Higher Education Research Centre

Dr Yurgos Politis

Biography

 

Yurgos completed a 4-year Physics degree at the University of Athens and qualified as a Physics teacher. He then undertook a Masters in Education and a PhD in Physics Education in University College Dublin. He has taught at both second and third level and has been a teaching and research assistant and/or postdoctoral researcher in the Schools of Physics and Education in UCD, NUI Galway, UCC and IT Tralee.

 

He was recently (2011-2012) a Postdoctoral Researcher for the Irish component of a major European research project The Academic Profession in Europe: Responses to Societal Change (EUROAC). This Collaborative Research Project (CRP) aims to establish how the academic profession in various European countries perceives, interprets and interacts with changes in the socio-economic environment and in the organisational fabric of HE systems: How do academics view major developments around and within HE as potentially relevant for them, and how do they interpret and eventually shape their professional roles under these given circumstances? He was also a Research Correspondent for Ireland on the European Commission MORE2 project (May 2012 – August 2012). This research project aims to collect information on the working conditions, remuneration packages and career perspectives of researchers at European HEIs and RPOs (Research Performing Organizations).

He has extensive research experience:

  • PhD thesis: Investigation of the factors contributing towards the low take-up of physics for the Leaving Certificate. The situation of physics in Ireland is compared to that of other countries that are experiencing similar trends in physics such as the UK, the US and Australia.
  • MA in Education thesis: An investigation into the factors affecting physics graduates' choice of profession with particular reference to the teaching profession.
  • BSc thesis: Secondary school students' misconceptions concerning electrical charge, carried out by qualitative (interviews with small groups) and quantitative research methods (questionnaires).
  • Research Assistant, Global Citizenship and Diversity Literacies Project, Schools of Education/Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway. December 2010– March 2011This is an international research project involving colleagues from universities in Ireland, UK, US, and Australia, and explores the perceptions and experiences of students with respect to citizenship and world-mindedness. It uses the 'Citizenship and World-Mindedness' survey with undergraduate and postgraduate student teachers, practising teachers undertaking a Master's degree, and undergraduates from a range of other disciplines. My duties include entering and analyzing data using SPSS.
  • Post Doctoral Researcher, Academic Profession in Europe: Responses to Societal Change Project, School of Education, UCD. 22nd February 2011 – 31st May 2012: This Collaborative Research Project (CRP) aims to establish how the Academic Profession in various European countries perceives, interprets and interacts with changes in the socio-economic environment and in the organisational fabric of HE systems: How do academics view major developments around and within HE as potentially relevant for them, and how do they interpret and eventually shape their professional roles under these given circumstances?
  • Research Assistant, Development Education Project, School of Education, UCD.  May 2011-presently: This study hopes to get the views of experienced educators across the spectrum of subject areas on the issue of Development Education, its place in the school curriculum and on the PDE course.
  • Research Correspondent for Ireland on the European Commission MORE2 project, School of Education, UCD. 22nd May 2012 – presently: It aims to collect information on the working conditions, remuneration packages and career perspectives of researchers at European HEIs and RPOs (Research Performing Organisations). Data were collected by both primary and secondary source of information.

 

He has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies using questionnaires with small and large scale samples as well as interviews. He has expertise in using SPSS and STATA and has statistical experience in producing descriptive and regression analysis. He has presented his work at several conferences and has published book chapters, journal articles and reports.

 

Publications:

  • Clarke M., Drennan J., Hyde  A. and  Politis Y. (forthcoming). Academics’ perceptions of their professional contexts. In T. Fumasoli, G. Goastellec & B. Kehm (Eds). Academic Careers in Europe: Trends, Challenges, Perspectives. Dortrecht: Springer.
  • Politis, Y. (forthcoming). Physics: an outcast of secondary school subjects . Irish Educational Studies.
  • Drennan J., Clarke M., Hyde  A. and  Politis Y. (2013). The Research Function of the Academic Profession in Europe. In U.  Teichler & E. A. Höhle (Eds). Work Situation, Views and Activities of the Aca­demic Professions: Findings of a Survey in Twelve European Countries. Dortrecht: Springer.
  • Politis Y. (2012). The National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT): ATECI commissioned report 2010-12.
  • Politis, G., Killeavy, M. and Mitchell, P. (2007), Factors influencing the take-up of physics within second-level education in Ireland -the teachers’ perspective. Irish Educational Studies, 26(1), 39-55  (A summary was published in the Physical Sciences Magazine in September 2008, Page 9; It is the magazine for Irish Physics & Chemistry Teachers).
  • Politis, G., Killeavy, M. and Mitchell, P. (2005), Factors contributing to the decline in take-up of physics at second level in Ireland, British Education Index, Education-line.

