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Dr. John Kubiak
Teaching & Learning Officer(Curriculum), Education


Dr John Kubiak lectures at the School of Education, TCD and is based in the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities. He was programme coordinator of the Certificate in Contemporary Living and the certificate in Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice (ASIAP), an inclusive tertiary education programme for people with intellectual disabilities. John's doctoral research - which was conducted with the input of co-researchers with intellectual disabilities - has led to the development of a model of how people with intellectual disabilities experience learning while in tertiary education. John teaches on a variety of courses for the ASIAP and his efforts to raise awareness on equality issues and promote diversity in Trinity resulted in being a recipient of the Equality Fund Project on two occasions (2013-14 and 2015-16) in collaboration with the Trinity Sports Centre. John supervises at post-graduate level on the School's M.Ed. and PME programmes. In 2012 John was a recipient of the prestigious Provost Teaching Award. In 2013, he was awarded a Post-doctorate research position and bursary with TCD's School of Education and is a member of the research group Inclusion in Education and Society.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Effective Practices for Helping Students Transition to Work in, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education, Oxford University Press, 2020, [Shevlin, M., Kubiak, J., O'Donovan, M., Devitt, M., Ringwood, B., Aston, D., & McGuckin, C.] Book Chapter, 2020 DOI URL TARA - Full Text

Kubiak, J. , Poetry pedagogy and university students with intellectual disabilities, Journal of Poetry Therapy , 33, (3), 2020, p137 - 151 Journal Article, 2020

Developing Post-Secondary Education Programmes for People with Intellectual Disabilities in Trinity College, the University of Dublin in, editor(s)Patricia O'Brien, Michele Bonati, Friederike Gadow, Roger Slee. , People with intellectual disability experiencing university life, The Netherlands, Sense Publications, 2019, pp141 - 153, [Kubiak, J., Spassiani, N., Shevlin, M., & O'Keeffe, M. ] Book Chapter, 2019

Piazzoli, E., & Kubiak, J., 'The only learning I'm going to get': Students with intellectual disabilities learning a second language through performative pedagogy, Scenario , 13, (1), 2019, p21 - 41 Journal Article, 2019

O'Donovan, M. A., Kubiak, J., Devitt, M., Ringwood, B., Mc Guckin, C., & Shevlin, M. , Transition to postsecondary education for young people who have an intellectual disability. , Thirtieth Annual Conference of the Irish Association of Teachers in Special Education (IATSE): Thinking Inclusively, Acting Inclusively and Planning Inclusively, Dublin City University, St Patrick's Campus, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, County Dublin, Ireland., 25-26th May, 2018, 2018 Conference Paper, 2018

Kubiak, John , Social Constructivist Pedagogy and the Inclusion of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in Higher / Postsecondary Education programmes: from Theory to Practice, Diversity-sensitive Teacher Education , Salzburg, Austria , 18-19 Oct 2018 , 2018 Conference Paper, 2018

Kubiak. J and Piazzoli, E. , 'What effects does embodiment have on the language learning process of adult students with an intellectual disability?' , 2nd International SCENARIO forum Conference 2017, University College Cork, May 24th - 29th 2017, 2017 Conference Paper, 2017

Kubiak,J. , Using 'voice' to understand what college students with intellectual disabilities say about the teaching and learning process., Journal of Research in Special Education Needs , 17, (1), 2017, p41 - 48 Journal Article, 2017 TARA - Full Text

The impact and journey of the Certificate in Contemporary Living, a third level course for adults with intellectual disabilities at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. in, editor(s)Tobias Buchner, Oliver Koenig & Saskia Schuppener , Inclusive Research , Germany , 2016, pp306 - 319, [O'Keeffe, M., Iriarte Garcia, E., Kubiak, J., O'Doherty, S., Murphy, T & Lally, N.] Book Chapter, 2016

Kubiak, J. , Using Concept Mapping as a Learning Tool for College Students with an Intellectual Disability, The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education , 23, (2), 2016, p7 - 21 Journal Article, 2016

Facilitating collaborative reflection: researching with college students with intellectual disabilities in, editor(s)Adele Flood and Kathryn Coleman , Reflective Practice in Learning and Teaching, USA, Common Ground Publishing, 2016, pp270 - 296, [Kubiak, John ] Book Chapter, 2016

Kubiak, J. , Researching Inclusively with College Students with Intellectual Disabilities , International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities , 22, (3), 2015, p37 - 50 Journal Article, 2015 TARA - Full Text

Experiencing Learning: Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Higher Education in Ireland in, editor(s)Rhonda G. Craven; Alex Morin; Philip Parker; Danielle Tracey , International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice , USA, Information Age Press, 2015, pp139 - 162, [Kubiak, J., & Shevlin, M.] Book Chapter, 2015

Kubiak, J. , How students with intellectual disablities experience learning in college, ESAI 40th Annual Conference , Maynooth University, 9th-11th April 2015, 2015 Conference Paper, 2015

Kubiak, J., Using voice as a research approach , Inter University Symposium Journal, School of Education, Trinity College Dublin, 1, 2014, p11 - 18 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text

Kubiak, J, Using a phenomenographic approach to explore the learning experiences of students with intellectual disabilities in tertiary education., Trinity Education Papers, Special Issue: Examining Theory & Practice in Inclusive Education, 2, (2), 2013, p132 - 148 Journal Article, 2013 TARA - Full Text

Kubiak,J. & Twomey, M. , The use of 'voice' as a research approach (Keynote speaker), Approaches to Inclusive Research in Education: Opportunities and Challenges, Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin, 6th June 2013, 2013 Conference Paper, 2013

