Recently Completed CREA Research Projects
Culturally Responsive Peer Assessment
With greater freedom of demographic movement, Ireland has evolved to include many immigrant groups of varying ethnicities. Educationalists in turn are having to adapt their teaching and learning methodologies to accommodate cultural differences. As a consequence, traditional summative assessment is being forced to make way for a more culturally responsive form of assessment which can better serve the new Irish student population. In meeting the challenge of cultural responsiveness, peer- and self-assessment, which place the learner at the centre of the assessment process, are shown to be more sustainable forms of assessment. Applied to a wide range of classes of students comprising different combinations of cultures, from elementary to higher education, peer- and self-assessment demonstrate durability, stability and flexibility. They are shown to be empowering, democratic and inclusive in nature, congruent with the demands of cultural competence, sensitivity and responsiveness. These methodologies can serve as summative and formative assessment tools, bringing additional benefits including self-reliance, critical thinking, reasoned judgement and improved interpersonal relationships. Life-enabling competences, these skills are difficult to teach and are not yet assessed, but are critical to today’s multicultural society.
Fighting Words Evaluation
This research seeks to evaluate the pedagogical effectiveness of the Fighting Words model. Fighting Words is a creative writing centre established by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love in Dublin, Ireland, and is inspired by the project 826 Valencia in San Francisco. Fighting Words helps students of all ages to develop their writing skills and to explore their love of writing. It provides story-telling workshops for primary school groups, creative writing workshops for secondary students, particularly from disadvantaged areas, summer camps for kids and teens and seminars, workshops and tutoring for adults. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the model, the voices of stakeholders are investigated through interviews, questionnaires and focus groups. Such data forms the basis for examining the lived experience of the stakeholders and the benefits they derive from engaging in the interaction devised in this model.
Development and facilitation of courses in Ethical and Inclusive Education for Ethical Education and the Voice of Third Country National Children - embedding interculturalism in rapidly developing areas through Educate Together Schools
The School of Education Studies, in conjunction with the Centre for Human Rights and Citizenship Education (CHRCE), Coláiste Phádraig, has developed and facilitated training in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in ethical and inclusive education on behalf of Educate Together. All strands of the CPD, implemented in Educate Together primary and second-level schools are embedded in principles of: respect, equality, justice and dignity. This is in accordance with the Blueprint for Educate Together Schools and CREA.
In collaboration with Educate Together, CREA, DCU, is carrying out an evaluation in a north Dublin secondary school with the aim of evaluating the school's systems, structures, policies and practices which are currently being put in place by the school leadership to establish an intercultural modus operandi of the school. As this will be the first Educate Together secondary school evaluation it will form the basis for further second-level culturally sensitive evaluations. These projects are co-financed by the European Commission under the (European Refugee Fund or European Integration Fund) and are supported by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration in the Department of Justice and Equality, and Pobal.
Educate Together’s first secondary school recently completed its first school year. The move from traditional education to Educate Together’s democratic philosophy has been reported by DCU’s Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI) in an Ethos Evaluation of the north Dublin school’s progress. EQI’s experience in culturally responsive and sensitive evaluation ensured the pillars of Educate Together’s philosophy were adhered to, respecting Ireland’s new multicultural demographic profile. The principles of democracy and social justice provided the foundation for the evaluation. The full Ethos Evaluation Report has been submitted to Educate Together.
Living Healthy Through Generations
In conjunction with our European partners, CREA is working to build bridges between generations. For this reason it is collaborating on research into Healthy Living Across the Generations, which involves teachers, students, parents and grandparents from various cultures across Europe working together to design Healthy Lifestyle and Active Living programmes which will help to tackle the growing culture of obesity in Ireland and internationally.
The Living Healthy programmes are intended to provide families with knowledge and practical competencies in the field of dietetics, healthy nutrition and an active lifestyle. The research extends the concept of interculturalism to include all generations, with the aim of to creating a more cohesive and supporting community both at a local and European level. View the LIGHT.GEN booklet.
The project is funded under the Lifelong Learning Programme: Grundtvig Learning Partnerships
Teacher Education Programme: Addressing Cultural Responsiveness in Education and Training
CREA, Dublin City University, has developed a generic educational model to help provide a standardised framework for delivering and evaluating culturally sensitive education and training, including assessment. It sets a base standard which helps inform teaching practice and educational policy, which is a much needed Irish teaching guide because of the rapid pace of growth in the growing diversity of heritages. The approach will support teachers and educationalists in their roles, not only as educational providers, but also in their capacity to empower their community through the children they serve and teach and who are entrusted to their care. It helps to ensure an ethos of equality, access and inclusion, the level playing field which enables every person, regardless of background, culture, ethnicity or creed, to thrive and to reach their full potential.
This project is supported by: DCU Quality Promotion Office Quality Improvement & Development Funding; and DCU Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Research Conference Travel Scheme.