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- PublicationChildren's School Lives: Preschool to Primary School TransitionThis report is focused on the transition from preschool to primary school. School transitions are one of six core thematic areas that CSL focuses on . The transition into primary school is a significant event not only in the lives of the children, but also their family. It is embedded in wider dynamics related to the personal, social, and cultural context of their lives, as well as the particular trajectory of children’s own emotional and cognitive development (NCCA, 2018). The focus of this report is to present some of the patterns evident in this key transition point from a range of perspectives. As such, the findings presented in this report draw on data generated with the CSL cohort in Junior Infants, as well as an additional sub-study (the ‘Preschool study’), undertaken in the summer term 2019 to explore the perspectives of parents, children and early years educators on the transition to primary school.
- PublicationChildren's School Lives in Junior InfantsThis report is the third in the series from Children’s School Lives, an innovative, longitudinal research study involving almost 4,000 children in 189 primary schools. One of the defining features of the study is the strong emphasis it places on listening to and learning directly from children about their experience of being in primary school in Ireland. This particular report introduces us to the youngest children in the study. The multiple perspectives gathered from the children themselves, their families, teachers and school principals, converge to provide us with a rich, detailed picture of the children’s first year in school. Uniquely, this period incorporates the months just prior to the arrival of the Coronavirus on Irish shores and the weeks immediately after the commencement of the first national lockdown in Spring 2020. Early childhood is a time of being and becoming, a time which provides important foundations for children’s learning and for life itself. We know from research that the first six years of a child’s life, their early childhood years, are particularly important for their holistic development. We also know from research that a positive transition from preschool to primary school is a predictor of children’s future success in terms of social, emotional and educational outcomes. Yet, despite this knowledge, relatively little research exists in the Irish context on children’s initial experiences in primary school. The Children’s School Lives study responds directly to this research gap by capturing, through multiple voices, comprehensive insights into the children’s initial weeks and months in their primary classrooms.
- PublicationEquality and social justice : the university as a site of struggleDespite the proclaimed allegiance of most countries to the principles of equality enshrined in the UN Declaration on Human Rights, inequality is a pervasive feature of the global order. Yet, it is important not to be overwhelmed by the scale of global injustice. In every country there is resistance to power and privilege, with people working at many levels to create more equal societies. In this paper we will summarise the reasons why we came to establish Equality Studies in UCD almost 20 years ago as one way of responding to injustices (for a more detailed discussion see Lynch, 1995), and why in 2005, we further institutionalised an academic space for this work by forming a School of Social Justice, and a network of scholars from across the University who are committed to research and teaching in social justice to form the Egalitarian World Initiative (EWI) network www.ewi.ie . We begin by explaining why universities have a particular remit to challenge injustice and why it is important for them to retain that responsibility in a market-led era in higher education.
- PublicationEconomic Inequality and Class Privilege in Education: Why Equality of Economic Condition is Essential for Equality of OpportunityMindful of the political and cultural context preceding the introduction of ‘free education’, this paper engages reflexively with the contemporary educational ‘common sense’ that equalizing opportunities in education is an effective means of overcoming social class inequalities and promoting a meritocratic society more generally in Ireland. In doing so, it is mindful of fact that there is no view from nowhere in academic life: academics, including the authors, do not stand on neutral intellectual ground; their personal and intellectual premises and values underpin their theoretical positions (Crean and Lynch, 2011; Gouldner 1970; Lynch and Ivancheva 2015).
Scopus© Citations 9 4978
- PublicationCare and affective relations: Social justice and sociologyThis article examines the ways in which the care-indifferent and gendered character of much political egalitarian theory has contributed to a disregard for the care-relational dimensions of social injustice within the social sciences. It demonstrates how the lack of in-depth engagement with affective relations of love, care and solidarity has contributed to an underestimation of their pivotal role in generating injustices in the production of people in their humanity. While humans are political, economic and cultural beings, they are also what Tronto has termed homines curans. Yet, care, in its multiple manifestations, is treated as a kind of ‘cultural residual’, an area of human life that the dominant culture neglects, represses and cannot even recognize for its political salience. If sociology takes the issue of relational justice as seriously as it takes issues of redistribution, recognition and political representation, this would provide an intellectual avenue for advancing scholarship that recognizes that much of life is lived, and injustices are generated, outside the market, formal politics and public culture. A new sociology of affective care relations could enhance a normatively-led sociology of inequality, that is distinguishable from, but intersecting with, a sociology of inequality based on class (redistribution), status (recognition) and power (representation). It would also help change public discourse about politics by making affective in/justices visible intellectually and politically, and in so doing, identifying ways in which they could be a site of resistance to capitalist values and processes.
Scopus© Citations 28 25
- PublicationExperiences of remote teaching and learning in Ireland during the Covid-19 pandemic (March–May 2020)Initiated in 2018, Children’s School Lives is an exciting, longitudinal study following 4,000 children in 189 schools through their primary school years. Children’s lived experiences and voices are at the heart of this research. The report, Experiences of Remote Teaching and Learning in Ireland During the Covid-19 Pandemic (March – May 2020), is the second publication arising from the study and focuses on children’s experiences and those of their teachers, principals and families, during the period of school closures earlier this year. The report highlights the important role of education and primary schools in children’s and families’ lives. It also spotlights the centrality of relationships in primary education, those between children and their teacher, between teachers and parents, and relationships between teachers and school leaders. The rich, authentic voices throughout the report give us insights into the many challenges that emerged out of the need to reconfigure and reconceptualise teaching and learning in the context of a global pandemic. This saw primary schooling being relocated from a shared physical space, the classroom, to an online environment, necessitating enormous work, engagement and commitment by study participants—children, parents, teachers and school leaders—to enable teaching and learning to continue. The report also affords us glimpses of how this changed learning environment impacted, positively and negatively, on children, their families, teachers and school leaders.
- PublicationInequalityThe aim of this chapter is to analyse the impact of austerity policies on levels of economic inequality in the Republic of Ireland. Although the focus of the chapter is on economic inequality, the effects of austerity were not only economic; they were cultural, social, political and embodied (Coulter and Nagle, 2015). They found expression in anxieties and fears about unemployment, emigration, poverty and debt, all of which adversely impacted on emotional and mental health (Cronin, 2015, Mental Health Commission, 2011). The harms of austerity have been visible on the streets through increased homelessness and begging, in the distressed calls to national radio stations and help lines, in letters, comments and articles in newspapers and social media, and in Dáil questions and expositions. Thus, this chapter sets out to identify the inequality impact of the socializing of private debt arising from the collapse of the Irish banking sector. It will focus on how and why austerity impacted on living standards, especially among more politically powerless groups, highlighting increases in levels of economic insecurity that are not measurable by income alone.