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Social and Emotional Learning in Education: Dr John Meegan

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Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in an educational context is the focus of this month’s research webinar at Hibernia College. The Research Webinar Series continues with a presentation by Dr John Meegan on 11 August. He will present the main findings of some of his most recent work — a narrative inquiry into a social-emotional and academic learning programme.

Narrative Inquiry Explorations

Dr Meegan is a Lecturer in Primary Education in the School of Education. In his presentation, he will share new understandings that emerged from his narrative inquiry into students’ experiences of a youth educational programme, ‘You Can Do It (YCDI) Program Achieve’ (2007). Participants completed five foundations of the social-emotional and academic learning programme. Dr Meegan’s study explored the impact the programme had on the lives of the students both on and off the school landscape.

Social and Emotional Learning in Education

Many schools acknowledge that caring and responding to diverse populations of students poses challenges and difficulties. In some instances, students are not well equipped with the skills they need to fully engage in school. This deficit negatively impacts their behaviour, health and academic performance. SEL skills are recognised as crucial elements for success in life and school. Many countries, including Ireland, have endeavoured to embed SEL competencies into schools.

Experience in Primary Education

Dr Meegan brings years of experience in primary education to his research, which, in addition to social-emotional learning, includes well-being, arts-based narrative inquiry research, student voice and digital technologies for teaching, learning and assessment.

Dr Meegan worked as a primary school teacher from 2011–2018 before taking a full-time secondment role with the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). He served as an advisor on the digital technologies team (primary) and was involved in the pilot digital portfolio initiative (primary) and the digital communities of practice from 2019–2021.

This presentation is part of a series of research-focused webinars hosted by Dr Kevin Myers 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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