Shivaun O'Brien

Dr

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Dr, Shivaun O'Brien is an Associate Professor in the DCU Institute of Education, School of Policy and Practice and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is Associate Dean for Professional Development and Partnerships and is Chairperson of the Institute of Education Professional Development and Partnerships Committee.  Dr. O'Brien lectures on a range of programmes including: the Doctor of Education and the B.Sc. in Science Education, B.Sc in PE and Biology,

She is Director of Research in the DCU Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI) and has expertise in the areas of quality assurance, school self-evaluation (SSE), school ethos evaluation, school improvement, student participation, data use in schools and teacher professional learning.   From 20 years experience in supporting and training teachers/ educators to engage in and lead self-evaluation, she had developed an evidence-based, highly successful model of professional learning for teachers in how to lead school self-evaluation and has applied this approach in over 140 schools. 

She has been commissioned by a number of school Patrons in Ireland to develop quality frameworks for specific to national networks of schools. In 2020 she completed the development of a national Ethos Quality Framework for Educate Together schools which has been adopted as policy for this network of schools, as outlined in an online event to mark this development. From 2020-2022 she developed an Ethos Quality Framework for the national network of Education and Training Board (ETBI) schools, including Community National Schools and post-primary schools. Currently,  she is leading the development of an Ethos Quality Framework for the network of Jesuit schools in Ireland. 

She is principal investigator in a number of research projects relating to her areas of expertise, as part of her work with the EQI including the following:

  • The development of an ethos quality framework for Education and Training Board Ireland;
  • A national survey of ethos in Education and Training Board schools;
  • The development of an ethos quality framework for the network of Jesuit schools in Ireland based on the Global Identifiers for Jesuit Schools;
  • Student participation as a key aspect of wellbeing in Educate Together primary and post-primary schools: John Coolahan Research Support Framework.
  • Survey of library provision in Irish post-primary schools.

In 2015, she established the DCU Partnership for Learning Programme, which involves the coordination and provision of a wide range of evidence-based, professional learning opportunities for teachers in DCU Cooperating Schools. This has subsequently been adopted as an Institute of Education flagship programme for IOE partner settings, including early childhood education, primary, post-primary and further education and training. 

Background
She was qualified as a post-primary teacher and worked in mainstream for a number of years. Having completed a Masters Degree in Adult Education and Community Development she worked in many aspects of adult and further education and specialised in work with disadvantaged youth. For 10 years she seconded to the Department of Education Further Education Section as National Coordinator of the Quality Framework Initiative, a quality assurance system for Centres of Education, which she established and coordinated. She worked for Louth and Meath Education and Training Board as Education Development Officer, for five years where she was part of the Senior Management Team, before taking up her position in DCU. 

Book

Year Publication
2017 Brown, M., McNamara,G., O'Hara, J., O'Brien, S., Poole, P,, and Burns, D. (2017) Evaluation of the PDST ePortfolio initiative: Integrating ePortfolios in Education. Dublin: EQI.

