Aibhin Bray

Aibhin Bray

Assistant Professor, Education



Dr Aibhín Bray is an Assistant Professor in Mathematics Education at the School of Education in Trinity College Dublin.

She previously worked as the co-ordinator of research for Trinity's widening participation programme: Trinity Access. She holds a B.A. (Int) in Mathematics and Italian and an M.Sc. in Computer Science from University College Dublin, and a H.Dip. in Education and a Ph.D. in Technology and Mathematics Education from Trinity College Dublin.

Aibhín has experience in the design and validation of research instruments as well as in large-scale (quantitative and qualitative) data collection and analysis. She is a former teacher of Mathematics and has worked with teachers at national and international levels through a variety of Irish and EU projects.



Publications and Further Research Outputs

Aibhín Bray, Cliona Hannon, Brendan Tangney, Large-scale, design-based research facilitating iterative change in Irish schools - the Trinity Access Approach, Irish Educational Studies, 2022Journal Article, 2022

Quantitative Research Methods in, editor(s)Declan Fahie, Shane Bergin , The Student Guidebook to Doing your Research Project , Dublin, Ireland, UCD Press , 2022, [Aibhín Bray, Joanne Banks, Ann Devitt]Book Chapter, 2022

Sullivan K., Bray A., & Tangney B., Developing twenty-first-century skills in out-of-school education: The Bridge21 Transition Year programme, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 30, (4), 2021, p525 - 541Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Bray, A. and Byrne, J. R. and Tangney, B. and Oldham, E. , The Bridge21 Framework: Impact on Teachers and Implications for Equitable, Inclusive Classrooms, ATEE Spring Conference 2020-2021, ATEE, Firenze University Press, 2021, pp151 - 154Conference Paper, 2021 DOI

Emma Berry, Aibhín Bray, and Elizabeth Oldham, Reflection on Project Maths after Ten Years: To What Extent Have Teaching Methods Changed?, Eighth Conference on Research in Mathematics Education in Ireland : MEI8Dublin City University [online}15-16 October 2021, edited by Mary Kingston and Paul Grimes , DCU Institute of Education, 2021, pp133 - 140Conference Paper, 2021 TARA - Full Text DOI

Nina Bresnihan, Aibhín Bray, Lorraine Fisher, Glenn Strong, Richard Millwood, Brendan Tangney, Parental Involvement in Computer Science Education and Computing Attitudes and Behaviours in the Home: Model and Scale Development, ACM Transactions on Computing Education, 21, (3), 2021, p1 - 24Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Elizabeth Oldham, Aibhín Bray, Melanie Ní Dhuinn, & Jennifer Liston, An analysis of undergraduate mathematicians' reactions and reflections about issues in mathematics education, ATEE Annual Conference 2020/2021: Re-imagining and remaking teacher educationWarsaw [online]9-11 September 2021, 2021Conference Paper, 2021

Aibhín Bray, Joanne Banks, Ann Devitt and Eilís Ní Chorcora, Connection before content: using multiple perspectives to examine student engagement during Covid-19 school closures in Ireland, Irish Educational Studies, 40, (2), 2021Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Brendan Tangney, Aibhín Bray, Ann Devitt, Eilís Ní Chorcora, Jen Maguire Donohoe, Joanne Banks, Kevin Sullivan, Lisa Keane, Philip Byrne, Rónán Smith and Cliona Hannon, Trinity Access - Project Overview, TARA, Trinity Access, Trinity College Dublin, December, 2021Report, 2021 TARA - Full Text DOI

Aibhín Bray, Eilís Ní Chorcora, Jen Maguire Donohue, Joanne Banks and Ann Devitt, Post-primary Student Perspectives on Teaching and Learning During Covid-19 School Closures: Lessons learned from Irish Students from schools in a Widening Participation Programme, Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, August, 2020Report, 2020 TARA - Full Text

Aibhin Bray, Philip Byrne, Michelle O'Kelly, A Short Instrument for Measuring Students' Confidence with 'Key Skills' (SICKS): Development, Validation and Initial Results, Thinking Skills and Creativity, 37, 2020, p1 - 14Journal Article, 2020 TARA - Full Text

STEM CPD For 21st Century Teaching & Learning - The Bridge21 Approach in, editor(s)Leite, L., Oldham, E., Afonso, A.S., Viseu, F., Dourado, L. & Martinho, M.H. , Science and mathematics education for 21st century citizens: challenges and ways forwards, New York, Nova Science Publishers, 2020, [Bray A., Byrne J.R., & Tangney B.]Book Chapter, 2020

