Lorraine Harbison


Contact Details

T:Ext. 9144


Associate Professor in Mathematics Education

Dr Lorraine Harbison is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of Mathematics Education in the School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies at the Institute of Education, Dublin City University. She teaches in the areas of primary school mathematics education at undergraduate and postgraduate level and supervises MEd and PhD students. Lorraine holds an honors B.Ed. degree and a Higher Certificate in Froebel Education. She obtained her Doctorate in Education from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where she focused on mathematical understanding in the lower primary years. She also holds a Facilitator Badge in Universal Design for Teaching and Learning from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Lorraine has extensive knowledge of the Irish school system. As well as being an experienced primary school teacher in mainstream and special education contexts, she has worked as an Education Officer in the areas of early childhood, primary curriculum and assessment with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. 
Lorraine is currently involved in a number of collaborative local, national and international research projects. These include looking at mathematics curriculum design to support teacher efficacy and mathematics subject leadership; examining the factors that contribute to the successful transition in mathematics education for pupils moving from primary to post-primary school; a cross-border study supporting preservice teachers to integrate technology into their mathematics teaching so as to enhance learning; and an international study on embedding literature in mathematics teaching and learning.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2022 Twohill, A.;NicMhuirí, S.;Harbison, L.;Karakolidis, A. (2022) 'Primary Preservice Teachers’ Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Beliefs: the Role Played by Mathematics Attainment, Educational Level, Preparedness to Teach, and Gender'. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, . [Link] [DOI]
2021 Cantley, I., O'Meara, N., Prendergast, M., Harbison, L., & O'Hara, C. (2021) 'Framework for analysing continuity in students’ learning experiences during primary to secondary transition in mathematics'. Irish Educational Studies, 40 (1):37-49. https://doi.org/10.1080/03323315.2020.1779108
2020 O'Meara, N., Prendergast, M., Cantley, I., Harbison, L. & O'Hara, C. (2020) 'Teachers' self-perceptions of mathematical knowledge for teaching at the transition between primary and post-primary school'. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 50 (4):497-519. [DOI]
2019 Prendergast, M., O'Meara, N., O'Hara, C., Harbison, L. & Cantley, I. (2019) 'Bridging the primary to secondary school mathematics divide: Teachers' perspectives'. Issues in Educational Research, 29 (1):243-260. [Link]
2019 Prendergast, M., Harbison, L., Miller, S., & Trakulphadetkrai, N. (2019) 'Pre-service and in-service teachers’ perceptions on the integration of children’s literature in mathematics teaching and learning in Ireland'. Irish Educational Studies, 38 (2):157-175. [Link] https://doi.org/10.1080/03323315.2018.1484302

Other Journal

Year Publication
2016 Prendergast, M., O’Meara, N., Harbison, L. & O’Hara, C. (2016) 'A difficult crossing: The transition from primary to secondary school mathematics' :339-343. [Link]
2015 Harbison, L. (2015) 'Illustrating mathematics' (154) :46-47.
2014 Jackson, J. & Harbison, L. (2014) 'An evaluation of the utility of homework in Irish primary school classrooms' 2 (1) :47-62. [Link]
2014 Harbison, L. (2014) 'Teacher-designed maths tasks & tests' (143) :46-47.
2013 Harbison, L. (2013) 'Towards formal calculations' (139) :52-53.
2012 Lorraine Harbison (2012) 'Keeping Numbers on Track' (131) :62-63.

