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Cultures, Academic Values and Education Research Centre

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Centre’s mission statement

The Centre subscribes to a concept of education as a process directed at human flourishing, integrity and truth. Human flourishing is enabled or hindered by historical, cultural, linguistic and socio-political factors. Integrity acknowledges that education finds its expression in informed human agency, not just in statement and assertion. Truth as the goal of all modelling, approximate knowledge and partial understandings remains the dynamic for all educational encounters and endeavours.

Our emphasis on culture (material and non-material) is linked to that of exploring the values and principles (tacit or otherwise) through which education attains different forms of expression and practice.

Our Current Focus: the Centre undertakes both funded and non-funded research that inquires into educational initiatives, processes and results that have as their aim or intention a view consistent with the position outlined above and lie in the field of higher education. Research themes include exploring global, European, national and local:

  • higher educational projects aimed at culturally informed educational initiatives aimed at the promotion of human well-being, development and democracy;
  • the ‘out-comes’ or results of formal higher  education on subsequent work-life, continued education, life-decisions, values and attitudes;
  • educational encounters in higher education, educational leadership, community and adult education.

Current Projects in CAVE

  • European Research Funding Award for the CAVE
    The CAVE, along with European partner institutions and organisations have been awarded a prestigious ‘Erasmus +’ research grant of €170,174 to develop a pedagogical framework to support supervision practices on professional doctorate programmes.
    The project which is to be undertaken over a twenty-four month period, is entitled ‘Doctoral supervision of multi-disciplinary practice based doctorates: an appreciative inquiry into best practice in their design, development and delivery’. It is being jointly undertaken by Middlesex University (UK), University of Maastricht (Netherlands), EURODOC (Belgium) and Fondazione ADAPT (Italy). Dr Andrew Loxley is the project’s Irish representative.
  • Dr Aidan Seery, Dr Andrew Loxley and Dr John Walsh recently gave a paper entitled ‘Postdoctoral Researchers’ Lives in the Entrepreneurial University: a perspective from Ireland’ at this year’s European Conference for Educational Research in Porto on September 5th 2014.
    They were reporting on the initial survey findings from their national study of Irish postdoctoral researchers who work in higher education which started in January 2014. The project is expected to run for another six months.
  • Dr Stephen James Minton and Dr Andrew Loxley of the CAVE Research Centre have been awarded a grant from the TCD Benefaction Fund to study Student Sub -Cultures in Irish Higher Eduction settings.
  • “Post-doctoral researchers’ lives” A national study is underway to examine the lives and experiences of this important group of higher education workers who find themselves often at the margins of the higher education institutions with which they are associated. A conference paper has been presented on the pilot study at the European Conference of Educational Research in Istanbul and the American Educational Research Association in San Francisco, both in 2013.
  • “Mature Students” This project is led by Dr. Andrew Loxley and PhD candidate Mark Kearns. It explores the intentions and experiences of mature undergraduate students in two higher education institutions.

Last updated 31 July 2015 kellyva@tcd.ie.