Education - Journal Articles

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    The arts in and out of school: Educational policy, provision and practice in Ireland today
    (Kura Publishing House, 2015) Dowling Long, Siobhán
    The 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.
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    Pre-service teachers’ perceptions of collaborative learning at university: A repeated cross-sectional study
    (Western Australian Institutes for Educational Research, 2023) Dowling Long, Siobhán; Long, Fiachra; University College Cork
    This study explores how a group of pre-service teachers in the second year of a pre-service teachers masters program - the Postgraduate Master of Education (PME) - understood and practised collaborative learning (CL). Conducted over a six-year period (2015-2021), the study used semi-structured interviews (n=14) and surveys (n=100) to shed light on students’ experience of collaborative learning in one 5 ECTS credits module (ED6341), taking account of their previous experience of CL, and their perceptions of CL as it emerged during the group work component of the module. The results indicate that the attitudes of students to CL were largely positive, despite the challenges they recognised. In particular, the study considered students’ understanding of (1) the challenges of CL; (2) the benefits of CL; (3) the authority of faculty members.
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    Metastasio’s Old Testament dramas: Biblical stories in eighteenth century oratorio
    (Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception, 2013) Dowling Long, Siobhán
    Pietro Metastasio’s five Old Testament oratorio libretti—based on the dramatic stories of Cain and Abel, Joseph, Judith, Joash, and Abraham and Isaac—reveal the influence of the Counter-Reformation, of seventeenth-century French literary criticism, and of eighteenth-century biblical interpretation. Reflecting a traditional christological interpretation, all five shed light on the emotional lives of their protagonists, while providing moral instruction for the edification of eighteenth-century Catholic audiences. I conclude with a brief discussion of the oratorio Abramo ed Isacco by Josef Mysliveček, based on a Metastasian libretto Isacco, figura del Redentore (1740), and illustrate by way of musical examples the reception of Genesis 22 in music.
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    Eliminating the fear of getting ‘caught out’: An examination of the development of out-of-field mathematics teachers’ professional self-understanding
    (Springer Nature Ltd., 2022-02-18) Ní Ríordáin, Máire; Goos, Merrilyn; Faulkner, Fiona; Quirke, Stephen; Lane, Ciara; O’Meara, Niamh
    Research has demonstrated that teacher identity matters in mathematics education. This is of heightened concern when we consider those teaching mathematics out-of-field, a phenomenon prevalent at the post-primary level in the Irish context. A national program (PDMT) to upskill out-of-field teachers was established and current research is appraising graduates’ experiences. In this chapter, we bring together out-of-field teachers’ knowledge and identities, using Kelchtermans’ (2009) concept of professional self-understanding, which is an essential part of a teacher’s personal interpretive framework and acts as a lens through which teachers view their job, give meaning to it and act in it. We report on aspects of an online, primarily quantitative, survey administered to graduates of the PDMT examining their professional self-understandings on completion of the programme. The findings contribute to our understanding of important considerations relating to the development of professional learning programmes for upskilling out-of-field mathematics teachers.
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    Framework for analysing continuity in students’ learning experiences during primary to secondary transition in mathematics
    (Taylor & Francis, 2020-06-24) Cantley, Ian; O’Meara, Niamh; Prendergast, Mark; Harbison, Lorraine; O’Hara, Clare; Irish Research Council; Standing Conference on Teacher Education, North and South (SCoTENS)
    The transition from primary to secondary education tends to have deleterious effects on student achievement and motivation in mathematics, and these effects have been significantly linked to lack of curricular and pedagogical continuity at transition. Curricular and pedagogical practices in each phase of schooling are influenced by a number of factors including, for example, teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching, and a range of other school and societal level characteristics. We propose a novel theoretical framework for studying continuity of learning experiences during primary/secondary transition in mathematics which takes cognisance of these factors. The framework is based on aspects of the so-called anthropological theory of didactics, which acknowledge that mathematics learning and teaching are human activities that cannot be divorced from the broader organisational, societal and cultural contexts within which they occur; teacher attributes; and Dewey’s principle of continuity of experience. Potential applications of the framework to other forms of educational transition are also signposted.