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Inclusion in Education and Society (IES)

Overview

The Inclusion in Education and Society (IES) research group was established within the School of Education in 2010, and was based on the central principle of supporting the inclusion of people from marginalised groups in education and society through focused research. This research group was rooted within the experiences of key members who have been engaged as practitioners and researchers within the education sphere over many years. The research group comprises five academic members of the School and two postdoctoral researchers. The research group currently has 13 PhD/D.Ed. students undertaking research under the theme of inclusion in education and society and in recent years 9 students have successfully completed their doctoral studies. The IES also functions as a 'home-base' for the Psychology of Education Research Group, which is an emergent group comprising to date of two full time members of staff and several PhD students.

Research Focus

The research focus on inclusion has developed for a number of reasons including the commitment of group members to facilitating greater inclusion for marginalized groups particularly those who have disabilities and/or special educational needs through teaching programmes and research projects over a number of years allied to the reality that this area had received limited attention from the Irish education research community.

The research group explores inclusion issues at both national and international levels. At a national level research has been conducted into an examination of special education provision. More specifically, the group since its inception has engaged in four major projects:
1) 'Inclusive Research in Irish Schools'5 (Project IRIS) which was a 4 year longitudinal study investigating the experiences of children and young people with special educational needs in Irish schools;
2) 'The Special Class Model in Ireland: How is it working for pupils with special educational needs in mainstream schools?' This was a joint 2 year study with the ESRI exploring the provision for children with special educational needs within special class model;
3) Transitions for students with disabilities and/or SEN into third level and further education. This was an 18 month study investigating pathways into further and/or higher education for students with disabilities.
4) The Learner Voice project.

Internationally the research group has led a European Science Foundation research project: Qualitative Tracking with Young Disabled People in European States. This project has run over the past three years and examined the impact of international and national policies on the lives of disabled people in four European countries.

As can be seen above, the emphasis on creating and sustaining partnerships through research
has been a key principle of the group. This is also evident in the group's orientation towards events, which are seen as a medium through which to steer and initiate debates around inclusion and SEN nationally and internationally. For example, the most recent, held in November 2014, was a
national conference on early intervention for children with disabilities and/or special needs entitled: Early Intervention in Ireland: Where do we go from here? National and International Perspectives. A further example, which demonstrates the group's interest in inclusion across all sectors of education, is the debate concerning access challenges for students with visual impairments
making transition into further and higher education. This was undertaken through a national seminar held jointly with the newly established National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. A final example was the all-day seminar 'I'm Me, Learner Voice Research; Partnership and Planning'. This event saw the launch of a major collaborative research partnership between IES, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals.

Over the past four years this research group has been involved in funded research projects totalling €819,000. As a research group we plan to bid for further research funding to continue the four-year longitudinal study, learner voice project and research into the area of education and intellectual disability with the recent incorporation of the NIID into the School of Education.


News Update

  • Fiona Smyth and Michael Shevlin from the School of Education recently published two further articles with their colleagues from the European QualiTYDES project. "Pathways to inclusion in European higher education systems" was published in ALTER the European Journal of Disability Research, and "Paving the way through mainstream education: the interplay of families, schools and disabled students" in Research Papers in Education. The QualiTYDES project ran over the past four years and saw the participation of over eighty young people with disabilities across the four countries. Following on from a comparative study of inclusive education policy in the QualiTYDES partner countries, these papers used participants' life-story accounts to examine the impact of policy and provision on educational experience and opportunity. The QualiTYDES researchers from all four countries would like to thank again the study participants who gave so generously of their time and insights.
  • An article by Dr Paula Flynn has recently been published in the NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL STUDIES | TE HAUTAKI MĀTAI MĀTAURANGA O AOTEAROA Volume 49, Number 2, 2014. The article is entitled 'Empowerment and transformation for young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties engaged with student voice research'. Further details HERE
  • Announcement of new collaborative research partnership – Learner Voice Research Study

    Dr. Paula Flynn is the principal investigator for a study involving the collaborative partnership of the IES Research Group, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD). This new collaborative project was launched at the Student Voice Seminar – 'I'm Me, Learner Voice Research; Partnership and Planning' recently. The event was attended by principals and teachers from schools involved in student voice research during different phases of study with Paula and provided opportunities to share the learning experience with the research partners and partnership schools. The overarching focus to this two year study is to determine how to include student voice in education planning such that there is an embedded culture of 'shared language', 'co-construction' and a strategy that will provide a sustainable structure and response to student voice both for schools and the NCCA ➤➤ More Information [PDF]
  • Conference | Early Intervention in Ireland - Where do we go from here?: National and International Perspectives - 21st November 2014
    We would like to thank all those participants who attended the IES conference on Early Childhood Intervention on November 21st. Your contributions facilitated a wonderful and vibrant event.
    We value your attendance and look forward to the development of new and exciting conversations relating to Early Childhood Intervention in Ireland. We would also like to thank all our speakers and believe that the knowledge they shared will help immensely in the development of this area which will ultimately help children and families. Their presentations have created new insights into this area.

