Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    Report of the Workshop Discussions Comhairle na nÓg Showcase November 2016: “Comhairle is like one big family”
    (Department of Children and Youth Affairs, 2016-11) ;
    The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (1989) enshrines young people’s voice within an international legally binding agreement, positioning children’s rights at the core of the decision-making process, particularly in relation to having their views heard about matters that directly impact on their lives. Since the ratification of the convention in Ireland in 1992 the Irish government has sought to provide structural (such as the establishment of the Ombudsman for Children, and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs) and policy measures to ensure children’s rights are embedded, practised and realised. These policy measures include the National Children’s Strategy (2000), Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The national policy framework for children and young people (2014–2020) and the National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making (2015–2020).
  • Publication
    Edu-Parenting during Covid-19 - Reflections of a primary-school parent
    (Education Matters, 2021-01-08)
    The pandemic of 2020 has caused a monumental pivot in Irish education, with physical school closures resulting in a shift of responsibility for educating our children from teachers to parents. This article reflects on the challenges and opportunities presented to parents, children, and schools during distance learning and considers how this has redefined our understanding of education and schooling in Irish society.
  • Publication
    Ability Grouping and Children's Psychosocial Wellbeing - A Matter of Children's Rights?
    Pandemic presents opportunity to bring children’s rights to the heart of decision making when responding to this crisis. Revision of national curricula. Move beyond teaching about children’s rights to teaching how to enact these rights as citizens. Integration of a rights-based approach to the curriculum being taught and the methods being used to teach across the school day. Can we embed a pedagogy of child rights at the heart of teachers’ work in Irish classrooms?
  • Publication
    Positioning Pedagogy - a matter of children's rights?
    (Taylor and Francis, 2016) ;
    This paper foregrounds pedagogy in the realisation of children's rights to nondiscrimination and serving their best interests, as articulated in the UNCRC. Drawing on a mixed methodological study of teachers in 12 schools it does so through exploring teacher pedagogies in terms of how they 'think', 'do' and 'talk' pedagogy, conceived as their pedagogic 'habitus'. Findings confirm contradictions between teachers’ ideals and their practice that is significantly mediated by the socio-cultural context of their schools, gender and presence of migrant children. Especially striking is that neither social justice concerns nor children’s rights explicitly emerge in their narratives, in turn influencing how they 'do' pedagogy with different groups of children. This contradiction is understood as a dialectical process of re/action influenced by structures, policies and the exercise of power in local contexts. The UNCRC provides a generative mechanism within which to hold government to account for the impact of policies, especially in challenging contexts. To be realised in practice, however, it also needs to be embedded in teacher habitus, shaping their dispositions toward children’s rights to non-discrimination and serving their best interests in education.
  • Publication
    Parental Involvement, Engagement and Partnership in their Children's Education during the Primary School Years
    (National Parents Council, 2019-03-07) ; ; ;
    In recent years, educational research has highlighted the importance of understanding children’s learning as embedded in the social, cultural and family contexts in which it occurs (Alanen, Brooker and Mayell, 2015). This has led to an increasing focus on the role of parents and the ‘home learning environment’, and many studies have identified the profound influence these may have on children’s learning and development both within and beyond formal educational settings (Hayes, O’Toole and Halpenny, 2017). Extensive international research shows that children do better when their parents are actively involved with their education (Borgonovi and Montt, 2012; Desforges and Aboucaar, 2003; Emerson, Fear, Fox and Sanders, 2012; Goodall and Vorhaus, 2008). Thus, designing learning environments to maximise opportunities for bridging communication between children’s home and school may be a significant factor in children’s educational outcomes (Hayes et al., 2017).
  • Publication
    The (Un)Questionable Challenges of Sample Access, Recruitment and Retention in Contemporary Workplace Bullying Research
    (Springer, 2017-12-12) ;
    Scholarly research into sensitive topics such as workplace bullying is often circumscribed by a common methodological challenge: how to access, recruit and retain a sample population which is appropriate in size, representational in structure and which provides the researcher with the rich raw-data necessary for robust and valid analysis (Voltz and Heckathorn, 2008; Johnston and Sabin, 2010; Misago and Landau, 2012). Researchers who seek to better understand this complex interpersonal phenomenon, must negotiate a traumatised and, sometimes, reluctant population who may be loath to revisit their distressing experiences of bullying or emotional abuse for the purposes of academic research. While acknowledging that researching sensitive topics present complex ethical, moral and practical difficulties (Coen & Arieli, 2011; Fahie, 2014; Einarsdottir, this issue), there is a consequential professional imperative that such studies are subject to systematic, rigorous and thorough methodological approaches. For those engaged in qualitative research on workplace bullying or harassment, the successful realisation of a ‘good’ sample – in terms of size and composition - remains a critical tension (Fahie and Devine, 2014; Fahie 2016). Similarly, traditional quantitative researchers must also anticipate and, indeed, successfully resolve, complex ethical and methodological dilemmas in order to ensure a scientifically appropriate response rate (Creswell, 2014, Fugard and Potts, 2015, Osborne, 2008). This chapter will examine these key methodological tensions for both quantitative and qualitative researchers, focusing specifically on accessing, recruiting and retaining an appropriate research population. The chapter concludes with some practical suggestions/advice for the researcher-in-the-field which draw upon the real-world experience of both authors.
  • Publication
    Report on a Consultation with Children and Young People on Education for Sustainable Development
    (Department of Education and Skills, 2016-11) ;
    A key recommendation from the National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development (2014-2020) states that pupils and students should be consulted on the issue of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in order to inform future policy (Department of Education and Skills, 2014). This report presents findings from a consultation with pupils and students facilitated in a collaboration between the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA). The DCYA has a dedicated Citizen Participation Unit, which takes the lead national role in ensuring that children and young people have a voice in the design, delivery and monitoring of services and policies that affect their lives. The DES developed a child friendly explanation of ESD, in collaboration with the Citizen Participation Unit of DCYA: “Education for Sustainable Development means what you learn in school to make the world a fairer and better place for everyone”. This definition was informed by definitions used by the National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development; UNESCO; Global Education Network Europe; and the publication from United Nations on the Sustainable Development Goals “The World We Want: A Guide to the Goals for Children and Young People”. The consultation adopted a qualitative methodological approach encompassing brainstorming sessions, ranking exercises, World Café placemat discussions and a recommendation wall. A total of 72 children and young people (42 pupil and 30 students) participated in two consultative sessions (one for primary pupils and the other for post-primary students) in October 2016.
  • Publication
    What is 'good' teaching? Teacher beliefs and practices about their teaching
    (Taylor and Francis, 2013-03-21) ; ;
    There has been increasing attention on teacher 'quality' and effectiveness internationally. There is, however, little research documenting experienced teachers' classroom practices and their beliefs on why they teach the way they do. Drawing on a mixed methodological study of practices and beliefs across 12 primary and secondary schools, this paper documents the importance of passion, reflection, planning, love for children and the social and moral dimension to Irish teachers' constructs of good teaching. Contradictions are evident, however, between teacher beliefs and observation of their practice, the latter mediated by the sociocultural context of the school (gender, social class and migrant children), teacher expectations for different types of students and leadership practices within the school. Debates over 'quality' teaching need to take account of these broader contextual and sociocultural factors which influence how teachers construct and do teaching.
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