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2017 Faddar, J., Brown, M., O'Brien, S., McNamara, G., and O'Hara, J. (2017) 'De inbreng van externe partijen in schoolzelfevaluaties : de Republiek Ierland als casus' In: De rol van externen bij kwaliteitszorg : vreemde ogen doen spreken. Brussels : Politeia:UITGEVERIJ. [Link]
2017 Brown, M., McNamara,G., O Hara, J and O'Brien,S (2017) 'Inspectors and the Process of Self-Evaluation in Ireland' In: School inspectors: Operational challenges in National Policy Contexts. London : Springer. [DOI]
2016 Brown, M., McNamra,G., Hara, J. and O'Brien,S. (2016) 'Striking a balance? The continuing evolution of Inspection and school self-evaluation in Ireland' In: School inspectors: operational challenges in National Policy Contexts. London : Springer.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2021 O’Brien, S.;McNamara, G.;O’Hara, J.;Brown, M.;Skerritt, C. (2021) 'Students as co-researchers in a school self-evaluation process'. Improving Schools, . [Link] [DOI]
2021 McNamara, G.;Brown, M.;Gardezi, S.;O’Hara, J.;O’Brien, S.;Skerritt, C. (2021) 'Embedding Self-Evaluation in School Routines'. SAGE Open, 11 . [Link] [DOI]
2021 Brown, M;McNamara, G;Cinkir, S;Fadar, J;Figueiredo, M;Vanhoof, J;O'Hara, J;Skerritt, C;O'Brien, S;Kurum, G;Ramalho, H;Rocha, J (2021) 'Exploring parent and student engagement in school self-evaluation in four European countries'. European Educational Research Journal, 20 (2). [DOI]
2021 Skerritt, C., O'Hara,J., Brown, M., McNamara,G. and O'Brien,S. (2021) 'Enacting school self-evaluation: the policy actors in Irish schools'. INTERNATIONAL STUDIES IN SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION (PRINT), . [Link] https://doi.org/10.1080/09620214.2021.1886594
2021 McNamara, G.;Skerritt, C.;O’Hara, J.;O’Brien, S.;Brown, M. (2021) 'For improvement, accountability, or the economy? Reflecting on the purpose(s) of school self-evaluation in Ireland'. Journal Of Educational Administration And History, 54 . [Link] [DOI]
2020 O’Brien, S., McNamara, G., O’Hara, J. & Brown, M. (2020) 'Learning by doing: evaluating the key features of a professional development intervention for teachers in data-use, as part of whole school self-evaluation process'. Professional Development in Education, . [Link] [DOI]
2020 Brown M.;McNamara G.;O’Brien S.;Skerritt C.;O’Hara J. (2020) 'Policy and practice: including parents and students in school self-evaluation'. Irish Educational Studies, . [DOI]
2019 O'Brien, S.;McNamara, G.;O'Hara, J.;Brown, M. (2019) 'Irish teachers, starting on a journey of data use for school self-evaluation'. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 60 . [Link] [DOI]
2019 Brown, M., McNamara, G., O’Brien, S., Skerritt, C., O’Hara, J., Faddar, J.,  Cinqir, S., Vanhoof, J., Figueiredo, M., Kurum, G.  (2019) 'Parent and student voice in evaluation and planning in schools'. Improving Schools, . https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1365480219895167
2018 Poole P.;Brown M.;McNamara G.;O'Hara J.;O'Brien S.;Burns D. (2018) 'Challenges and supports towards the integration of ePortfolios in education. Lessons to be learned from Ireland'. Heliyon, 4 (11). [DOI]
2018 Brown M.;McNamara G.;Ohara J.;O'Brien S.;Faddar J. (2018) 'Integrated co-professional evaluation? Converging approaches to school evaluation across frontiers'. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43 (12):76-90.
2017 O'Brien, S., McNamara, G., O Hara, J., and Brown, M. (2017) 'External specialist support for school self-evaluation: Testing a model of support in Irish post-primary schools'. EVALUATION: INT. JOURNAL OF THEORY, RESEARCH & PRACTICE, 23 (1):61-79. [DOI]
2017 O'Brien, S., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J., & Brown, M. (2017) 'External specialist support for school self- evaluation: Testing a model of support in Irish post-primary schools'. EVALUATION: INT. JOURNAL OF THEORY, RESEARCH & PRACTICE, 23 (1):61-79.