Presentations: Early Intervention in Ireland - Where do we go from here?: National and International Perspectives - See below:


  • National Forum For The Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education | On Thursday 25th September, Dr. Esther Murphy with TCD's School of Education and AHEAD co-ordinated the National forum for the enhancement of teaching and learning funded seminar "Addressing access challenges for students with visual impairments making transition into further and higher education" >> Read More [PDF]

PowerPoint Slides | Rachel Hewett >>View Here [PDF] | NFB Resolutions >>View Here [PDF]


Fiona Smyth, Michael Shevlin and Paula Flynn from the School of Education have published an article with their colleagues from the European QualiTYDES project in the European Journal of Special Needs Education. "Inclusive education in progress: policy evolution in four European countries" looks at the status of inclusive education in Ireland, Austria, Spain and the Czech Republic and how it has developed in recent decades, as each country has attempted to align international policy with educational provision in their very different systems.

The QualiTYDES project has run over the past three years. In addition to this exploration of policy, it saw the participation of over eighty young people with disabilities across the four countries. Further publications from the project will look at the impact of policy and provision on educational and other opportunities for participants across the life course. Further details HERE.


Terence MacSwiney Community College in Knocknaheeny, Cork is one of the schools which has been involved in the' Learner Voice Research Study, I'm Me Programme' (Inclusive Methods in Mainstream Education) since September 2013. Dr. Paula Flynn is the primary investigator of this research which is situated within the Inclusion in Education and Society (IES) Research Group in collaboration with the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) and with the support of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).

Students in each of the participating schools identified an issue of concern or interest for their respective school and determined the research question specific to that school as the focus of data collection for the remainder of the school year. Subsequently, adult and student participants in schools have been participating in a learner voice process to elicit perspectives of their school experience from students. The objective of this process is to empower the participants and provide opportunities to identify, improve upon or generate supports that impact on learning, engagement and enjoyment of school. The primary aim of the project is to encourage insights from the student participants on any of the identified issues for enquiry and to facilitate opportunities for 'learner voice' that may encourage an experience of empowerment or 'leadership for learning/engagement' and/or improve the experience of school for the student participants.

As part of the process in their school, students from Terence MacSwiney Community College came together with their teacher, the project co-ordinator in their school Kathy O'Sullivan, and with Garry McCarthy who is a rap artist and music producer (Garry McCarthy Workshops workshops@gmcbeats.com) to write the lyrics to 'Change Round Here'[PDF] and send out a message on how they would like to influence change in attitudes and practice in school. Listen and enjoy....rap to the music!


Dr. Michael Shevlin and Paula Flynn | International Journal of Inclusive Education >>>Read More


For the past decade colleagues in the School have been developing a focus on the educational and social inclusion of marginalized groups within society. Research outputs have included government sponsored reports, journal articles and Northern Ireland, UK and European collaborations. More recently colleagues in the School have formed a research consortium with Irish and UK colleagues and are working on several major research projects, including:

  • Project IES (Inclusive in Education and Society) (3 years).
  • Transitions for students with disabilities and/or SEN into third level and further education. (18 months)
  • Qualitative Tracking with Young Disabled People in European States. Quali-TYDES project (PDF)
  • Inclusive Research in Irish Schools (PDF) (Project IRIS)
  • The Special Class Model in Ireland: How is it working for pupils with special educational needs in mainstream schools? (With the ESRI)

International conferences have been targeted for dissemination of research and the consortium is actively seeking to establish a European network to address the issues of educational and social inclusion.

Staff Members of the Group

Convenor: Dr Michael Shevlin | Email: mshevlin@tcd.ie

  • Dr Paula Flynn
  • Dr John Kubiak
  • Dr Patricia McCarthy
  • Dr Conor Mc Guckin
  • Dr Carmel O'Sullivan
  • Dr Michael Shevlin
  • Dr Fiona Smyth

Ph.D. students associated with IES

Lucie Corcoran >>[PDF] Graduated

Lucie Corcoran

Stella Long >>[PDF]

Peadar Donohoe >>[PDF]

Patricia Mc Carthy >>[PDF] Graduated

Patricia Mc Carthy

Alison Doyle >>[PDF] Colin Mc Elroy >>[PDF]

Kate Carr-Fanning >>[PDF] Graduated

Kate Carr Fanning

Aoife Mary O'Brien >>[PDF]Aoife O'Brien

Colleen Horn >>[PDF]

John O' Malley >>[PDF]

Recent conferences: IES 25th April 2012, Trinity College Dublin 9am-4.15pm Conference News Update[PDF]

 


Last updated 19 March 2015 kellyva@tcd.ie.