Ann Devitt, Aibhin Bray, Joanne Banks, Eilís Ní Chorcora, Teaching and Learning During School Closures: Lessons Learned. Irish Second-Level Teacher Perspectives, Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, July, 2020, p1 - 93Report, 2020 TARA - Full Text

Ann Devitt, Colm Ross, Aibhín Bray and Joanne Banks, Parent Perspectives on Teaching and Learning During Covid-19 School Closures: Lessons Learned from Irish Primary Schools, Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, July, 2020Report, 2020 TARA - Full Text

Aoife Harrison, Aibhín Bray, Brendan Tangney , An Exploration of the effect of Bray's Activity Design Heuristics on Students' Learning of Transformation Geometry, Proceedings of the Eleventh Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education, Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education (CERME) 11Utrecht, the Netherlands6th - 9th Feb, 2019, edited by Jankvist, U. T., Van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, M., & Veldhuis, M , Utrecht University and ERME, 2020, pp2846 - 2847Conference Paper, 2020

Ann Devitt, Colman Ross, Aibhín Bray, Joanne Banks, Parent Perspectives on Teaching and Learning During Covid-19 School Closures: Lessons Learned from Irish Primary Schools, Dublin, Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, July, 2020Report, 2020 URL

Aibhín Bray, Elizabeth Oldham and Ciarán Bauer, Mathematics & Science Teaching in the Contemporary Classroom: Current Perspectives and Suggestions for Professional Development, 2017 ATEE Annual Conference: Conference Proceedings - Changing Perspectives and Approaches in Contemporary TeachingDubrovnik, Croatia23-25 October 2017, edited by Marija Sablić, Alma kugor, Ivana Đurđević Babić , 2018, pp1 - 18Conference Paper, 2018 URL

Mark Prendergast, Cormac Breen, Aibhin Bray, Fiona Faulkner, Brian Carroll, Dominic Quinn and Michael Carr, Investigating secondary students beliefs about mathematicalproblem-solving, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MATHEMATICAL EDUCATION IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, 49, (8), 2018, p1203 - 1218Journal Article, 2018

Aibhin Bray, Brendan Tangney, Technology usage in mathematics education research - A systematic review of recent trends, Computers & Education, 2017, p255 - 273Journal Article, 2017 TARA - Full Text

Aibhín Bray, Elizabeth Oldham and Katriona O'Sullivan, A Study of Readiness for the Integration of 21st Century Practices in the Mathematics Classrooms, 10th Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education (CERME10)Dublin1-5 February 2017, edited by Therese Dooley & Ghislaine Gueudet , DCU Institute of Education and ERME, 2017, pp3217 - 3218Conference Paper, 2017 URL

Aibhin Bray, Teachers' Experiences of the Integration of 21st Century Learning in the Mathematics Classroom - The Bridge21 Model in Action, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU 2016)Rome, ItalyApril 2016, edited by James Uhomoibhi, Gennaro Costagliola, Susan Zvacek, Bruce M. McLaren , 2, SCITEPRESS - Science and Technology Publications, 2016, pp219 - 230Conference Paper, 2016

Aibhin Bray, Brendan Tangney, Enhancing student engagement through the affordances of mobile technology: a 21st century learning perspective on Realistic Mathematics Education, Mathematics Education Research Journal, 28, (1), 2016, p173 - 197Journal Article, 2016

The Bridge21 Model of 21st Century Learning in the Mathematics Classroom - Teachers' Perspectives in, editor(s)Costagliola, G. Uhomoibhi, J. Zvacek, S. McLaren B. M. , Computers Supported Education , Cham, Switzerland, Springer, 2016, pp476 - 496, [Aibhin Bray]Book Chapter, 2016

Realistic Mathematics Education, Mobile Technology & The Bridge21 Model For 21st Century Learning - A Perfect Storm in, editor(s)H. Crompton & J. Traxler , Mobile Learning and Mathematics: Foundations, Design, and Case Studies, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Routledge, 2015, pp96 - 105, [B. Tangney, A. Bray & E. Oldham]Book Chapter, 2015

Aibhin Bray, Brendan Tangney, Barbie Bungee Jumping, Technology and Contextualised Learning of Mathematics, Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU 2014)Barcelona, SpainApril, 2014, edited by Susan Zvacek, Maria Teresa Restivo, James Uhomoibhi and Markus Helfert , 3, SCITEPRESS - Science and Technology Publications, 2014, pp206 - 213Conference Paper, 2014