Kubiak, J., Intellectually Disabled Students' Experiences of Learning in one Irish College, Exploring Difference and Diversity in Irish Higher Education , School of Education, Trinity College Dublin., June 12th 2013, 2013 Conference Paper, 2013

Kubiak, J, Intellectually Disabled Students' Experiences of Learing in Tertiary Education: an 'Inclusive' Phenomenography, Conference paper, Examining Theory and Practice in Inclusive Education , Trinity College Dublin, 25th April 2012, 2012 Conference Paper, 2012

O'Connor, B., Kubiak, J., Espiner, D., & O'Brien, P. , Lecturer Responses to the Inclusion of Students with Intellectual Disabilities Auditing Undergraduate Classes, Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities , 9, (4), 2012, p247 - 256 Journal Article, 2012

Kubiak,J., Lally, M., & Murphy, T. , Our experience of attending undergraduate lectures at Trinity College - A students' perspective, Conference paper, 11th Nordic Network on Disability Research (NNDR) Research Conference , Reykjavik, Iceland, May 27-28, 2011, 2011 Conference Paper, 2011

O'Brien,P., Kubiak,J.,Espiner,D., O'Connor. B.,& O'Keeffe, M., Including students in undergraduate classes within a university setting, Conference paper, 3rd IASSID-Europe Conference, Rome, Italy, 20-22 October, 2010, 2010 Conference Paper, 2010

O'Brien , P., Kubiak,J., Espiner, D., O'Connor, B., O'Keeffe, M., Including students in undergraduate classes within a university setting, Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 23 , (5), 2010, p440 - 447 Journal Article, 2010

Espiner, D., O'Brien, P.,and Kubiak, J. , Being a real student: Students' perceptions of one inclusive tertiary educational experience, Conference paper, Australasian Board of the Society for the Study of Intellectual Disability (ASSID) 44th Conference , Tasmania, 4th - 7th Nov 2009, , 2009 Conference Paper, 2009

O'Brien, P., Shevlin, M., O'Keeffe. M.,Curtis, S., Kubiak, J.,M., Fitzgerald, S., Kenny, M., & Espiner, D. , Opening up a whole new world; Students with intellectual disability being included within a university setting, Conference paper, 43rd ASSID conference, University of Melbourne, November, 2008, 2008 Conference Paper, 2008

Kubiak, J., "Using "Voice" to Understand What College Students with Intellectually Disabilities Say about Learning" , Twenty-First International Conference on Learning , Lander College for Women, New York, 14-17 July 2014 Conference Paper,

Kubiak, J., How students with intellectual disabilities experience learning in one Irish university, Irish Educational Studies Journal Article,

Espiner, D., O'Brien, P., Kubiak, J., & O'Connor, B. (2012), The three C's of inclusion in a university setting: Choice, Commitment and Capacity, NZ ASID, Research to Practice Conference, Wellington, New Zealand , Nov. 8th 2012 Conference Paper,

Kubiak, J., Understanding how College Students with an Intellectual Disability Learn through Concept Mapping, Learner Voice Conference, Trinity College Dublin , 26th-27th June 2015 Conference Paper,

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Kubiak, J (Ed), Pen and Palette, A selection of poetry and paintings by students of the National Institute for Intellectual Disability Trinity College Dublin , 2014 Book, 2014

O'Brien, P., O'Keeffe, M., Healy, U., Kubiak, J., Lally, N., & Hughes, Z. , 74, (2009), The Frontline of Learning Disability, [eds.] Journal, 2009

Kubiak, J. & Epiner,D., 74 , (2009), The Frontline of Learning Disability, [eds.] Journal, 2009

Research Expertise


Inclusion; inclusive research; learning theories and practice


  • Title
    • Including Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Third Level Undergraduate Programmes'
  • Summary
    • This research built upon a pilot study conducted at Trinity College in 2005 - 2006. The success of this small scale project was replicated with a larger group of students with an intellectual disability who were enrolled on the Certificate of Contemporary Living (CCL). CCL students were matched with a volunteer mentor who supported them to attend mainstream courses on the Trinity campus. Lecturers volunteered to be part of this research project and supported the CCL student to attend class. The outcomes of this process were captured through the facilitation of focus groups, interviews, administration of questionnaires and observation schedules and the collation of field notes. This research will build on the body of literature to better support students with intellectual disability to attend third level educational programmes along with the wider student body. It will increase the capacity of Trinity College to respond to the ongoing personal and professional development of this group of marginalised students.
  • Funding Agency
    • European Union - Marie Curie Actions
  • Date From
    • 2008
  • Date To
    • 2009
  • Title
    • Widening Participation: The Roll-out of the Certificate in Contemporary Living
  • Summary
    • The objective of this project was to further develop and roll-out the Certificate in Contemporary Living(CCL) across other third level institutions in Ireland with UCC as a first site and partner. This project consisted of four main areas of activity: (1) development of curriculum materials; (2) implementation of a national network of third level teaching staff; (3) training staff in third level institutions, and (4), monitoring the implementation of the curriculum.
  • Funding Agency
    • Strategic Innovation Fund II
  • Date From
    • 2009
  • Date To
    • 2011


Higher Education; INCLUSION; INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY; Social Inclusion



Reviewer for: The International Journal of Research and Methods in Education; The Journal of Intellectual Disabilities; The Africa Education Review. Associate Editor for The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies.

Awards and Honours

Provost's Teaching Award (Trinity College Dublin) 2012

Post-Doctorate Research Associate and Bursary (School of Education) 2013

Master in Arts (jure officii) Trinity College Dublin 22 July 2018


Educational Studies Association of Ireland 2015

Irish Disabilities Studies Association 2013

Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) 2015

The Learner Knowledge Community 2013-