevalence of Social, Emotional and Behavioural difficulty in young children within low income and demographically disadvantaged areas has been estimated to be as high as 28% which is more than twice that found within the general population (Kelly, 1998). Yet currently there is no school based social competency strategy or behavioural management approaches universally applied within our school system and this despite the fact that there has been an escalation reported by teachers in the frequency with which aggressive behaviours are appearing in our classrooms. This elective programme will provide teachers with concrete and practical strategies to address the needs of those children experiencing Social, Emotional and Behavioural difficulties. The course will examine specific techniques to increase school readiness, address behavioural and emotional maladjustment, and intellectual and developmental deficits. The course will also review and analyse current practices in relationship to integration and classroom strategies for newly arrived populations.

long dragon

178 pupils from Ballyfermot primary schools St. Louise's, Mary Queen of Angels and St. Ultan's were brought into the college over two Thursdays in May 2014 to experience for themselves what a 3rd level college is like. They visited the Student's Union office, the art room, the library, gym, auditorium, canteen and E201 accompanied by their teachers and the 3rd year elective students who participated on Paul Downes' Relating to People from Communities with High Levels of Education Disadvantage elective. Many of the children displayed throughout the college the art work they had completed over the year with their Pat's student teachers.


Course facilitators: Aine Lynch CEO and other specialist staff from the  National Parents Council Primary 

This module focuses on the benefits that working in partnership with parents has on improved outcomes for children in their education and learning.  It highlights the importance of parental engagement in children’s literacy and numeracy learning.  It affords the participants opportunities to reflect on their own values and beliefs around parental involvement, to explore the current research and the practical application of same.  In a participatory way, this elective will provide student teachers with opportunities to further develop their knowledge and tools regarding assessing and evaluating their own practice when working with parents within the classroom and the whole school approach.  It will also provide concrete, practical strategies and key communication skills which will support them in their work in involving parents in the education of their children.