Conference Publication

Year Publication
2021 Harbison, L., Cantley, I., Prendergast, M., O'Meara, N., & O'Hara, C. (2021) Proceedings of the Eighth Conference on Research in Mathematics Education in Ireland (MEI 8) . In: M. Kingston & P. Grimes eds. Access to and engagement with mathematics across the transition from primary to post-primary school: Teacher knowledge and perceptions https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5750809
2021 Harbison, L., Kingston, M., & Miller, S. (2021) Teachers' use of mathematical picturebooks to engage children in the upper primary years in mathematics . In: Kingston, M., & Grimes, P eds. Eighth Conference on Research in Mathematics Education in Ireland (MEI 8) Dublin City University, 15/10/2021- 16/10/2021 [Link] https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5636433
2019 Harbison, L. & Twohill, A. (2019) MEI 7: Mathematical Literacy, throughout and beyond education Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Research in Mathematics Education in Ireland Institute of Education, Dublin City University, 11/10/2019- 12/10/2019 [Link]
2019 NicMhuirí, S., Twohill, A., & Harbison, L. (2019) MEI 7 . In: L. Harbison & A. Twohill eds. Investigating mathematics teacher efficacy beliefs in primary initial teacher education Dublin City University, 11/10/2019- 12/10/2019 [Link] [DOI]
2019 Prendergast, M., Trakulphadetkrai, N., Harbison, L. & Miller, S. (2019) AERA Annual Meeting 2019 Irish teachers' perceptions on the integration of children's literature in mathematics teaching and learning Toronto, Canada, 05/04/2019- 09/04/2019 [Link]
2018 Twohill, A., NicMhuirí, S., & Harbison, L. (2018) Psychology of Mathematics Education Investigation the mathematics teaching efficacy beliefs of student teachers UMEA Sweden,
2018 Harbison, L; Twohill, A., & NicMhuirí, S. (2018) 42nd Annual ATEE Conference . In: Marija Sablic, Alma Skugor, & Ivana Durdevic Babic eds. Associations of students self-reported efficacy beliefs towards mathematics education on completion of their first year in initial teacher education Dubrovnik, Croatia, 23/10/2017- 25/10/2017 [Link]
2017 Prendergast, M. O’Meara, N. O’Hara, C. Harbison, L. & Cantley, I. (2017) 14th International Conference of The Mathematics Education for the Future Project Mathematics Education for the Next Decade: Heuristics and Challenges of Pólya and Lakatos Teachers’ Perspectives on the Transition from Primary to Secondary School Mathematics
2017 Niamh O’Meara, Mark Prendergast, Lorraine Harbison and Clare O’Hara (2017) CERME 10 . In: Dooley, T. & Gueudet, G eds. Is teacher knowledge affecting students’ transition from primary to second-level mathematics education? Dublin, Ireland: DCU Institute of Education and ERME,
2017 Caitríona Wynne & Lorraine Harbison (2017) CERME 10 . In: Dooley, T. & Gueudet, G eds. The Application of the Universal Design for Learning Framework to Task Design in Order to Support Lower Attaining Children in the Primary School Mathematics Classroom Dublin, Ireland: DCU Institute of Education and ERME, [Link]
2015 Harbison, L. & Harbison, J. (2015) Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics . In: Adams. G eds. How good at mathematics do students need to be on entry to primary school initial teacher education? [Link]
2009 Lorraine Harbison (2009) 3rd Mathematics Education in Ireland conference . In: Dolores Corcoran, Thérèse Dooley, Sean Close, Ronan Ward  eds. The Use of Mathematics Textbooks to Promote Understanding in the Lower Primary Years Dublin, [Link]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2020 Harbison, L., OReilly, M., & Grimes, P. (2020) Educational Studies Association of Ireland Working with pre-service primary teachers to open up opportunities for peer leadership in mathematics Institute of Education, Dublin City University, .
2019 Harbison, L., Prendergast, M., Cantley, I., O'Meara, N. & O'Hara, C. (2019) Educational Studies Association of Ireland Teacher efficacy beliefs at the horizon between primary and secondary school mathematics education Sligo, 11/04/2019-13/04/2019.
2018 NicMhuirí, S., Harbison, L., & Twohill, A. (2018) ECER 2018 Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research? Design and redesign: Investigating mathematics teacher efficacy in primary initial teacher education Bolzano, 03/09/2018-06/09/2018.
2017 Miller, S., Harbison, L. Prendergast, M. & Trakulphadetkrai, N. (2017) Consortium of National & University Libraries Responding to teacher's perceptions of barriers to integration of children's literature in mathematics teaching TCD, 16/11/2017-16/11/2017.
2017 Cantley, I., O’Meara, N., Prendergast, M., Harbison, L., & O’Hara, C. (2017) British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics A cross-national comparative study of teachers’ views on the transition from primary to post-primary mathematics education Liverpool Hope University, 11/11/2017-11/11/2017.
2017 Lorraine Harbison, Aisling Twohill & Siún NicMhuiri (2017) ATEE Mathematics Education: The Design Challenge of Programme Change in Primary Initial Teacher Education Dubrovnik, .
2017 Lorraine Harbison & Shauna Magill (2017) ATEE A universal design for learning approach to frame the use of technology in primary mathematics education Dubrovnik, .
2017 O'Meara, N., Prendergast, M., Harbison, L. & O'Hara, C. (2017) ISATT Teacher Knowledge & Practices – The Key to Educationally Effective Transition from Primary to Second Level Mathematics Education Spain, .
2017 Mark Prendergast; Niamh O’Meara; Clare O’Hara; Lorraine Harbison; and Ian Cantley (2017) ESAI Strengthening the Bridge between Primary and Secondary Mathematics Education Cork, 20/04/2017-23/04/2017.
2017 Caitríona Wynne & Lorraine Harbison (2017) CERME The Application of the Universal Design for Learning Framework to Task Design in Order to Support Lower Attaining Children in the Primary School Mathematics Classroom Dublin, 01/02/2017-05/02/2017.
2017 N. O’Meara, M. Prendergast, L. Harbison & C. O’Hara (2017) CERME Is Teacher Knowledge Affecting Students’ Transition from Primary to Second Level Mathematics Education? Dublin, 01/02/2017-05/02/2017.
2016 Prendergast, M., O’Meara, N., O’Hara, C. & Harbison, L (2016) British Educational Research Association Conference Addressing the Transition from Primary to Secondary Mathematics Education in Ireland Leeds, 13/09/2016-15/09/2016.
2016 Harbison, L., Brennan, M., Roche, P. & Sellers, D. (2016) ECER The use of Skype as an Internet Collaborative Tool in Initial Teacher Education Dublin, 22/08/2016-26/08/2016.
2016 Harbison, L. & Harbison, J. (2016) ICME Mathematics Results at School Completion and Basic Competency of Initial Teacher Education Students Hamburg, 24/07/2016-31/07/2016.
2016 Harbison, L., Duncan, I., McAndrew, D., & O’Brien, S. (2016) Science and Mathematics Education Conference Student teachers’ experience of reflective practice in the mathematics classroom Dublin, 16/06/2016-17/06/2016.
2016 Lorraine Harbison (2016) NALA Supporting mathematical understanding and using informal methods to solve calculations Dublin, 01/06/2016-01/06/2016.
2016 Harbison, L., Brennan, M., McGill, S., Wynne, C. & Warren, K. (2016) ESAI Promoting Equality of Access and Participation in the Mathematics Classroom Galway, 31/03/2016-02/04/2016.
2016 Harbison, L; Brennan, M; McGill, S; Warren, K. & Wynne, C. (2016) ESAI “Cherishing all the children of the nation equally.” Universal Design for Learning in the Primary School Mathematics Classroom Galway, 31/03/2016-02/04/2016.
2015 Halpin, A. Harbison, L. Jackson, J. Waugh, R. Ross, S. (2015) ESAI Research as Resilience in the Transition from Initial Teacher Education to Working in School Cultures: Examples from an existing programme Kildare, 09/04/2015-11/04/2015.
2015 Lorraine Harbison & Audrey Halpin (2015) British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics – Mathematics Education Ireland Enhancing and Enriching the Primary School Child’s Experience of Learning Mathematics DCU, .
2014 Lorraine Harbison & Audrey Halpin (2014) NCCA Conference. “Early Mathematics is Surprisingly Important and Cognitively Fundamental.” Workshop entitled Early Number Concepts: Enabling all Children’s Mathematical Learning and Development in the Lower Primary Years Dublin Castle, .
2007 Forster, A., Fitzpatrick, S., Harbison, L., Naughton, P., & O'Neill, H. (2007) 17th European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Annual Conference Sharing Assessment Information with Parents using Report Card Templates Prague, Czech Republic, .

