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EQI: Centre for Evaluation, Quality & Inspection

2016 - Publications

Peer Reviewed Journals

Exploring the changing face of school inspections


Brown, M., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J. and O'Brien, S. (2016) Egitim Arastirmalari - Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, :1-26.  DOI 

urasian Journal of Educational Research

Background: A number of countries have had school inspection for many years. The origins of these systems date back to the nineteenth century when mass public schooling was introduced, and education and other emerging public services were required to comply with centrally mandated rules and programmes. In contrast, many countries across the world have only introduced school inspection over recent decades as the perceived importance of educational quality as a driver of economic competitiveness has become influential in state policy. International bodies such as the OECD and, in particular, comparative evaluations of education systems such as PISA have led to a constant stream of interventions and reforms designed to deliver higher student performance outcomes. These factors have driven the growth of inspection. Purpose of Study:

The purpose of this study is to provide an analysis of the factors that have led to the rapid rise of inspection as a school governance mechanism. It goes on to examine how developing conceptualisations of the ways in which inspection can be employed to achieve the range of outcomes with which it is tasked are leading to an evolving toolkit of inspection approaches and models. A number of these are examined in detail with a view not only to description but in terms of whether some of the demands that they place on schools are, in fact, realistic in practice.

Quality and the rise of value-added in education: The case of Ireland

Brown, M., McNamara,G. and O Hara, J (2016) 'Quality and the rise of value-added in education: The case of Ireland'.    Policy Futures in Education, 14 (6):810-829.  DOI 

This paper examines the rise of value-added as a measure of quality in education. As a point of departure, the paper begins with an analysis of the rise of the concept of quality in education and discusses how, at times, various contradictory determinants of quality have managed to influence the evaluation and assessment frameworks of most countries. Leading on from this, the second part of the paper provides a discussion on the use of value-added as a determinant of quality in education. Finally, the study concludes with a discussion on the challenges relating to the introduction of value-added into the Irish education system, a development which will, arguably, become a contentious educational reform initiative within the future landscape of Irish education.

Changing school board governance in primary education through school inspections


Ehren,MCM., Honingh, ME., Hooge, EH and O Hara , J. (2016) EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION (now EMAL), DOI 10.1177/1741143214549969 (44):205-223 

ducational Management Administration & Leadership

This paper addresses if, and to what extent, the current working methods of the Dutch Inspectorate of Education affect the governance of school boards in schools for primary education. A key facet of the working method is the inspection meeting with the school board. Drawing upon a large quantitative study (n = 244) we are able to identify some changes in school board governance due to these inspection meetings. School boards that had an inspection meeting indicate changes in their governance of quality assurance and data use, and in the amount of data that they collect on the functioning of their schools. School boards indicate very small amounts of activities with regard to the curriculum and instruction in their schools.

The degree to which students and teachers are involved in second-level school processes and participation in decision-making: an Irish Case Study


Harrison, K., Taysum, A., McNamara, G. and O'Hara, J (2016). Irish Educational Studies[DOI] [Details]

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The Education Act (1998Education Act. 1998. Dublin: Government Publications. ) is a key policy document in Irish education, emphasising the rights, roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, including parents, teachers and pupils in schools. Since 1998 the Department of Education and Skills (DES) has stressed the need to introduce an increased role for teachers and pupils in decision-making. It is therefore timely to explore the response of teachers and students to such a collaborative school environment in a rural second-level school of approximately 600 students.

Transition year (TY) students (ages about 15–16) and their teachers were surveyed by questionnaire and interviewed. It finds that while the school is proactive in involving students and teachers in decision-making, a source of social, personal and professional empowerment, experienced teachers, and students in particular, want a more substantial voice. For example, most students want more say. They want class discussions or a vote, not just Student Council (SC) representation, on important and not just trivial issues. They want involvement before decisions are taken, with more feedback. Overall, participation is considered important by all stakeholders.

I never heard the word methodology’: personal accounts of teacher training in Ireland 1943–1980'

Walsh B. (2016) '‘I never heard the word methodology’: personal accounts of teacher training in Ireland 1943–1980'. History of Education, :1-18 [DOI][Details]

istory of Education

This article examines the experiences of 27 retired secondary school teachers (respondents) who completed initial teacher education (ITE) courses between 1943 and 1980. The eldest respondent completed ITE in 1943 and the youngest in 1980. The timespan 1943–1980 is not purposeful but dependent on the cohort that volunteered to take part in the study. Twenty-one of the cohort completed ITE prior to 1970 and four between 1970 and 1979, while only two did so in the 1980s. Consequently, much of the data and discussion relates to the period between the mid-1940s and late 1970s – one not characterised by pedagogic innovation in ITE, or education generally, in Ireland as successive governments struggled with economic challenges, the most prescient of which are discussed later in this study.