Bray, A., & Tangney, B., Barbie Bungee Jumping, Technology and Contextual Learning of Mathematics., 6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU 2014), 2014, pp206 - 213Conference Paper, 2014 TARA - Full Text

Aibhin Bray, Mathematics, Technology Interventions and Pedagogy- Seeing the Wood From the Trees, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, 5th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU 2013)Aachen, GermanyMay, 2013, SCITEPRESS - Science and Technology Publications, 2013, pp57 - 63Conference Paper, 2013 TARA - Full Text DOI

Brendan Tangney, Aibhín Bray, Mobile Technology, Maths Education & 21C Learning, Proceedings of the 12th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning, 2th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn 2013)Doha, Qatar, 2013, (3), Hamad bin Khalifa University Press, 2013, pp20 - 27Conference Paper, 2013

Aibhin Bray, Elizabeth Oldham, Brendan Tangney, THE HUMAN CATAPULT AND OTHER STORIES - ADVENTURES WITH TECHNOLOGY IN MATHEMATICS EDUCATION, Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Technology in Mathematics Teaching ICTMT 11, 11th International Conference on Technology in Mathematics Teaching (ICTMT11)Bari, ItalyJuly, 2013, edited by Eleonora Faggiano, Antonella Montone , University of Bari, 2013, pp77 - 84Conference Paper, 2013 TARA - Full Text

Aibhin Bray & Philip Byrne, Trinity Access Teacher Data 2019, TARA, 2019Report, 2019 TARA - Full Text

Aibhin Bray, Philip Byrne, Trinity Access: School Data 2019, Dublin, Ireland, Trinity Access, Trinity College Dublin, August, 2019Report, 2019 URL TARA - Full Text

Aibhin Bray, Ciarán Bauer, TfT Survey Report on 21st Century Practices in EU Classrooms, Dublin, Ireland, Trinity College Dublin and Erasmus+, November, 2017, 16Report, 2017

Research Expertise

    • Title
      • LEARNTECH-21C - Keeping pace with evidence-informed LEARNing TECHnologies for 21st Century skills: A sustainable testbed approach
    • Summary
      • The LEARNTECH-21C consortium will research the systemic and practical challenges faced by primary and secondary school teachers in Europe in the collective effort to help them keep pace with the pedagogical uses of emerging technologies aiming to foster learners' 21st century skills. Adopting a design-based methodological approach, involving co-design with teachers, teacher educators and technology developers, the consortium will innovate to create three evidence-informed results: . a set of teacher professional learning processes (involving classroom-based testing) . a digital product (a knowledge hub and digital testbed process) that can be scaled to diverse pre- and inservice teacher education settings . and an EdTech network to support wider stakeholder engagement and communications during the project and for 5 years hence. R&I will be initiated in Belgium, Ireland, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom and will involve teachers (and their learners), teacher educators, emerging technology developers, and Europe-wide policy makers, who will collaborate on the co design and development of the innovation. The consortium will leverage its strong connections with both the Europe-wide technology sector and the national teacher professional organisations to ensure wide and diverse representation of participants. The final phase of the project will seek to validate the LEARNTECH-21C innovation in a wider set of EU countries that will have been strategically selected during the dissemination, exploitation, and communication activities. A promising exploitation opportunity will be to directly link the LEARNTECH-21C results to the EC-developed SELFIE and SELFIE for Teachers self-reflection tools, which will in turn support the Europe wide pathways to impact for both tools. Policy results will include: industry guidelines for the safe and ethical use of educational data generated by emerging technologies; and guidelines for innovative pre- and in-service teacher education programmes. The LEARNTECH-21C consortium's innovation lies in flipping the current technology-first mindset in which teachers serve the needs of industry by providing relevant environments (the classroom testbed) to a teacher-first approach in which emerging technology developers work to serve the needs of teachers. This will enable teachers to pilot first lessons with emerging technologies that have been supported by appropriate evidence-informed guidelines and testbed methods that have been co-designed with teachers. However, research is needed to determine the extent to which the latter approach can be digitized and scaled widely across Europe (and globally). Moving to the educational focus for this call - the fostering of 21st century skills (21CS), to include communication, collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, design thinking and creativity - there is a critical gap in research knowledge regarding the development and assessment of these skills, particularly within technology-enhanced environments (Care & Kim, 2017; Oliveri & Mislevy, 2019) Most importantly, and in contrast to the abundant research evidence of the teaching and learning of basic skills (Hattie, 20082), there is a lack of alternative methodologies (Delgado et al, 20153) and systematic implementations (Barton, 20214) that could provide more convincing evidence of the causal mechanisms that explain why particular technologies work, when, and for whom.
    • Funding Agency
      • European Comission
    • Date From
      • TBC (est. Sept 2022)
    • Date To
      • TBC (est. Sept 2025)


