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- ItemA desire to succeed: exploring aspiration towards higher education participation amongst members of a socio-economically marginalised community(University College Cork, 2023-04-25) Ó hUiginn, Stiofán; Cahill, Kevin; Dowling, SiobhanThis thesis is a qualitative interview study that examines the barriers that exist in preventing students from a background of marginalisation from progressing to and through higher education, and how these barriers can be overcome. The study explores aspiration towards higher education participation amongst members of a socio-economically marginalised community, highlighting how having a desire to succeed can strongly contribute to the ability of marginalised students to overcome a multitude of barriers that have traditionally existed in limiting or preventing their participation and success in higher education. Many recurring themes emerged from this study and are discussed throughout the thesis. Whilst research on the experience of socio-economically marginalised students in higher education has traditionally focused on negative outcomes such as – amongst others – drop-out, feelings of inferiority amongst more affluent classmates, failure to complete their degree programme, this study aims to highlight how coming from a socio-economically marginalised background can act as a motivating factor for educational success. Each of the findings sections draws on the aspiration of members of a socio-economically marginalised community to succeed educationally, in spite of challenges and barriers that exist in potentially undermining or preventing said success. This study intends to serve the greater good of equality in education by highlighting the potential of all students, irrespective of their class background, to succeed educationally with the right mindset and supports.
- ItemAccess Foundation student progression at Technological University Dublin: a quantitative study(Learning, Teaching and Technology Centre (LLTC), Technological University Dublin, 2020) Forster, Annette; Faulkner, Fiona; Prendergast, MarkDespite a global expansion of higher education in the twentieth century, inequalities in terms of student demographic still remain. The number of mature students (students aged 23 years and over) and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds in full-time higher education in the Republic of Ireland remains low. In order to address this issue, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) offered a one-year Access Foundation programme providing a route to higher education for mature students and young adults (students less than 23 years) from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. This study examines the factors affecting the progression of students on this programme to undergraduate studies at DIT. In 2017, incoming Access Foundation students (n = 59) completed a 29-item questionnaire examining factors affecting progression, and their advancement onto undergraduate studies was chartered at the end of the academic year. Analysis of this data revealed a number of noteworthy findings such as a relationship between attendance and progression. Students who failed to progress also had higher neuroticism scores and intrinsic and extrinsic motivation mean scores than students who progressed to undergraduate studies at DIT. Furthermore, progression was dependent on the optional modules students chose. These findings have implications for funding and providing support services for Access Foundation students.
- ItemThe acute effects of multiple components in a whole-school physical activity policy on executive functions of primary level students(Revista de Psicologia del Deporte, 2020) Kingston, Úna; Adamakis, Manolis; Costa, JoaoA growing body of literature examines the relationship between physical activity (PA) with executive functions (EF) and academic achievement in children and adolescents. The present study aimed at examining how multiple components in a whole-school PA policy intervention in a primary school setting affected the EF (i.e. working memory and inhibition) of students. The PA policy had three components, Physical Education (PE), Structured Play (SP) and Unstructured Play (UP). Testing of EF for working memory and inhibition was carried out with a sample of 43 students from the 4th and 6th class before and after each component of the PA policy, once a week for four weeks, after a one-week pilot. Children's working memory was measured with a verbal visual memory test using curriculum-based vocabulary, while their inhibition was assessed through the Animal Stroop-like test. The effect of each component of the PA intervention on working memory and inhibition was analysed with two separate repeated measures MANOVA, controlling gender and class as between-subject factors. For both working memory and inhibition, PE was more beneficial for all students comparing to SP and UP (p<.001). Regarding inhibition, no gender and class differences were observed. However, for working memory there were higher improvements for 4th class comparing to 6th class students (p<.05). PE appeared to be more beneficial for improving students' EF and is suggested to be prioritised when developing PA policy in schools. Further research is warranted with longitudinal studies.
