RSS Events 2012 – 2013

General Information on the Research Seminar Series

The School of Education, NUI Galway annual Research Seminar Series (RSS) consists of a number of seminars linked to our five research themes. Each RSS event is linked to a specific research theme, and provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of ongoing research work within the School. In addition, at each event, an external speaker, related to the specific theme, is invited to present on their work in the area. The RSS events are open to anyone who wishes to attend. The venue is the Education Building (Block D).

Integrating Engineering Design into Education: the SLED partnership

June 2013

RSS Integrating Engineering Design Image  

RSS 2014 December picture

Photo (L - R) Dr Seán Duignan, GMIT; Dr. Jim Lehman and Dr. Brenda Capobianco, College of Education, Purdue University, Indiana; Dr Veronica McCauley, School of Education, NUI Galway. 

The School of Education, Research Seminar Series held an innovative seminar in pedagogy design on June 27th 2013 targeting science, engineering and mathematics educators. The seminar, Integrating Engineering Design into Science Education: The SLED Partnership, was organised jointly by Dr. Veronica McCauley (School of Education, NUI Galway) and Dr. Seán Duignan (Dept of Computing and Mathematics, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology). Both presenters, Dr. Jim Lehman and Dr. Brenda Capobianco, from Purdue University, Indiana are Principal Investigators on this project which is currently featured as a flagship project by the National Science Foundation in the United States. The SLED (Science Learning through Engineering Design) Partnership programme provides science and mathematics teachers with an engineering design framework to use in the classroom to improve engagement and achievement.

Both guest speakers are renowned and well published in their fields of expertise, technology and science education. Dr. Jim Lehman is Professor of Learning Design & Technology and the Associate Dean for Discovery and Faculty Development in the College of Education, Purdue University. His teaching and scholarly work focuses on technology integration (science), online learning and interactive multimedia. Dr. Brenda Capobianco is an Associate Professor of Science and Engineering Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Purdue University. Her teaching and scholarly work focuses on elementary science methods, teacher action research, and gender and culture in science and engineering education.

In an introduction to the Seminar, Dr. McCauley briefly reflected on the Sci-Hook series, a collaborative student-staff project instigated last Summer (2012) within the School of Education. Sci-Hooks are short introductory video clips that aim to capture what is interesting and engaging about the science topic. Dr. McCauley highlighted the research thread running throughout the project, whereby through a series of focus group sessions and documented staff and student research diaries, the design aspect of the project revealed that an Engineering Design Process, similar to that used by the Museum of Science, Boston (2013) was cyclically implemented in an effort develop a resource series that would spark and sustain student interest in science. A research paper will be published later in 2013 in relation to this project.

School Of Education Third Annual Postgraduate Research Seminar

April 2013

On April 17ththe School of Education, NUI Galway hosted its third annual Postgraduate Research Seminar, and we were delighted to invite members of the educational community to this important event. The seminar was part of the School's annual Research Seminar Series, the purpose of which is to highlight research activity in the School, and to provide a forum for discussion with respect to the research-educational practice link.

Our recent event on ’Disciplinary Literacy in the Secondary School’ (March 8th, 2013) was extremely well-received by our colleagues from schools and the wider educational community. This seminar consisted of a number of parallel sessions, during which our PhD and MLitt students, and some our MEd graduates, presented on their current or recent educational research.

Papers included reflections on specific methodologies employed and participatory action research. The audience was made up of current MEd students, School of Education staff, and various members involved in education.

Making The Invisible Visible: Disciplinary Literacy in the Secondary School - Research Seminar Series Event in the School of Education

March 2013

Making the Invisible Visible RSS

L - R Dr Mary Fleming, Prof Elizabeth Birr Moje, Dr Brendan Mac Mahon

The School of Education, NUI Galway, held a Research Seminar Series (RSS) 2012-2013 event on Friday 8th March 2013. This well attended seminar focused on Disciplinary Literacy in secondary schools in the context of the recent Literacy and Numeracy Strategy. Challenges to developing cross curricular approaches to literacy were outlined based on findings from research in Irish schools and this event provided an opportunity to examine current approaches to Disciplinary Literacy and what can be learned from developments in the United States. Dr Mary Fleming, Head of the School of Education, welcomed everyone to the event and then introduced both speakers.

Professor Elizabeth Birr Moje is the associate dean for research and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the School of Education at the University of Michigan. She also serves as a faculty associate in the university’s Institute for Social Research, in Latino/a Studies, and in the Joint Program in English and Education. She is a leading expert on disciplinary literacy and recent co-edited books include Handbook of Reading Research, Vol. IV (2011); Reframing Sociocultural Research on Literacy: Identity, Agency and Power (2007); and Constructions of Literacy: Studies of Literacy Teaching and Learning in and out of Secondary Schools (2001).

Dr Brendan Mac Mahon, Programme Director of the Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas (DGO), School of Education, NUIG. His talk drew on data from a research study on disciplinary literacy undertaken in secondary schools in 2010, which comprised of interviews with students, subject and support teachers, supplemented with audio-visual data captured in classrooms. Research findings were examined in the context of actions for literacy at second level outlined in the National Strategy and in the context of wider policy change. The talk focused specifically on the attitudes and practices of subject teachers with regard to supporting literacy in the classroom, and outlined implications for policy implementation, for initial teacher education and for practice at school level.

Confronting Schools and Social Inequality: Policy, Practices and Pedagogies with Professor Bob Lingard, University Of Queensland


September 2012

Confronting Inequality RSS

L to R.  Prof. Chris Curtin, Head of the School of Education, Prof. Bob Lingard, University of Queensland & Dr Mary Fleming, Director of Teacher Education.


The School of Education, NUI Galway held a Research Seminar Series (RSS) event on Friday 7th September 2012.  

This presentation considered the necessary and multiple ways of addressing the pressing political and policy issue of inequalities in schooling. Teachers 'leading learning' and improving schooling through classroom pedagogies aligned with broad curriculum goals and educative assessment is the primary focus. The presentation concluded with some recommendations for educational and broader policy developments set against global developments.

Professor Bob Lingard, the guest speaker who gave a presentation, is currently a Professorial Research Fellow in the School of Education at the University of Queensland and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Bob has an international research reputation in the areas of sociology of education and education policy and has published widely in these fields. His most recent books include: Globalizing Education Policy (Routledge, 2010), co-authored with Fazal Rizvi, Changing Schools (Routledge, 2012), co-edited with Pat Thomson and Terry Wrigley and Educating Boys: beyond structural reform (Palgrave, 2009), co-authored with Wayne Martino and Martin Mills. Routledge will publish his selected works in 2012.