Published Report

Year Publication
2019 Lorraine Harbison & Shauna McGill (2019) Universal Design for Learning as a Context for Embedding Technology in Primary School Mathematics. SCoTENS, .
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2022) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Association Function From / To
Teaching Council Registered teacher -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/10/2019 John Coolahan Award SCoTENS


Committee Function From / To
Association for Teacher Education in Europe -
NCCA Mathematics Development Group Primary Mathematics Development Groups which is engaged in reviewing the 1999 Primary School Mathematics Curriculum. -
MEI 8 -
MEI 7 - 12/10/2019
SMEC 2018 01/05/2018 - 31/08/2018
National Student Training and Engagement Programme (NStEP) The project, entitled the 'National Student Training Engagement Programme' (N-STEP) is a collaborative initiative under development by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). Formally launched in April 2016 with 5 initial Institution participants, the program will continue its work to develop student capabilities and institutional capacity in order to enhance engagement at all levels across the higher education system. It aims to support institutions in developing processes and activities which support/facilitate the meaningful engagement of students and a National Network for Student Engagement currently being developed and will be launched in November 2017. Additional information may be found at either of the following URL’s; http://usi.ie/nstep/ | http://www.qqi.ie/Articles/Pages/NSTEP.aspx DCU joins 22 other National Institutions to participate in the second phase of the pilot program for the academic year 2017/18. The process, which is informed by the work of Sparqs (Students PARtnerships in Quality Scotland), has two primary objectives; · to develop and support the implementation of a student training program; · to build institutional capacity to provide high quality opportunities for learners to engage. The aim is to; · develop student capabilities to engage in quality assurance and quality enhancement with higher education institutions; · support institutions in facilitating meaningful engagement with students; · strengthen the value of student engagement; · develop and implement tools and resources to build effective engagement practice; and · systematically improve student engagement across all higher education institutions. 01/01/2018 - 31/08/2018
CERME 10 01/01/2017 - 05/02/2017
SMEC 01/06/2016 - 30/06/2016


Employer Position From / To
Glencullen NS Resource and Learning Support Teacher of Mathematics 01/09/2010 - 30/06/2011
Hibernia College Tutor and Author of Mathematics Methodologies 01/01/2009 -
NCCA Education Officer Early Childhood and Primary Curriculum and Assessment 01/06/2006 - 31/12/2009