2016 Brown, M., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J. and O'Brien, S. (2016) 'Exploring the changing face of school inspections'. EURASIAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, .
2015 O’Brien S.;McNamara G.;O’Hara J. (2015) 'Supporting the consistent implementation of self-evaluation in Irish post-primary schools'. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 27 (4):377-393. [DOI]
2014 O'Brien S.;McNamara G.;O'Hara J. (2014) 'Critical facilitators: External supports for self-evaluation and improvement in schools'. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 43 :169-177. [DOI]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2020 Faddar, J., Vanhoof, J., Brown, M., Figueiredo, M., Cinkir, S., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J., O'Brien, S. (2020) International Conference for School Improvement and Effectiveness conference 2020 From Mere Consultation to Meaningful Participation? Morocco, 06/01/2020-.
2019 O’Brien, S; Brown, M; O’Hara, J; McNamara, G; Skerritt, C (2019) European Educational Research Association - Education in an Era of Risk – the Role of Educational Research for the Future A Pragmatic Model Of Professional Development: Training Teachers To Lead Whole School Self-evaluation University of Hamburg, 02/09/2019-06/09/2019.
2019 Skerritt, C; Brown, M; McNamara, G; O’Hara, J; O’Brien, S; Kurum, G (2019) European Educational Research Association - Education in an Era of Risk – the Role of Educational Research for the Future Stakeholder Voice And Quality In Education University of Hamburg, 02/09/2019-06/09/2019.
2019 O'Brien, S., Brown, M., McNamara, G. and O'Hara, J. (2019) ESAI Conference 2019 - Education in Times of Change, Choice and Challenge Post-primary students as co-researchers in School Self- Evaluation St. Angela’s College, Sligo, 11/04/2019-13/04/2019.
2019 O'Hara, J., O'Brien, S., Brown, M., McNamara, G. and Skeritt, C. (2019) ESAI Conference 2019 - Education in Times of Change, Choice and Challenge A pragmatic model of professional development for school self-evaluation St. Angela’s College, Sligo, 11/04/2019-13/04/2019.
2019 O'Brien, Shivaun. (2019) IPDA Ireland, Re-imagining professional learning in the Irish Context: A space for critical conversations around professional development and learning How best can we plan PD interventions in order to maximise the chance that learning would be applied? Dublin, .
2019 Ní Áingléis, B., Donlon, E., O’Brien, S., Conroy Johnson, M., & Tillmanns, T. (2019) ESAI19: Education in Times of Change, Choice and Challenge The design of an online communication learning and communication platform for placement settings: An exploratory case study Sligo, Ireland, 11/04/2019-13/04/2019.
2019 McNamara, G., Brown, M.,O’Hara, J., O’Brien, S., and Skerritt, C. (2019) ESAI Conference 2019 - Education in Times of Change, Choice and Challenge From policy to advocacy to reality – Exploring the benefits and challenges of parent and student voice in School Evaluation. Cases from Europe St. Angela’s College, Sligo, 11/04/2019-13/04/2019.
2019 Faddar, J; Vanhoof, J; Brown, M; Figueiredo, M; Cinkir, S; O’Brien, S; (2019) European Educational Research Association - Education in an Era of Risk – the Role of Educational Research for the Future Stakeholder Voice in School Self-Evaluation. From mere consultation towards active participation? University of Hamburg, 02/09/2019-06/09/2019.
2018 Brown, M., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J., Shevlin, P., and O'Brien, S. (2018) International Professional Development Association, Annual Conference From orthodoxy to reality - investigating the conditions necessary for professional learning networks - lessons from Northern Ireland Birmingham, England, 16/11/2018-17/11/2018.
