The Cultures, Academic Values in Education (CAVE)
The Cultures, Academic Values and Education Research (CAVE) Centre is engaged in research in higher education that ascribes to an understanding of education as a process directed at human flourishing, integrity and truth. Its members include staff of the School of Education and associates from the wider College and other higher education and research institutes.
The Centre for Cultures Academic Values and Education was originally established as a School of Education research group in 2010, upon the founding principle that education is a process directed at human flourishing, integrity and truth. The Centre defined 'human flourishing' as being enabled or hindered by historical, cultural, linguistic and socio-political factors. The Centre's emphasis on culture (material and non-material) is linked to exploring the values and principles (tacit or otherwise) through which education attains different forms of expression and practice. This is also linked to the principles of 'integrity' and 'truth'. Integrity acknowledges that education finds its expression in informed human agency not just in statement and assertion. Whereas 'truth', functions as the goal of all knowledge and partial understandings remains the dynamic for all educational encounters and endeavours.
The Centre comprises of several academic members of the School of Education and Marino Institute of Education (MIE) and two adjunct members (Dr Selina McCoy of the Economic and Social Research Institute and Dr Jennifer Edmunds of the TCD AHSS Faculty). The Centre also has 18 PhD students undertaking research on the theme of higher education and has seen 10 through to successful completion. The CAVE is a recognised research Centre within the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Institute.
The research focus of the Centre from the outset has been on higher education. This was chosen for three main reasons, firstly it was an area that was badly neglected by the Irish education research community more generally, secondly, the sector was (and still is) undergoing significant structural and systemic changes which were in need of critical investigation. Thirdly, higher education as a site for the production, organisation and management of knowledge corresponded well with the principles of CAVE.
The Centre's research themes include exploring global, European, national and local: 1) higher educational projects aimed at culturally informed educational initiatives aimed at the promotion of human well-being, development and democracy; 2) the 'out-comes' or results of formal higher education on subsequent work-life, continued education, life-decisions, values and attitudes; and 3) educational encounters in higher education, educational leadership, community and adult education.
The Centre's research themes include exploring at global, European, national and local:
- higher educational policies and the connection between policy and practice in higher education
- higher educational projects involving culturally informed educational initiatives aimed at the promotion of human well-being, development and democracy;
- the 'outcomes' 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.
Over the past four years this has proved to be a successful strategy and has resulted in a number of publications, events and research projects (funded and non-funded). The CAVE has generated €425,326 in research funding, hosted four major events, presented 18 conference papers and produced 20 publications.