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Research Conference 2014 Journal Vol IV - Clare & Limerick Education Centres

Research Conference 2014 Journal Vol IV - Clare & Limerick Education Centres by Kevin Haugh

Research Conference 2014 Journal Vol IV - Clare & Limerick Education Centres

Edited by: Dr. Kevin Haugh Ph.D



This is the Journal from the 2014 Clare and Limerick Education Centres Fourth Education Research Conference.

The conference once again accorded an opportunity for the philosophy of reflective teaching to be accorded vocabulary and centre-stage in what is normal and ordinary in everyday school life. Mr. Pat Hanrahan, Director of Clare Education Centre and Dr. Joe O’Connell, PhD. Director of Limerick Education Centre are to be complimented together with the Management Committees of the respective centres for giving occasion to the target audience for an analysis and critique of the reflective process. Equally, the annual conference gives an occasion to institute innovation in education thus ensuring that the language of "reflection" is central to the debate in Continued Professional Development (CPD) and in the process giving it transformative power and making it possible to initiate fundamental change through expression and sharing of innovative and motivating ideas.

Reflective practitioners acknowledge that the school and classroom are unique by virtue of their own qualities, meanings and challenges. Consequently reflective teachers develop their practice through their own action research, which is performed in the actual context in which their teaching takes place. This ferment of practice and research is informed by knowledge of theories of education gleaned by reflective practice in which teachers retain a critical perspective on these issues, their meaning, authenticity and applicability within their own classroom, with a unique set of interests and relationships. In this way educational theory is reconceptualised and placed in the service of the teacher who is struggling constantly to understand or come to terms with the unique conditions of his/her particular experiential context.

Reflective practice causes a teacher’s work to be subjected to a spiralling process of hypothesising, investigation, reasoning, testing and evaluation which leads to modification and further investigation in which a critical perspective is achieved not in private but in public. The public setting of such interrogations and the dialogue that surrounds them is essential to the notion of rationality upon which the distinctive character of reflective teaching depends.

The reflective teacher commits himself/herself to the public context of investigation as s/he commits his/her work to systematic examination within critical communities of enquirers. Consequently, reflective practice is concerned with improving and sharing models of best practice for the greater good in education with particular emphasis on enriching the learning in schools for pupils, parents, teachers, special needs assistants and everyone in the school community.

It is an axiom in education research that reflective teaching involves a willingness to engage in constant appraisal and development, which implies flexibility, rigorous analysis and social awareness. This process opposes routine, which is guided by tradition, habit and authority as well as institutional definitions and expectations, which sometimes hinder innovation. It focuses on a commitment to personal autonomy and its rational components of honesty and sincerity; emancipatory concerns, liberal and democratic politics, an idea of genuine knowledge as essentially purposeful rather than inert; a transcendental justification.

Reflective teaching is centrally concerned with emancipation through enlightenment, by securing improvement in rigour of thought and methodology, in the clarity and accuracy of accounts and in ethics; the justice of a particular situation is intimately linked with the accuracy of representation of its rationality. Emancipation is an important imperative in reflective teaching because self-critical reflection is essential to bring about improvements in practices and in persons. The process of reflection is constantly under threat from the distorting influences of ideological forces and institutional imperatives. Consequently it is crucial to the integrity of the process that it goes beyond merely informed judgement to enable systematically distorted practices to be identified and analysed to ensure that they are eliminated through social and education action.

The concept of autonomy is inextricably bound up with the concept of reflective teaching and its fundamental constituents of rationality, emancipation and democracy. Autonomy is essential to reflection as both a logical and a material condition, since it is possible for an individual who is free and able to think rationally and to act responsibly in accordance with the consequences of the rule of reason.