2018 O'Brien, S., McNamara, G. Brown, M. and O' Hara, J. (2018) International Professional Development Association, Annual Conference A pragmatic model of professional development for school self - evaluation Birmingham, England, 16/11/2018-17/11/2018.
2018 O'Brien, S., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J., and Brown, M. (2018) Education Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI): Values and Purpose in Education A pragmatic model of continuing professional development for school self-evaluation Dublin:Ireland, 05/04/2018-07/04/2018.
2018 Brown, M., O'Hara, J., McNamara, G., O'Brien, S., Farrell, R. and Burns, D. (2018) International Conference on Mobile Technologies in Education Testing a model of CPD for the introduction of ePortfolios in Irish Education NUI Galway, 19/01/2018-20/01/2018.
2017 Brown, M.,Farrell, R., O'Hara, J.,McNamara, G., Gallagher, S. and O'Brien, S. (2017) Educational Studies Association of Ireland Ongoing Assessment Using eportfolios: lessons to be learned from a 2 year study of eportfolio integration in Irish secondary schools Cork, 20/04/2017-22/04/2017.
2017 O'Brien, S., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J. and Brown, M. (2017) The European Conference on Educational Research: Reforming Education and the Imperative of Constant Change: Ambivalent roles of policy and the role of educational research Learning by doing: A model of continuing professional development for data-use in school self-evaluation Copenhagen, 21/08/2017-25/08/2017.
2017 O'Brien S, McNamara, G. O'Hara, J and Brown,M (2017) Students as Co-Researchers in an SSE process Seminar for Principals and Deputy Principals from Le Chéile, Loreto, Jesuit and Spiritan schools Broomfield House, Mullingar, 10/11/2017-.
2017 Brown, M., McNamara, G., O’Hara, J., Burns, D., Kurum, G. and O'Brien, S. (2017) The European Conference on Educational Research: Reforming Education and the Imperative of Constant Change: Ambivalent roles of policy and the role of educational research: Reforming Education and th Evaluating the significance of Culturally-responsive Distributed Leadership in a Disadvantaged Rural Primary School in the Republic of Ireland. An ethnographic Case Study Copenhagen, 21/08/2017-25/08/2017.
2017 O Brien,S., McNamara,G., O Hara,J. and Brown,M. (2017) Educational Studies Association of Ireland Learning by doing: A model of continuing professional development for data-use in school self evaluation University College Cork, 20/04/2017-22/04/2017.
2017 Brown,M, McNamara,G.,O Hara,J. and O Brien,S. (2017) Educational Studies Association of Ireland Towards Ireland’s action plan for 2016-2017. Deconstructing local education clusters in a monoculture system. Empirical evidence from Ireland University College Cork, 20/04/2017-22/04/2017.
2016 Brown, M., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J., Poole, P. and O'Brien, S. (2016) The Next Generation: Digital Learning Research Symposium Factors affecting the introduction of digital portfolios in Irish education Dublin, .
2016 O'Brien, S., O'Hara,J., McNamara,G., and Brown,M. (2016) 12th Biennial Conference of the European Evaluation Society Building Capacity for School Self-Evaluation 12th Biennial Conference of the European Evaluation Society, Maastricht, Netherlands , 26-SEP-16 - 30-SEP-16, .
2014 Brown, M., O'Brien, S., McNamara, G. & O'Hara, J. (2014) 11th Biennial Conference of the European Evaluation Society Tracing the changing face of school self-evaluation in Ireland Dublin, 01/06/2014-03/06/2014.
2014 O'Hara, J., McNamara, G., O'Brien, S. & Brown, M. (2014) The Rise of School Development in Relation to Accountability and Evaluation Systems The Rise of Self-Evaluation in Ireland University of Bielefeld, Germany, 11/11/2014-13/11/2014.

