Photo of Mary Corless

Alumni profile

Mary Corless

PME in Post-Primary Education



Scoil Bhríde, Mercy Secondary School, Tuam


BSc in Biotechnology


Hibernia College Research Prize

What field of work or study were you in before you started your PME? 

I worked in the clinical diagnostic sector as a product specialist, dealing with a range of haematology and coagulation laboratory analysers. I stayed at home for a few years to raise my two children and then decided to pursue a career in teaching.

Can you tell us a bit about your research project and why you focused on this area? 

My research examined how teachers can effectively use formative assessment practices during inquiry learning in Science. I chose this area as I had witnessed very little true inquiry learning in the classroom(s) whilst on teaching placement. Many teachers are unsure how to assess inquiry and stick to cookbook methods, which is at odds with the true nature of inquiry learning. My research found that digital technology can serve as a flexible and effective formative assessment tool, which can track student learning and provide meaningful feedback that aids student learning.

Now that you have graduated, what are your plans? 

I’m currently working in Scoil Bhríde, Mercy Secondary School in Tuam. I am a past pupil of the school, and I am delighted to get the opportunity to develop my pedagogical skills in such a positive, caring environment.

What piece of advice would you give to any person considering starting a PME?

Get organised early, keep on top of assignments and learn as much as you can from more experienced teachers whilst on school placement.

Take the next step