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Irish Music in Primary School: Dr Maura Thornton

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Irish music in primary school is the focus of this week’s research webinar at Hibernia College. The Research Webinar Series continues with a presentation by Dr Maura Thornton on 7 April. Dr Thornton supervises research projects and teaches music, drama, religion and curriculum studies on the PME programme at Hibernia College.

Traditional Irish Musician and Teacher

Dr Thornton has been a traditional Irish musician all her life and frequently tours nationally and internationally with her musical family, The Heneghans. She is founder and director of the very successful traditional Irish music summer school Westport Scoil Cheoil.

As an experienced primary school teacher in Co. Mayo, Dr Thornton is responsible for music education. She is involved in the design and delivery of CPD courses for teachers, including the National Induction Programme for Teachers, which is funded by the Department of Education. She also serves on the Board of the Mayo Education Centre.

As an accomplished musician, teacher and researcher, Dr Thornton has presented at many national and international conferences and publishes articles on music education.

Identity and Irish Music

Dr Thornton’s doctoral thesis from the University of Lincoln grew out of her love of traditional Irish music. It explored how traditional Irish music was used by nationalists to create Irish identity through the primary school curriculum.

In this week’s research webinar, Dr Thornton will present Shaping Irish identity through primary school music. She will trace the history of curriculum music in the Irish primary school system — from Ireland’s early relationship with the British Empire to the rise of Irish nationalism and the revised primary school curriculum’s focus on global citizenship since 1999.

Research in Education

This presentation is part of a series of research-focused webinars for Hibernia College students and faculty who are exploring research in the field of education, particularly the importance of research in the contemporary classroom. Read more about the previous Research Webinar Series presentation here.

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