All universities offering post-primary ITE in Ireland during this period were attended by at least one of the cohort and collectively they taught in 17 of Ireland’s 26 counties, while one respondent taught for a time in Northern Ireland. The majority of the cohort (63%) taught in rural towns, 28% in urban towns or cities while 9% taught in rural locations. The diversity of school-type is noted, as is the year in which the respondent began teaching. The respondents’ experiences of ITE demonstrate negligible differences depending on geographical location. Twenty were female and seven male. The age range was 96 (Sr. Boniface) to 65 (Mike). All of the respondents were accorded anonymity. Based on oral testimony the study suggests that ITE offerings in this period were conservative and consensualist in nature, that the social changes that characterised Irish society in the 1960s failed to impact upon teacher education programmes but that, according to respondents, the last decade has seen significant changes in ITE and in the dispositions of those entering secondary school teaching.

Books

Essays in the History of Irish Education. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Walsh, B. (2016) Essays in the History of Irish Education. United Kingdom: Palgrave. [Details]   

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The book Essays in the History of Irish Education  provides a complete overview of the development of education in Ireland including the complex issue of how religion can coexist with education and how a national identity can be aided through Irish language teaching. It also offers a comprehensive exploration of the development, issues, challenges and future of education in Ireland within the context of historical studies. 

The book, which is edited by Dr.Brendan Walsh of EQI,  includes two chapters by Dr. Walsh the first on Teachers’ Experience of School: First-hand Accounts, 1943–1965 as well as a chapter on '‘Injurious to the best interests of education’? Teaching and learning under the Intermediate Education System 1878-1922' 

There is also a chapter by EQI’s Dr. Martin Brown, Prof Gerry McNamara and Prof Joe O’Hara on Teacher Accountability in Education: The Irish Experiment.

Full details on the book can be found at http://www.palgrave.com/br/book/9781137514813

Book Chapters

Striking a balance? The continuing evolution of inspection and school self-evaluation in Ireland

Brown, M., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J. and O'Brien, S. (2016) 'Striking a balance? The continuing evolution of inspection and school self-evaluation in Ireland' In: Jaqueline Baxter (eds). School inspectors: operational challenges in national policy contexts. London: Springer

Book Cover School Inspectors

This book examines the role of the school inspector within the inspection process, offering valuable insights into the politics of inspection policy implementation

  • Provides a valuable contribution to our understanding of the ways in which inspectors influence the execution of inspection policy
  • Explores several accountability regimes throughout OECD member states and how these regimes play out operationally within different cultural and policy contexts
  • Examines the role of international standards such as PISA and their impact on the changing role of inspection in OECD member states 

http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319525358#aboutBook

Teacher Accountability in Education - The Irish Experiment

Brown,M., O Hara,J. and McNamara,G. (2016) 'Teacher Accountability in Education - The Irish Experiment' In: Essays in the History of Irish Education. London: Palgrave Macmillan. [DOI] [Details]

Walsh, B. (2016) Teachers’ Experience of School: First-hand Accounts, 1943–1965 In: Essays in the History of Irish Education. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Macintosh HD:Users:joeohara:Desktop:Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 22.55.58.png

The book Essays in the History of Irish Education  provides a complete overview of the development of education in Ireland including the complex issue of how religion can coexist with education and how a national identity can be aided through Irish language teaching. It also offers a comprehensive exploration of the development, issues, challenges and future of education in Ireland within the context of historical studies. 

The book, which is edited by Dr.Brendan Walsh of EQI,  includes two chapters by Dr. Walsh the first on Teachers’ Experience of School: First-hand Accounts, 1943–1965 as well as a chapter on '‘Injurious to the best interests of education’? Teaching and learning under the Intermediate Education System 1878-1922' 

There is also a chapter by EQI’s Dr. Martin Brown, Prof Gerry McNamara and Prof Joe O’Hara on Teacher Accountability in Education: The Irish Experiment.

Full details on the book can be found at http://www.palgrave.com/br/book/9781137514813

Effects and side effects of European inspection systems / Wirkungen und Nebenwirkungen europäischer Inspektionssysteme

Altrichter, H., Kemethofer, D., Ehren, M., Gustafsson, J.-E., Skedsmo, G.; Huber, S.G., Conyngham, G., McNamara, G., & O’Hara, J (2016) 'Effects and side effects of European inspection systems / Wirkungen und Nebenwirkungen europäischer Inspektionssysteme' In: Schulinspektion als Steuerungsimpuls? Ergebnisse aus Forschungsprojekten. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.[DOI] [Details]

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In many European education systems, school inspections are seen as an important method for maintaining and improving school quality. However, little has so far been known about the ways and mechanisms on which school inspections can lead to effects on school development. In this chapter, a school impact assessment model obtained from an analysis of inspection concepts from six European countries (the Netherlands, England, Ireland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Austria / Styria) is examined with the data of a schoolmaster survey in the six participating countries. In order to meet the difference between the inspection models of different countries, four central characteristics of inspection models are analyzed in terms of their impact on school development and on adverse reactions following school inspections.