Published Report

Year Publication
2017 Brown, M., McNamara, G., O’Hara, J. O'Brien, S. and Skerritt, C. (2017) Evaluation and Distributed Evaluation and Planning Strategies (DEAPS) in Irish Schools (Working Paper No.1). EQI, . [Link]

Multimedia

Year Publication
2018 Brown, M., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J., and O'Brien, S. (2018) On line Course - Looking at Looking at Our School: A Quality Framework for Post Pirmary Schools- PDST Technology in Education. ONMM
2017 Brown, M., McNamara, G., O'Hara, J. and O'Brien, S (2017) On line Course -Looking at Looking at Our School - PDST Technology in Education. ONMM

Thesis

Year Publication
2011 O'Brien. S. (2011) The Development and Implementation of a Quality Framework for Youthreach and STTCs. THES
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2022) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Association Function From / To
European Evaluation Society Member -
Educational Studies Association Ireland Member -
Teaching Council of Ireland Registered Teacher -
Irish Evaluation Network Member -
European Educational Research Association Member -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/01/2020 Awarded Senior Fellowship by Higher Education Academy Higher Education Academy

Committees

Committee Function From / To
Institution of Education Faculty Board 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2023
DCU Academic Council 01/09/2021 - 31/08/2023
Professional Development and Partnerships Faculty Committee 01/11/2021 - 01/08/2024
Centre for Evaluation Quality and Inspection 01/08/2014 -
Placement and Related Partnerships Faculty Committee 01/09/2015 - 01/08/2020
B.Sc Science Education / PE Maths / Biology Management Group 01/09/2014 - 01/05/2021
Professional Master of Education Standing Committee 01/09/2014 - 01/05/2021

Reviews

Journal Role
EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION (now EMAL) Reviewer
Irish Educational Studies Reviewer
Improving Schools Reviewer

Enterprise Engagement

Year Engagement Type Client Description
2021 Consultancy The Development of an Ethos Quality Framework for Educate Together Engaged to develop an ethos quality framework for the national network of Educate Together Schools
2022 Consultancy National Survey of Ethos in ETBI Schools Engaged to undertake a national survey of all ETBI primary and post-primary schools to explore the ETBI ethos in schools.
2023 Consultancy The Development of an Ethos Quality Framework for ETBI Schools Engaged by Education and Training Board Ireland (ETBI) to develop an Ethos Quality Framework for the national network of ETBI primary and post-primary schools.
2022 Consultancy Training in Leading School-Self-Evaluation for Education and Training Board Schools Engaged to deliver training to staff in 20 Education and Training Board Schools on leading school self-evaluation
2020 Consultancy Training in Leading School-Self-Evaluation for Educate Together Schools Delivery of training in School Self-Evaluation (SSE) to 20 staff leading SSE in Educate Together schools.

Outreach Activities

Year Engagement Type Organisation Description
Presentations/Talks to an external audience Irish post-primary schools Coordinator of Partnership for Learning Programme This is a programme of professional development offered to all post-primary schools that host DCU students on school placement. The purpose if the programme is to promote relationships between DCU and the network of schools that support DCU students. On a voluntary basis, an annual programme of courses is developed by Dr. O'Brien and circulated to schools at the start of September each year. Eighteen courses of varying duration, are offered to schools, The courses are offered over 50 evenings and are free of charge to participants. Certification is provided to all teachers who attend, which indicates number of sessions attended. On an annual basis, over 500 teachers attend various courses, all of which are provided in the DCU Institute of Education.
2022 Community-based learning Mainstream schools across Ireland Established in 2014 the DCU Partnership for Learning programme of professional development for DCU co-operating schools. Annually, provide free, certified professional development for approximately 500 teachers.

Media

Title Year Type Authors
Students as Co-researchers in school improvement processes 2021 Podcast Dominique Russell

Research Interests

Self-Evaluation, Evaluation, Capacity Building, School Improvement, Education Policy, Accountability, Inspection, Facilitation of Improvement Processes.

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date
Survey of Ethos and Core Values in ETB Schools DCU PI 01/09/2020 31/12/2023
Quality Framework for ETBI Schools DCU PI 01/09/2020 31/12/2023
Developing a Quality Framework for the self-evaluation of ethos in Educate Together schools DCU PI 15/04/2019 30/06/2020
Students as Co-Researchers in a school self-evaluation process PI 02/03/2018 15/09/2018
Distributed Evaluation and Planning in Schools (DEAPS) Researcher 01/09/2017 01/09/2020
Evaluation of the PDST Transition Year e-portfolio project Researcher 10/04/2017 05/02/2018
Leading transformation through a research-informed approach to the development of an innovative online learning and communication space for the continuum of placement settings and the DCU Institute of Education Researcher 01/03/2017 30/03/2018
Data use in Irish post-primary schools PI 01/05/1917 01/03/2018
External Specialist Support in school self-evaluation Researcher 03/12/1915 01/09/1916
Supporting consistent implementation of SSE in Irish post-primary schools PI 02/03/1914 01/10/2015
External Evaluation of the Physics Busking Initiative PI 01/05/2018 11/01/2019

Modules Coordinated

Term Title Subject
2021 School Placement and Reflection ES338
2021 School Placement ES478
2022 Extended Research Project ES590
2021 Microteaching and School Placement ES228
2022 Advanced School Placement ES539
2022 School Placement ES538