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Research Webinar with Dr Seán Delaney

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The 2022 Research Webinar Series continued with a presentation on 27 April, featuring Dr Seán Delaney, a teacher educator and the author of Become the primary teacher everyone wants to have: a guide to career success. Dr Delaney is Registrar and Vice President (Academic Affairs) in Marino Institute of Education. His leadership responsibilities include teaching, learning and research. 

Communicating Teaching  

In his presentation, Dr Delaney outlined some of the challenges faced by teachers that complicate the role of teacher educators, summed up in a quote from David Labaree: ‘Teaching is an enormously difficult job that looks easy.’ Dr Delaney explained that it is the teacher educator’s role to divide up teaching into digestible parts so that student teachers can learn to teach in a way that is constructive, that builds on what they’ve done before, but also doesn’t overwhelm them.’ His emphasis was on how to communicate teaching to beginning teachers.  

Guide to Career Success  

Dr Delaney’s book was written for teachers at the beginning of their career or others looking to refresh their interest in teaching. He walked webinar attendees through the research on teaching included in his book, as well as contemporary theories that have emerged since the book was published.  

Key Research on Teaching

Dr Delaney explained differences between a teacher’s planning and preparation before going into the classroom, as distinguished by Robert Yinger (1990). To create an atmosphere for teaching, Dr Delaney referenced the research of Jacob Kounin (1970) on intervention and group management. To share his points about how teachers choose to teach, he drew attention to the research of Walter Doyle (1983) on the factors that influence students’ learning. Stein et al. (1996) took Doyle’s research further to look at the cognitive demand of tasks students were asked to complete. Dr Delaney emphasised how important it is for teachers to select optimal challenges for their students. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a key concept and approach in teaching and learning and was first explored by Anne Meyer and David Rose. Dr Delaney researched homework as a way to reinforce learning at home and highlighted a number of studies about the connections between homework and engagement. 

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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