This text summarizes some of the key findings of the Impact of School Inspection on Learning and Learning (ISI-TL) project, funded by the European Union within the Lifelong Learning Program (511490-2010-LLP-NL-KA1-KA1SCR). He uses arguments and data, which were published in two English-language articles, u.zw. In Ehren et al. (2015) as well as in Gustafsson et al. (2015).

Details of the book are here http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-658-10872-4_9

Conference Publications


O Hara, Joe (2016) A never ending story? ‘Reconceptualising Initial Teacher Education in Ireland’. [Keynote Address], Education in Ireland, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg Virginia , 17-NOV-16 - 17-NOV-16

O Hara, J and McNamara, G (2016) A Blueprint for a New Vision of Culturally Responsive Schools in Ireland. CREA Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, USA , 11-JUN-16 - 11-JUN-16 2016   

Brown,M., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J, Poole, P. and O'Brien, S. (2016) Factors affecting the introduction of digital portfolios in Irish education. [Invited Oral Presentation], The Next Generation:Digital Learning Research symposium 2016, Dublin City University , 01-NOV-16 - 01-NOV-16

O'Brien, S., O'Hara,J., McNamara,G., and Brown,M. (2016) Building Capacity for School Self-Evaluation.12th Biennial Conference of the European Evaluation Society, Maastricht, Netherlands , 26-SEP-16 - 30-SEP-16

O'Hara, J., McNamara, G., and Brown, M., (2016) Notes on a Small Island: De-Constructing School Evaluation in Ireland. [Invited Oral Presentation], 12th Biennial Conference of the European Evaluation Society, Maastricht, Netherlands , 26-SEP-16 - 30-SEP-16 [Details]

Brown,M., O Hara,J.,McNamara,G. and O'Brien, S. (2016) Striking a Balance? The Continuing Evolution of Inspection and School Self-Evaluation in Ireland. Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers - European Conference for Educational Research, UCD, Dublin , 24-AUG-16 - 26-AUG-16

McNamara,G.,O'Brien,S., Brown, M and O’Hara, J. (2016) External Specialist Support for School Self-evaluation: Testing a Model of Support in Irish Post-Primary Schools. Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers -European Conference on Educational Research, UCD, Dublin , 24-AUG-16 - 26-AUG-16

Burns, D., McNamara,G., and O'Hara,J. (2016) An investigation of the intellectual skill in the assessment of selected subjects in the Leaving Certificate in Ireland. Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers - European Conference for Educational Research, UCD, Dublin , 24-AUG-16 - 26-AUG-16

Brown,M.,McNamara,G.,O Hara,J.,O'Rourke, C., Shevlin, P. and Ehren,M. (2016) Co-existence revisited: towards a framework for Polycentric Evaluation in Education. Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers - European Conference for Educational Research, UCD, Dublin , 24-AUG-16 - 26-AUG-16

Brown,M., O Hara,J. and McNamara,G. (2016) High stakes accountability in Education. Lessons to be learned from Ireland ’ s first decades of post - colonial educational Independence (1922 – 1971).Educational Studies Association of Ireland, NUIG, Galway , 11-JUN-16 - 11-JUN-16

Burns, D., O Hara, J. and McNamara,.G (2016) An investigation of the intellectual skill in the final written assessment of 23 subjects in the Leaving Certificate 2005 - 2010. [Invited Oral Presentation], Educational Studies Association of Ireland, NUIG, Galway [Details]

Brown,M., O Hara,J. and McNamara,G. (2016) High stakes accountability in Education. Lessons to be learned from Ireland ’ s first decades of post - colonial educational Independence (1922 – 1971). Educational Studies Association of Ireland, NUIG, Galway , 31-March-16 - 02-April-16

Brown, M. (2016) Using Mobile Technologies for Assessment of, for and as Learning http://www.gratek.ie/mite2016/MiTE2016_Booklet.pdf. [Invited Oral Presentation], 2nd International Conference on Mobile Technologies in Education, NUI, Galway , 15-JAN-16 - 16-JAN-16

Brown,M.,O'Hara, J. and McNamara,G., (2016) A mixed methods analysis of a mixed methods system. School inspections in a polycentric context. International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement, Glasgow , 06-JAN-16 - 09-JAN-16

Ehren,M., Janssens.,F, Brown, M., McNamara,G. O'Hara,J. and Simeonova,R. (2016) Changing roles and methods of inspections; theoretical framework. International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement, Glasgow , 06-JAN-16 - 09-JAN-16

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