- ItemAcute effects of physical education, structured play, and unstructured play in children’s executive functions in primary school(Editura Universitatea din Pitesti, 2020-11-30) Kingston, Úna; Adamakis, Manolis; Costa, JoãoResearch continuously reports a close connection between Physical Activity (PA) and its effect on pupils’ Executive Functions (EF). Thus, the purpose of the present study was to expand previous knowledge and examine the acute effects on the EF – working memory and inhibition – in two primary level class cohorts (4th class: n = 20 students, mean age 9.95 ± .39 years; 6th class: n = 23 students, mean age 12.00 ± .30 years; 22 boys, 21 girls) of a school-based PA policy in a four-week design intervention programme. Methods: The PA policy included Physical Education (PE), Structured Play (SP) and Unstructured Play (UP). Testing of EF was carried out with a Working Memory Test and an Animal Stroop Test, before and after each session of each PA policy component. To determine whether each component of the PA intervention had an effect on working memory and inhibition, two separate repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance, controlling for gender and class as between-subject factors. Results: Results showed that the PE intervention improved more students’ working memory (3.49% increase), comparing to SP (p = .002, η2 = .057) and UP (p < .001, η2 = .077) interventions. Furthermore, the PE intervention improved more students’ inhibition (3.57% increase), comparing to SP (p = .001, η2 = .074) and UP (p < .001, η2 = .105) interventions. No gender and class differences were observed. Discussion: While whole school PA policies need to focus on all PA components and provide school- based opportunities to meet PA recommendations to benefit health in general, PE appears to be more beneficial for improving most students’ EF. Based on this finding, it is suggested that structured PE to be prioritised when developing PA policy in schools. Potential causes on the differences direct the conclusion towards school-based PA policy recommendations.
- ItemAdaptation and validation of a test to measure Greek elementary students' basic cycling skills(Cycling Research Center, Inc., 2019) Papanikolaou, Ioannis; Adamakis, ManolisThe aim of this study was to adapt a previously developed test to gain a detailed insight into the cycling skills of Greek children and examine the impact that sex, age and cycling experience have on cycling skills. Students (n=80) from a local elementary school in Attica region (Greece) took the adapted cycling skills test consisting of 12 test stations. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to investigate the factor structure of the cycling test. Descriptive statistics were performed on children’s cycling skill scores. Furthermore, independent sample t-tests and Pearson r correlations were executed to evaluate individual correlates of cycling skills. Two factors were extracted: the ‘during cycling skills’ and the ‘attention/handling cycling skills’ factor. Most children faced difficulties for skills that required more advanced attention skills and while cycling over obstacles. No significant differences in separate factors, as well as the overall cycling skill, were noted between boys and girls. Significant correlations were observed between years of cycling experience and cycling skills, while age was not correlated to these factors. The 12-item test battery adapted in the present study is suitable for the evaluation of cycling skills of Greek elementary students. Implications of the current research are further discussed.
- ItemAddressing adapted physical activity interventions for children and adults with autism(Department of Health and Children, Ireland, 2013-04) Crawford, Susan; Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology
- ItemAddressing the concept and evidence of institutional racism in Irish education(School of Education, University College Cork; Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century, 2012) Kitching, Karl; Curtin, Alicia; Kitching, Karl; Curtin, Alicia; Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences; University College CorkThis proceedings document tells a critical story of the event. Using a social and cultural perspective on racism, power and education, it provides a set of questions for ongoing public, policy-maker and research debate. The publication and dissemination of this document was planned as part of the ‘New Ideas’ proposal. Its intended audience includes education and social policy-makers, and education and community practitioners, including anti-racism activists.
- ItemAdolescent Literacy, Identity and School (ALIAS): positions, pedagogies and spaces for learning(Literacy Association of Ireland, 2017) Cahill, Kevin; Curtin, Alicia; Hall, Kathy; O'Sullivan, DanThe purpose of this paper is to excavate connections between adolescent literacy and identity in post-primary school settings. It will focus on the theoretical framework informing our study as well as a brief discussion of some key findings. The central research aims focusing this part of the Adolescent Literacy, Identity and School (ALIAS) study are to: (i) Investigate the impact of levels of literacy and learning on the identity constructions of first year students in post-primary school (ii) To develop guidelines for a cross-curricular literacy and learning intervention programme in collaboration with student participants.
- ItemThe age-related association of movement in Irish adolescent youth(MDPI, 2017-10-02) Lester, Diarmuid; McGrane, Bronagh; Belton, Sarahjane; Duncan, Michael J.; Chambers, Fiona; O'Brien, Wesley(1) Background: Research has shown that post-primary Irish youth are insufficiently active and fail to reach a level of proficiency across basic movement skills. The purpose of the current research was to gather cross-sectional baseline data on Irish adolescent youth, specifically the prevalence of movement skills and patterns, in order to generate an overall perspective of movement within the first three years (Junior Certificate level) of post-primary education; (2) Methods: Data were collected on adolescents (N = 181; mean age: 14.42 0.98 years), attending two, mixed-gender schools. Data collection included 10 fundamental movement skills (FMS) and the seven tests within the Functional Movement Screen (FMS™). The data set was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 forWindows; (3) Results: Overall, levels of actual mastery within fundamental and functional movement were low. There were statistically significant age-related differences observed, with a progressive decline as age increased in both the object control (p = 0.002) FMS sub-domain, and the in-line lunge (p = 0.048) test of the FMS™; (4) Conclusion: In summary, we found emerging evidence that school year group is significantly associated with mastery of movement skills and patterns. Results from the current study suggest that developing a specifically tailored movement-oriented intervention would be a strategic step towards improving the low levels of adolescent fundamental and functional movement proficiency.