    • Title
      • Blended Learning in Schools: A Universal Design Approach (UDL-BOE)
    • Summary
      • In Spring 2020, schools around Europe closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Research reports published during this time identified several issues experienced by teachers during the rapid move to online teaching. A survey of 720 Irish, second-level teachers conducted by the TCD team reported that students' engagement with education decreased significantly during this time. The findings also highlight an associated decline in teaching and learning practices that focus on the development of key skills and competences such as collaboration and communication. This, and other research across the EU, highlights the increased risk of disengagement in schools that serve underrepresented communities, in which existing socio-economic disadvantage is further exacerbated by "digital poverty" among students. Stemming from these research findings, the purpose of this project is to empower teachers to develop pedagogical competences for establishing effective and engaging learning experiences in a digital space, whether as part of a blended experience or wholly online. The project aims to address two key areas: inclusion and digital pedagogical competences, with the main target group being second-level teachers. The approach will be based on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework (, an inclusive approach to teaching and learning that offers all students an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential. This framework offers students different options for accessing, building and internalising learning. It guides teachers to provide multiple means for students to: a) engage with; b) represent; and c) action/express their learning.
    • Funding Agency
      • European Comission
    • Date From
      • 2021-05-01
    • Date To
      • 2023-04-30


    • Title
      • Collaborative and Reflective Environments (CaRE) in Schools
    • Summary
      • There is a significant body of research that points to the need for methods of teaching and learning that are innovative, competency-based and student-centred, but despite moves to change the curricular focus, a traditional model of schooling is still prevalent. Teachers are the agents of change in the reform process but can also be inflexible and can resist change unless they understand and agree with the reasoning behind a reform, its implications for their classroom practice, and consequences for their students. An objective of this project is to support and enhance the development of collaborative and reflective environments (CaRE) in schools. We will mirror the development of key skills and competences that are generally advocated for students, within the whole-school environment by encouraging teachers to work increasingly collaboratively, and by providing structures in which sharing, communicating and critically reflecting on practice becomes the norm. Through collaboration with our partners across Europe, we aim to establish a set of guidelines to support teachers to come together to communicate and share good practice and creative approaches, and to critically evaluate and reflect. In order to facilitate this, one of the project objectives is to develop resources for reflection at whole-school level. Our aim is to develop tools and procedures that assist in the identification of common goals as well as resources for planning and assessing progress towards them. A total of 42 participants will take part in this project, made up of 6 teachers from each of the 7 partner schools. Thanks to the transnational nature of the project, and the choice of partners with clusters as well as individual schools, we have been able to establish a project structure that reflects three levels of CaRE: within schools, between schools, and online. Throughout the project, the partners will develop and promote processes and resources to support CaREs in their school, within their cluster, and at project level. The theory that will be used to underpin the activities is drawn from research into Communities of Practice, with particular emphasis on the "TeachMeet" approach for teachers to share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights into teaching. An overarching Theory of Change (ToC) methodology will be employed. This is an innovative and holistic method that can be used to assess the progress of the project in terms of meeting its overarching goals, individual activity aims, and to guide the project partners and participants in evaluating their own progress. Within the ToC framework, mixed-methods, involving qualitative and quantitative indicators, will be employed to monitor the progress, quality and achievements of the project and its activities. By working with schools in a variety of countries and contexts, we hope to develop a robust, but flexible set of guidelines and resources that will be pragmatic and adaptable. It is expected that this project will have a positive impact at local, regional, national, European and potentially international levels. In fact, the structure of the project will support such impact at each of these levels through the development of CaRE in Schools, CaRE Clusters and CaRE online, with each level growing from and building on the previous. Through the LTTs and development of outputs, our intention is to abstract the fundamental structures and supports required in order to successfully develop CaREs at each of these levels, in order to create resources that can be used to inform other institutions' development in this way. In addition to this, the modules and resources developed through the project will support these burgeoning CaRE communities at European/international levels.
    • Funding Agency
      • European Comission
    • Date From
      • Sept 2020
    • Date To
      • Aug 2023