 

Conferences/Papers:

  • Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), September 2012, Cadiz. Title: “Predictors of Research Productivity Among Academics in Ireland”.
  • Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), September 2012, Cadiz. Title: “Development Education and Active Learning Approaches in Irish Second-level Schools: Initial Teacher Education Experts’ Perspectives”.
  • Paper presented at the Consortium for Higher Education Research (CHER) conference, September 2012, Belgrade. Title: “The management function of academics in Higher Education Institutions in Ireland: attitudes and autonomy”.
  • Paper presented at the World Conference of Physics Education (WCPE), July 2012, Istanbul. Title: “Physics Education in Decline: an international perspective and the Irish context”.
  • I attended the conference titled: “Changing Conditions and Changing Approaches of Academic Work”. Berlin, June 4th-6th 2012.
  • Poster presented at the Science and Mathematics Education Conference (SMEC), September 2008, Dublin. Title: “Factors influencing the take-up of physics within second level education in Ireland - the students’ perspective”.
  • I attended the Irish Science Teachers’ Association (ISTA) conference in Letterkenny, April 2008.
  • Paper presented at the Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI) conference, March 2006, Dublin. Title: “The decline in take-up of physics at second level: a comparative study of the situation in Ireland and England/Wales”.
  • Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), September 2005, Dublin. Title: “Factors contributing to the decline in take-up of physics at second level in Ireland”.

 

Seminars/Workshops:

  • “Social Network Analysis workshop (Part 2)” (Kassel, June 2012). Practical application of the technique in a Higher Education context. ESF funded workshop.
  • “Comparative and Collaborative research in Higher Education” (Helsinki, January 2012). A theoretical framework and small group discussions. ESF funded workshop.
  • “Social Network Analysis workshop (Part 1)” (Reykjavik, June 2011). Theoretical background and some basic practical training of SNA. ESF funded workshop.
  • “Extending your Outreach Workshop” (IoP, 2011). The course is designed for participants who have done a fair amount of outreach and public engagement work already. It is aimed at those who would like to understand more about targeting audiences, evaluation techniques, applying for funds and planning and developing public engagement projects.
  • “Chartership workshop” (IoP, 2011). The workshop will cover: The benefits of getting chartered; the two designations (CPhys and CEng) offered by the Institute and the differences between them; the requirements and application process and how to make an effective application. Dublin
  • “Making Budgeting work in the Real World” (IoP, 2010). Looking at some advice from some business sages and getting their views on how budgets work in practice; Looking at how budgeting should work and how it actually works; Exploring the link to planning and how much time is actually invested in the budgeting process in practice.
  • “Safety training” seminars (NUI Galway; 2006, 2007 and 2008).
  • “1st Aid” seminar (UCD, 2005).
  • “Training Demonstrators” (UCD, 2004). It was a two part, 3-hour each seminars, which involved useful information on how to prepare and deliver a successful demonstrating session in a laboratory.
  • “Seminar presentations” (UCD, 2004). It dealt with the principles of effective presentation and the role and function of the presenter/speaker.
  • “Developing a Professional teaching portfolio” (UCD, 2004). It introduced the concept of a teaching portfolio, which was followed by an outline of how to design and develop a reflective portfolio as well as how to structure it.

 

He has engaged in outreach activities that promote Physics to students and the general public. He was actively involved at  ‘Open Days’ in Schools of Physics at UCD and NUI Galway, showing to the 4th and 5th year second level pupils how physics can be fun and exciting. That was followed by work on ‘Lab on the Lorry’, where the goal was the same, but the target audience was 11 to 14-year old pupils. He also had been involved in reviving the science society in UCD, which is the second oldest society in this university. Moreover, he was a volunteer Maths teacher at the National Greek Institute for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing in Athens, Greece.

 

He was a member of a team of early career researchers that applied for and secured funding from ESF to host a conference in Dublin in April 2013, entitled “Higher Education and Society: Implications and effects”. The colloquium aimed at emphasizing the linkages between the theoretical, methodological and empirical issues under discussion and present specific examples from the EuroHESC CRPs (Collaborative Research Projects). He is a member of the executive committee of ECHER (Early Career Higher Education Researchers' network) and a member of the Institute of Physics.