Start date Institution Qualification Subject
University of Newcastle upon Tyne Ed.D


Journal Role
Irish Educational Studies Reviewer
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education Reviewer

Other Activities

Maths Enrichment Club awarded a Teaching and Learning grant through DCU Incorporation. The objectives are to: • Promote inquiry and project based learning • Build competence and confidence in the creative teaching of mathematics • Develop an appreciation of and enjoyment in the pursuit of mathematics • Support communication of rich mathematical experiences • Encourage students to be active leaders of mathematics Other group members: Thérèse Dooley Paul Grimes Maurice O’Reilly Aisling Twohill

Enterprise Engagement

Year Engagement Type Client Description
2019 Continuous Professional Development/Training NCCA The development of an integrated 2 x two-hour workshop on playful approaches in numeracy and literacy to be used as part of a follow on summer course for Aistear tutors. The PowerPoint included: short notes for the presenter to correspond with each slide learning outcomes for the workshop opportunities for discussion and reflection on current practice in line with the School Self Evaluation process active learning opportunities for participants An accompanying research digest containing key research points that support the workshop (including a reference list) was also provided.
2018 Invited talk/presentation Irish Mathematics Teachers Association Transition for primary to secondary mathematics
2017 Invited talk/presentation The Teaching Council Webinar on the transition from primary to post primary mathematics as viewed by teachers.
2017 Invited talk/presentation Erasmus Presentation on mathematics in the infant classroom in Ireland to a group of practitioners from Iceland.
2016 Continuous Professional Development/Training INTO Playing with Numbers. Early Mathematical Activities in the Infant Classroom. CPD workshop given as part of INTO Learning. Dublin: St. Louise De Marillac Primary School.
2015 Continuous Professional Development/Training INTO Teaching and Learning Early Number Concepts in Playful Ways. CPD workshop given as part of INTO Learning. “Implementing a Play Based Curriculum.” Dublin: Knocklyon JNS.

Outreach Activities

Year Engagement Type Organisation Description
I organise Maths Week activities each year and have also hosted a number of events for primary schools.


Title Year Type Authors
Dr Lorraine Harbison is working out how to make maths education count 2017 Newspaper article (online) Lorraine Harbison
Author Kjartan Poskitt visits St. Pats campus 2017 Newspaper article (online) Niall O'Donoghue

Research Interests

Primary school mathematics knowledge and pedagogy.
TPACK: Embedding technology into the teaching and learning of mathematics.
Supporting student teacher efficacy.
Authentic assessment practices.
UDL: Supporting inclusive teaching and learning practices.

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date
Proof-of-Concept Explore Programme PI 09/05/2022 31/10/2022
NLDLNS Steering Group Research in relation to Literacy (to include Digital Literacy) and Numeracy as part of the development of a successor strategy to the National Strategy Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life 2011 - 2020 & Interim Review of the Strategy and New Targets (2017 – 2020) 16/06/2021 30/06/2022
Projects in Rich Mathematical Exploration DCU PI 01/09/2020 31/05/2021
Maths4All Team Member 01/01/2020 31/12/2020
Mathematics Teaching Practices Toolkit Team member 07/01/2019 20/12/2019
InCLINE: Integrating children's literature into numeracy education Principal investigator 01/09/2018 31/12/2019
Learning to teach mathematics: exploring the connections between ITE, efficacy beliefs, and early school placement experiences. Principal Investigator 06/04/2018 31/08/2018
Mathematics Education: The Design Challenge of Programme Change in Primary Initial Teacher Education Principal Investigator 01/06/2017 31/05/2018
Lesson planning incorporating technology to support inclusion in the primary school mathematics classroom: A Cross Border Study Connecting Initial Teacher Education Students Principal Investigator 01/01/2017 28/02/2018
Mind The Gap: A Cross Border Study Addressing the Transition from Primary to Post Primary Mathematics Education Co-investigator 28/03/2016 28/03/2017
Mind the Gap: Addressing the Transition from Primary to Secondary Mathematics Education Co-investigator 01/12/2015 30/09/2016

Current Postgraduate Students

Student Name Degree Supervision
Behan ,John PhD Supervisor

Internal Collaborators

Type Name Company Role
Internal PRiME Institute of Education, DCU Academic

External Collaborators

Type Name Company Role
External Maths through Stories University of Reading Academic

Teaching Interests

I lecture in all areas of mathematics for primary school teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am particularly interested in developing preservice teachers self-efficacy with relation to their pedagogical and content knowledge.   

Modules Coordinated

Term Title Subject
2022 PMEP1 Mathematics Education ED8090
2022 Subject Leadership in Mathematics Education SG410
2022 BEd3 Mathematics Education ED3052