- ItemAre pre-service teachers’ beliefs toward curricular outcomes challenged by teaching methods modules and school placement? Evidence from three Greek physical education faculties(Sage Publications, 2019-10-15) Adamakis, Manolis; Dania, AspasiaCurrent research on physical education teacher education (PETE) has shown that pre-service teachers’ beliefs concerning the scope of physical education (PE) remain highly influential during their studies. However, undergraduate programmes seem to have a limited effect on pre-service teachers’ teaching priorities, and this situation is left unchallenged. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the impact of two PE teaching methods modules, which included school placement experiences, over one academic year, on pre-service PE teachers’ belief systems towards four important curricular outcomes. A total of 373 undergraduate pre-service teachers (238 males, 135 females; mean = 21.02, standard deviation = 2.33 years) from three major Greek faculties of PE and sport science twice completed a previously validated four-factor instrument. The results indicated that pre-service teachers shared some similar beliefs about the outcome goals of PE, as they all classified physical activity and fitness as the most important one. The teaching methods modules had a positive impact on their beliefs, which were reinforced; however, their classification did not change over time. Both teaching- and coaching-oriented pre-service teachers classified the curricular outcomes in an identical way. Data suggested that PETE recruits prioritized the fitness learning outcomes, and this was in alignment with utilitarian approaches proposed recently in PE, which forward measurable PE learning outcomes. Also, participants preferred to hold and reinforce their personal belief structures and were not willing to change them, complying with faculty staff dispositions. Implications of these findings and recommendations for more effective school placement experiences are discussed.
- ItemThe arts in and out of school: Educational policy, provision and practice in Ireland today(Kura Publishing House, 2015) Dowling Long, SiobhánThe debate relating to the place and value of the arts in Irish Education is one that has dominated educational policy, provision, and practice down through the history of Irish educational policy from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Indeed, interest in this topic has been re-ignited with the recent publication of two educational policy documents, one based on the arts-in-education in and out of school The Arts in Education Charter (2013), and the other on the development of children and young people’s literacy and numeracy Literacy and Numeracy For Learning and Life: The National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy among Children and Young People 2011––2020 (2011). Despite the Irish Government’s commitments to promote the arts in and out of school, this paper draws attention to the lack of any real investment in the Arts in Education Charter by the Irish Government, and the neglect of policymakers to include references to national and international educational research on the value of the arts for enhancing children’s life-long learning. Noting the pressures on primary teachers to allocate more time to the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, it highlights the potential threat of this initiative to the primary school arts education programme. Finally, it draws attention to the notable absence of an arts education programme for the majority of senior post-primary pupils who leave school without any in-depth knowledge and appreciation of their rich cultural heritage. This is an area of grave concern, and one that has received very little, if any, attention to date.
- ItemAssessment and learning: Summative approaches(Routledge, 2018-01) Hall, Kathy; Sheehy, KieronThis chapter aims to use the term ‘bilingual learners’, in an attempt to further emphasise the linguistic power these learners possess. With the increase of research studies into bilingualism and supporting bilingual learners, different theories began to emerge. Some of these were related to what are known as ‘cross-linguistic transfer’ and ‘contrastive analysis’, whereby bilingual learners are perceived to use what they know of first language to support their development of the second language. In a similar way, a bilingual approach can be promoted through the use of dual-language picture books. These are an invaluable resource – of enormous benefit to bilingual and monolingual learners. The teachers noticed a growth in metalinguistic awareness, not just for bilingual learners, but also for weaker, monolingual readers. If practitioners are effectively to respond to linguistic diversity, a recognition is needed that each child will arrive in school with useful and potentially transformative knowledge and experience.
