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Research Webinar Series 2022 launches with presentation on Droichead research

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The 2022 Research Webinar Series kicked off on 23 March, with a presentation about a national research project commissioned by The Teaching Council of Ireland. The research focused on Droichead, the national induction programme for qualified primary and post-primary teachers in Ireland. Droichead: Exploring and Eliciting Perspectives, Experiences and Narratives (DEEPEN) sought to report on and document the lived experiences and perspectives of teachers involved in Droichead.

DEEPEN Research Project Leads

Hibernia College welcomed the leads of the DEEPEN research project to share their findings. Dr Julie Uí Choistealbha, the primary lead of the project, is the Dean of Education: Policy, Practice, and Society in Marino Institute of Education. Julie teaches on the Advanced Professional Studies module for BEd and PME students, the Staidéir Ghairmiúla module on the Baitsiléir san Oideachas Trí Mheán na Gaeilge (Bunmhúinteoireacht) and the Communication for Education, and Workplace Culture and Competencies modules on the B.Sc. in Education Studies. Julie’s research interests include work-based learning for undergraduate and postgraduate students of education; the Irish language; the role attitudes, perceptions and motivation play in the teaching and learning processes; and the use of e-portfolios in competency-based assessment.

Dr Melanie Ní Dhuinn, post-primary lead of the project, is currently a Lecturer in Education in Marino Institute of Education. Whilst conducting the DEEPEN research, Dr Ní Dhuinn was Assistant Professor of Teacher Education in the School of Education in Trinity College. She worked across BMus Ed, PME, MEd, DEd and PhD courses in the School of Education and as a research supervisor and examiner for PME, MEd, PhD and DEd candidates. Dr Ní Dhuinn has lectured in Teaching Pedagogies, School Placement, Research Methods and in the Sociology of Education. Her research interests include teacher education, technology in education, assessment, curriculum design, teaching pedagogy, An Ghaeilge Mar Mheán Teagaisc, and research methodology.

DEEPEN Research Project

Dr Uí Choistealbha and Dr Ní Dhuinn shared the purpose, methodology and findings of the research in their Research Webinar Series presentation.

Teacher induction can bring together all who have an interest in teacher quality (Bartell, 2005). Droichead is an integrated induction framework that is based on a whole-school approach in supporting newly qualified teachers’ professional learning. Droichead is now the sole route of induction for all primary and post-primary newly qualified teachers (NQTs) (2021).

The primary purpose of this project was to undertake research into teachers’ lived experiences of the Droichead professional induction process, its contribution to their professional learning, and its impact on school culture.

The researchers used a case study approach as the overarching methodology. The project included a systematic literature review followed by an online survey, which was sent to all primary and post-primary schools in Ireland to construct an overall profile of the NQTs, professional support team (PST) personnel and whole-school personnel. The project focused specifically on the Droichead process in Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS), special educational needs (SEN) settings, Gaelscoileanna and small schools. The findings reveal both the complexity of the role of the teacher and the relational nature of the teaching profession.

This presentation is part of a series of research-focused webinars hosted by Dr Carol-Ann O’ SíoráinDr Jean Henefer and Irene O’Dowd 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.

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