Table of Contents & Contributors:

  • Implementing a Maths Intervention: Some insights into the complexities of teacher learning - by Dr. Noreen O’Loughlin, Mary Immaculate College, LimerickLooking from the inside out: Exploring Students’ Perspectives on the Irish Language - by Ruth Morrissey-Casey B.A., H.Dip., M.Ed., PhD Candidate at the University of Limerick
  • Exploring the potential of narrative technology to augment ensemble pedagogical approaches to enhancing secondary school students’ engagement with literature - by Eilis Flanagan, B.A. M.A. Postgrad. Dip. in Ed.
  • Improv-Eyes – An analysis of the impact of using improvisation exercises with primary school students for improved listening, concentration and creativity - by Tracy Aspel BCl hDipBS – The Creative Institute
  • Back by Popular Demand; The Influence of Popular Fiction on Language Acquisition and Comprehension - by Muireann O Sullivan B.Ed, M.Phil, PhD Candidate TCD
  • The Constitutional Right to Primary School Education through the prism of O’Donoghue and Sinnott - by Patrick O’Sullivan BCL, LLM, Ph.D Candidate NUIG, Legal Researcher GRCTC Cork
  • The Legal Duty of Care owed to Children in Schools - by Dr. Ella O’Sullivan BCL, LLM, PhD
  • Children’s Rights in the Classroom: issues, challenges and opportunities - by Marie Parker-Jenkins, Professor of Education, Co-Director: Research Centre for Education & Professional Practice, University of Limerick, Ireland
  • An Drámaíocht agus an Ghaeilge Labhartha (Cead cainte agus an chumarsáid ó bhéal) - le Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir, NUI Galway

  • Measúnú Athshamhlaithe na Gaeilge sa Bhunscoil: Mionanailís ar Chleachtaí agus ar Dhearcthaí Measúnaithe na Gaeilge - le Lisa Nic Dhoinnléibhe B.Ed, MA
  • Classroom based interventions for post-primary students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: best practices and current trends in research - by Andrea Lynch MA, Doctoral Student, National University of Ireland Galway

  • The Sexualisation of Childhood - by Kenneth Breen, Bachelor of Education Student (undergraduate MIC)
  • The Diversity of Belief in Primary Schools - by Sinéad Boyle, Bachelor of Education Student (undergraduate MIC)

  • Supporting Children through Bereavement - by Christina O’Keeffe, Bachelor of Education and Psychology
  • Factors influencing the inclusion of Pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Mainstream Primary Schools - by Dr. Michelle Dunleavy

  • School Self-Evaluation: Reform that is real or ideal? - by Rachel Lenihan, M.A., H.D.E.
  • The Role of Direct Teaching in the Development of Sophisticated and Flexible Mental Calculation Strategies - by Yvonne Crosse, MA

  • The role of School Psychological Climate and Self-Efficacy in Teacher Motivation - by Bríd Kennedy Reg Psychol Ps.S.I.
  • A Policy Analysis of Teacher Appraisal in Irish Primary Schools - by Elizabeth Breen B. Ed., M. Ed., PGD Management in Education, PGD School Planning


    Aistear in a Junior Infant Classroom - Putting Theory into Practice - by Sarah Keane B.Ed, M.Ed.
  • An investigation of pupils and teachers at the point of transition from primary to post primary school: Issues in the teaching and learning of science - by Sarah Jane Blackwell


    The Impact of Play on Children’s Social Development in Junior and Senior Infants - by Linda Davern PhD Research Candidate, University of Limerick
  • An Exploration of Perceptions of Receptive Language Disorders as A Barrier To Learning For The Primary School Child - by Julie Marie O’ Sullivan B.ED MATL.


    Capturing the Educational Realities, Lived Experiences and Perspectives of Student Teachers using Photovoice - by Professor Marie McLoughlin NUI Maynooth
  • Student Peer-Mentoring: an Analysis of the Symbolic use of Gestures and Speech Acts - by Dr. Timothy Murphy

    ‘Talk the talk, Walk the walk’ - Are primary school teachers ready to welcome Voice Recognition Software for their SEN pupils into the classroom? - by John A. Phayer, B.Sc, M.A. in Education (Research), Post-grad U.L. – Specialist Diploma in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship

[Editor:  Dr. Kevin Haugh]

[ISBN: 9781906926373]

[Pages: c. 200+]


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