PME in Post-Primary Education
Áine has worked in both practice and industry, and it is through this experience that she initially realised the importance for all people to acquire basic numeracy skills to participate fully in society.
Research Paper Title
Effectively Incorporating Numeracy in the Classroom Using Universal Design for Learning Principles
Effectively incorporating numeracy into the classroom is an important practice for teachers. Numeracy can be supported by utilising a range of resources that include reallife contexts and digital technology (DT). Universal Design for Learning (UDL) enables spaces for the effective incorporation of numeracy using DT as a tool in assisting this approach. This Integrative Literature Review (ILR) explored specific methods of effectively incorporating numeracy in the classroom and focused on UDL as an overarching method. The ILR addressed challenges posed in this approach and identified areas to overcome them. Through thematic analysis, two central themes were determined and discussed with reference to wider literature and in light of the policies currently established in the Irish context.
Áine Murphy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Degree in Finance and Accounting from Maynooth University and went on to qualify as an accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. She has worked in both practice and industry, and it is through this experience that she initially realised the importance for all people to acquire basic numeracy skills to participate fully in society. Áine completed the Professional Master of Education in Post-Primary Education in 2022, achieving First-Class Honours as well as receiving the Research Award for her cohort. Through her school placement experiences, her passion to instil basic numeracy skills in her students was established. She hopes to continue this throughout her teaching career.
Can you tell us a bit about your research project and what motivated you to undertake this research?
My research project focused on improving numeracy as I found from my school placement experiences that a number of students found everyday numeracy concepts difficult. From my experience working in industry as part of my Accounting career these life skills were also lacking in the workplace, and I wanted my research to make a difference and to be applicable to my teaching subjects as well as students’ everyday lives. We live in a world surrounded by technology so I also wanted to study ways in which I could positively embrace the use of technology when incorporating numeracy in my lessons.
What impact has it had on your practice?
Unfortunately, I have yet to put my research into practice as I have been on maternity leave since completing my PME last year but I endeavour to apply what I have researched in the classroom when I take up my next teaching post.
How important do you feel research will be in your future practice?
Coming from the Accounting sector continuous professional development is essential, and this is also true in relation to teaching. The classroom is an ever evolving place and as an educator I am cognisant that there will always be ways of improving my teaching and the learning experiences for my students.