- ItemAssessment in primary education in Ireland(University College Cork, 2016) Sheehan, Alan M.; Hall, Kathy; Irish National Teachers' Organisaton; College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, University College CorkThis doctoral study examines assessment in primary education in the Republic of Ireland. The nature and purpose of assessment offer an insight into the values which are prioritised by an education system. In 2011, in the Republic of Ireland, the Department of Education and Skills (DES) published a strategy aiming to improve standards of literacy and numeracy. The document, entitled, Literacy and numeracy for learning and life: the national strategy to improve literacy and numeracy for children and young people 2011-2020, contains improvement targets as measured by standardised tests. It also mandates the increased use of standardised tests in primary education, and directs that aggregated scores should be reported to both Boards of Management and the DES. The study is framed by the theoretical perspectives of Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu. Both of these commentators examine social policy and practice in an effort to provide insight into the history and operation of social institutions. This study is especially influenced by Foucault’s archaeology and genealogy of knowledge, and his notion of governmentality. It is also particularly cognisant of Bourdieu’s thoughts on habitus, doxa and capital. The study contains reviews of literature in the areas of assessment, assessment policy, and assessment policy in Ireland. These reviews highlight current debate in each of these areas while also grounding this debate in an historical context. The dissertation contains four empirical sections. 1) It analyses policy documents prepared in the development of the published strategy as well as investigating the strategy itself. In so doing it is aware of the burgeoning influence of pan-national bodies on policy development. 2) A number of high profile policy makers were interviewed as part of the study and their views are interpreted in light of the findings of the literature reviews. 3) The perspective of teachers was sought through a questionnaire survey. This gathered data on these teachers’ views on the purpose of assessment as well as their actual practice. 4) Finally, children were also included as participants in this study. They were interviewed in focus groups and encouraged to contribute drawings as well on their views of assessment in primary school. Literacy and numeracy for learning and life is seen as a seminal document in Irish education. This study is significant in its analysis of original data from high profile policy makers, including two Ministers for Education and Skills. It is also significant in its inclusion of the perspectives of primary school pupils. Finally, the study considers the nature and role of assessment in a holistic manner by including the views of policy makers, teachers and pupils. The study notes that policy development in Ireland underwent a change in the preparation of Literacy and numeracy for learning and life and that international influences, while present, are also mediated to suit the local context. It also highlights a lack of clarity in the definition of assessment in primary education and argues that there is a lack of balance in the approaches that are prioritised. The study demonstrates that teachers are impacted by the strategy but that they also change it by focusing on their own concerns while using assessment tools. The children provide compelling evidence of the impact of assessment on the learner. The study shows how assessment tools (and school subjects) are valued with differing levels of importance by a variety of stakeholders.
- ItemAssessment of a novel computer aided learning tool in neuroanatomy education(University College Cork, 2018) Javaid, Muhammad Asim; Toulouse, André; Cryan, John F.; Schellekens, HarriëtImpaired understanding of intricate neuroanatomical concepts and structural inter-relationships has been associated with a fear of managing neurology patients, called neurophobia, among medical trainees. As technology advances, the role of e-learning pedagogies becomes more important to supplement the traditional dissection / prosection and lecture-based pedagogies for teaching neuroanatomy to undergraduate students. However, despite the availability of a myriad of e-learning resources, the neuro (-anatomy-) phobia – neurophobia nexus prevails. The focus of the PhD was to investigate the difficulties associated with learning neuroanatomy and to develop and assess the efficacy of a novel e-learning tool for teaching neuroanatomy, in the context of the strengths and pitfalls of the currently available e-learning resources. Firstly, we sought to provide direct evidence of the medical and health science students’ perception regarding specific challenges associated with learning neuroanatomy. The initial results showed that neuroanatomy is perceived as a more difficult subject compared to other anatomy topics, with spinal pathways being the most challenging to learn. Participants believed that computer assisted learning and online resources could enhance neuroanatomy understanding and decrease their neurophobia. Next, in the context of the significance of e-learning for supplementing traditional pedagogies, we identified features of neuroanatomy web-resources that were valued by students and educators with regards to learning neuroanatomy of the spinal pathways. Participants identified strengths and weaknesses of existing neuroanatomy web-resources and ranked one resource above the others in terms of information delivery and integration of clinical, physiological and medical imaging correlates. This provides a novel user perspective on the influence of specific elements of neuroanatomy web-resources to improve instructional design and enhance learner performance. Finally, considering the data acquired from students and educators, a novel, interactive, neuroanatomy learning e-resource was developed to support teaching of the neuroanatomy of the spinal pathways. The instructional design included a discussion of the clinical interpretation of basic neuroanatomical facts to aid in neurological localization. The e-learning tool was assessed and evaluated by undergraduate medical and neuroscience students using neuroanatomy knowledge quizzes and Likert-scale perception questionnaires and compared to the previously identified best-ranked neuroanatomy e-resource. Participants’ opinion regarding the usefulness of various components of the tools was also gauged. The results showed that usage of the UCC e-resource led to a significant increase in participants’ knowledge of the neuroanatomy of the spinal pathways compared to students’ who did not use e-resources. Moreover, the participants reported a greater interest in learning neuroanatomy with the novel tool, showing a greater appreciation for it while learning clinical neurological correlates compared to those using the best available e-resource identified earlier. In summary, the prevailing problem of neurophobia could be addressed by enhancing student-interest. Technological e-learning pedagogies, with intelligently designed interactive user-interface and clinical correlation of basic neuroanatomical facts can play a pivotal role in helping students learn neuroanatomy and breaking the nexus between neuro (-anatomy-) phobia and neurophobia.