    • Title
      • Teaching for Tomorrow (TfT)
    • Summary
      • This focus of this project is the development of a European model of teaching and learning that will help to address the need for students to become effective problem-solvers and self-directed learners. Our overall is twofold: to develop a coherent model for the integration of an inquiry-based approach to 21CL in order to scaffold the development of these skills; and to simultaneously create a related model of CPD in order to support teachers with its implementation. Our rationale is echoed in the OECD/PISA documentation that measures students' abilities to apply "their knowledge to real-life situations and be equipped for full participation in society". The PISA report (2012) highlights the need for prioritisation of opportunities for students to develop the habits and reasoning skills that will permit them to become effective problem-solvers and self-directed learners. We argue that a structured combination of IBL and 21CL forms a valid model to address this need. A combination of IBL and 21CL can be seen as addressing some of the issues raised in the PISA report, however, the PRIMAS report (2013) has highlighted that although many practitioners wish to impart these skills to their students and to include them in their teaching practice, they are hampered by factors relating to curriculum and assessment, classroom management/orchestration, and resources, including CPD. In particular, teachers often do not feel confident redefining their role in the classroom from initiator and controller to guide and facilitator. Bridge21 is an education programme that has been developed in TCD. It offers a new pedagogic model, and supports an innovative learning environment within schools that is team-based, technology-mediated, project-based, and cross-curricular. Bridge21 offers a structured vehicle for the delivery of IBL/21CL in the classroom. It has also proven to be a successful model for CPD in the areas of information literacy, contextual mathematics and computer programming. It thus clearly addresses a number of the barriers to running effective IBL in the classroom. Our primary target group will consist of the group of secondary school teachers directly participating in the project. As the integration of IBL in the classroom is highly dependent on teacher attitudes and beliefs, part of our research will measure changes in teacher attitudes and beliefs before and after exposure to the Bridge21 model. A hoped for alteration in teacher beliefs during the CPD cycle will add weight to our argument for the power of the emerging model as highly relevant for both CPD and classroom orchestration. Thus, the aims of the projects are the following: 1. to analyse the teacher beliefs of the target audiences toward CPD, teaching and learning both before and after CPD interventions. 2. to develop workshops that will address the needs of the target group informed by the Bridge21 Model of CPD; 3. to create the specific educational tools that will be used in these workshops, and developed from these workshops; 4. to run pilot workshops in all the partner countries, and to instigate a cycle of lesson design with participating schools; 5. to transform the Bridge21 model, through international collaboration, into a robust, European model of 21CL 6. to disseminate the materials to relevant educational institutions in all involved countries and beyond.
    • Funding Agency
      • European Comission
    • Date From
      • Sept 2015
    • Date To
      • Aug 2018

Publications and Further Research Outputs

    Telecommunications Graduate Initiative Postgraduate Scholarship2012 - 2015

    Postgraduate Scholarship, University College Dublin2000 - 2002

    Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) Scholarship2002 - 2004

    2nd Year Arts Academic Award, University College Dublin1997

    1st Year Arts Academic Award, University College Dublin1996

European Society for Research in Mathematics Education (ERME)2012 – To date

Member of Irish Maths Teachers' Association (IMTA)2019 – To date

Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE)2020 – To date

Co-Organiser and Chair for the NALA Numeracy Conference 2020: In collaboration with a colleague in NALA, I organised and chaired this National conference. It was attended by approximately 100 delegates with national and international speakers.2020

Reviewer for Educational Studies in Mathematics2021-2022

Reviewer for the British Journal of Educational Technology2020

Reviewer for Computers and Education2019

Reviewer for the International journal of science and maths education2020-2022

PATH 2 and 3 Leinster Pillar 1 Evaluation: In my capacity as Theory of Change consultant, I was commissioned to evaluate the contribution of the Leinster Pillar of the Programme for Access to Higher Education strands 2 and 3. This involved engaging with various stakeholders from five HE institutions (UCD, TCD, MEI, NCAD and IADT) in three Theory of Change workshops, followed by a group interview and a review of institutional PATH reports.2019-2020

Member of Board of Management, Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School2017 - 2019

Reviewer for the International Journal of Mathematical education in Science and Technology2020

Reviewer for EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education2018

Reviewer for Multimodal Technologies and Interaction Journal2020

Reviewer for MDPI - Sustainability2021

Organising Committee Member for Constructionism 2020 Conference2020