- ItemAn attitudinal snapshot of pre-service secondary mathematics teachers(Western Australian Institutes for Educational Research, 2020) Ní Ríordáin, Máire; Ní Shúilleabháin, Aoibhinn; Johnson, Patrick; O'Rourke, IseultA teacher’s attitude towards a subject has a major influence on their learning and subsequent teaching of that subject. This has a knock-on effect on the development of their own students’ attitudes. However, despite such importance there has been a dearth of research in this area, particularly in relation to the attitudes of pre-service secondary teachers of mathematics. Thus, the aim of this study is to quantify the attitudes of this cohort of teachers at the beginning of their initial teacher education (ITE) program. The participants in the study are pre-service teacher cohorts (N = 98) from four Irish universities who are enrolled in a postgraduate ITE program, known as the Professional Master of Education (PME). Six sub-scales of the overall Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scales (FSMAS) were used to gain a quantitative measure of participants’ attitudes towards the subject as they embarked on their ITE. The FSMAS scores were strongly positive, although the results of the mathematics anxiety and teacher subscales were notably lower in comparison to the others. Further analysis was carried out to identify affecting factors, particularly in relation to these two low-ranking subscales.
- ItemAutism and physical activity: what every parent needs to know(Department of Health and Skills, Ireland, 2013-04) Crawford, Susan; Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology
- ItemBeginning primary teachers' perspectives on becoming a teacher in the workplace: Contextual, emotional, and temporo-spatial dimensions of identity shaping(University College Cork, 2014) O'Sullivan, Daniel J.; Conway, Paul F.The issue, with international and national overtones, of direct relevance to the present study, relates to the shaping of beginning teachers’ identities in the workplace. As the shift from an initial teacher education programme into initial practice in schools is a period of identity change worthy of investigation, this study focuses on the transformative search by nine beginning primary teachers for their teaching identities, throughout the course of their initial year of occupational experience, post-graduation. The nine beginning teacher participants work in a variety of primary school settings, thus strengthening the representativeness of the research cohort. Privileging ‘insider’ perspectives, the research goal is to understand the complexities of lived experience from the viewpoints of the participating informants. The shaping of identity is conceived of in dimensional terms. Accordingly, a framework composed of three dimensions of beginning teacher experience is devised, namely: contextual; emotional; temporo-spatial. Data collection and analysis is informed by principles derived from sociocultural theories; activity theory; figured worlds theory; and, dialogical self theory. Individual, face-to-face semi-structured interviews, and the maintenance of solicited digital diaries, are the principal methods of data collection employed. The use of a dimensional model fragments the integrated learning experiences of beginning teachers into constituent parts for the purpose of analysis. While acknowledging that the actual journey articulated by each participant is a more complex whole than the sum of its parts, key empirically-based claims are presented as per the dimensional framework employed: contextuality; emotionality; temporo-spatiality. As a result of applying the foci of an international literature to an under-researched aspect of Irish education, this study is offered as a context-specific contribution to the knowledge base on beginning teaching. As the developmental needs of beginning teachers constitute an emerging area of intense policy focus in Ireland, this research undertaking is both relevant and timely.
- ItemBeginnings and development of volleyball in Greece(University of Priština, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education in Leposavić, 2018) Adamakis, Manolis; Babić, K. M. P.; Živanović, N.; Pavlović, P. D.; Antala, B.
- ItemBiophotonics computer app: fostering multidisciplinary distance self-paced learning with a user-friendly interface(Optical Society of America, 2021-09) Saito Nogueira, Marcelo; Gunther, Jacqueline Elizabeth; Jayet, Baptiste; Souza Matias, Jean; Tyndall, Caitriona; Andersson-Engels, Stefan; Science Foundation IrelandThe biophotonics app enables multidisciplinary and self-paced learning in both in-person or virtual environments. The app can work offline and has a user-friendly interface well accepted by students. App instructions are publicly available.
- ItemBlondel et Sénèque sur la divinisation(Peeters Publishers, 2007-01) Long, Fiachra; Leclercq, JeanCe chapitre détaille les parentes entre les philosophies de Sénèque et Blondel et surtout les tensions qui existent et les résolutions possibles entre les aspects nécessaires de l'action concrète et ceux qui sont contingents.