Funded Research Projects
Global Citizenship Education Intervention:
Investigating pedagogical activities that prepare Professional Master of Education students for active citizenship (Céim Standards for Initial Teacher Education, November 2020). This project seeks to acquire insights into how to help student teachers develop ’critical consciousness’ on sustainable development and related issues. Lectures and activities focused on the concept, discourse, philosophy, and critical issues related to Global Citizenship Education will be delivered that further enhances student teachers’ critical consciousness. UBUNTA (2020-2021) (UL/UBUNTA Network)
SCoTENS Seed Funding for Research Project: Teacher Well-Being and Diversity: Managing language and social diversity in classrooms (2016):
This project sought to develop innovative activities and share promising practices related to teacher well-being in schools characterized by diversity in terms of both multilingualism and socio-economic disadvantage. This research study was conducted through a collaboration between schools and universities North and South in Ireland. Research output: Teachers’ Pedagogical Work and Well-being Research Report. Seed Funded SCoTENS Research Project Report – published September 2019. Article in the ISI journal: Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice. Accepted for publication, March 2021.
SCoTENS Seed & NISE Research Projects Steering Committee for the study entitled: Perceptions of Tertiary Student Stakeholders’ Awareness of Religious and Belief Diversity in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland’ (2017-Present):
The research focuses on students’ awareness of religions and beliefs across the island of Ireland in times of fear, growing intolerance and hate crime/speech; and how we can best respond to ‘difference’ in terms of policy impact and professional practice(s). This research is led by Prof. Dr. Marie Parker-Jenkins, University of Limerick & Dr Patricia Kieran, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.
Religion, Education and Society: European Policy in Practice (National Institute for Studies in Education (NISE):
The starting point for this research is the considerable output of significant European projects and policy documents impacting on practice in the area of Education about Religions & Beliefs in Europe which position religion as a force for democracy, conflict resolution, active citizenship, intercultural engagement, social cohesion & anti-racist education (OECD 2007, Council of Europe 2014, 2016, Jackson 2018). The research aims to: 1) Review of key ROI & EU policy documents on the role of religion in society 2) Gather data on policy and practice on religion and education at three internationally recognised European Centres of Excellence (UK/Germany/Belgium) 3)Develop an innovative network of dialogue among policy makers and practitioners in Ireland and European countries, 4) Locate policy and practice in ROI in a wider European context while drawing on innovative findings from European policy and best practice, and finally disseminate the research findings at National and European level to facilitate on-going network and collaboration (Seed Fund for Research (2021-22). (UL/MIC)
Strategic Alignment of Teaching & Learning Enhancement (SALTE):
This project explores the impact of online pedagogies on students’ content and pedagogical content knowledge and to examine the quality of teaching of students on school placement after a fully online teaching and learning experience in the pandemic. The aims of this study are two-fold: 1) Investigating the impact of online pedagogies on students’ content and pedagogical content knowledge; 2) Exploring pedagogical strategies to adapt online pedagogies for students with connectivity issues will be investigated (Centre for Transformative Learning, UL) (2021-2022).
Poster presentation at the National Forum for Teaching & Learning in Higher Education at the VIT&L
Global Education in Europe: Making connections between Irish and European Policy and Practice in Religion and Education:
A review of the policy arena relating to religion and education in Germany will be conducted. Religious research centres of excellence in Germany, Belgium & UK will be visited (post pandemic). (UL/MIC Collaboration). The aim is to make connections between Irish and European policy and practice in Religion and Education and to gain new knowledge and build connections with other researchers in this field. A seminar will be arranged (online) to disseminate the findings from this study (December 2021). (European Education Research Association/Global Education Network Europe, 2021-2023).
University–School Research Project : Teacher Learning Communities and Teacher Reflexivity (2019-2021):
A research project that explores teacher learning communities in the context of a disadvantaged urban second-level school, for nurturing and promoting teacher reflexivity. The findings will be disseminated in a peer reviewed publication in an education journal. In addition, online platforms will also be used to share the findings. This research received funding from the John Coolahan Research Support Framework (December 2019), a national award which the Teaching Council awards for high quality research. A paper is to be presented at the next Irish Education Studies Conference in March 2021. A presentation of the project took place at the Teaching Council Teaching & Learning Festival in 2020 ((Online Event).
Erasmus + International Research Project: Teachers' Pedagogical Well-being (3-year project) (2016-2019):
Successfully secured an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership EU award, together with OsloMet University, Norway as coordinator, and University College Copenhagen, Denmark, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, and University of the Western Cape, South Africa, as partners. The title of the project is 'Teacher Well-Being and Diversity: Managing language and social diversity in classrooms'. Each Higher Education institution involved with the project has aligned with a partner school. This research project captures what contributes to teacher pedagogical well-being, especially in terms of pedagogy, notwithstanding the challenging and difficult contexts that teachers can work in. Project activities were conducted through national and international university-school partnerships. There are several research outputs from this project: 1) A Manual for Teachers in diverse educational settings – completed August 2019; 2) Article in the ISI journal: European Education Research Journal. Paper submitted, March 2021).
Other Research Projects
Empirical research project conducted with Prof. Marie Parker–Jenkins (2011-2013): Responding to Cultural Diversity in Irish Schools:
This research study focuses on the challenges facing educationalists in responding to cultural diversity within an Irish context. Drawing on empirical research conducted in a selection of Irish schools, the discussion focuses on a number of practical issues, namely, school dress, curriculum content, and academic attainment. The findings are explored in detail before the implications for current policy and practice in Ireland are discussed.
Research output: ISI article published in 2013. This publication has a high citation index.Experience of researching intercultural communication and linking it with foreign language instruction within classroom contexts in Ireland and abroad (PhD study) collaborating with Prof. Claudia Finkbeiner, University of Kassel, Germany. This empirical study explores the effects of the ABCs model on students learning.Conducted research on language learning strategies, which support effective language learning and the development of learner autonomy (Master’s Degree study, 1999). The findings of this study have contributed to German teachers’ knowledge on how to foster more autonomous language learners through the delivery of workshops at Teacher Education Centres and at the annual German teachers’ association conference.
The Erasmus+ K2 MaMLiSE Project (Majority and Minority Languages in School Environments: Helping teachers, pupils and parents (MaMLiSE, 2020-1-PL01-KA201-081612) is an exciting project addressing the challenges posed by migration society in the context of majority and minority languages in school environments.
This interdisciplinary collaborative initiative involves partners from the University of Limerick, Ireland and several international partners from Poland, Germany, and Greece.
The team visited the Intercultural School of Ioannina in Greece that caters for pupils from a refugee background to understand how best to support the education of pupils from refugee and minority language backgrounds. Teaching materials and supporting resources have been created and piloted over the three-year project duration. These materials are designed to address the social, cultural, and psychological needs of children from a refugee background.
An educational online e-learning platform has been developed. Access the e-learning platform is at the following link: https://mamlise.home.amu.edu.pl/?page id=76.
If you're interested in delving deeper into the "Majority and Minority Languages in School Contexts: Helping teachers, pupils, and parents" project, click on the link: https://mamlise.home.amu.edu.pl/
The open access book titled "Promoting Multilingual Practices in School and Home Environments" is available for free download at https://www.vr-elibrary.de/doi/book/10.14220/9783737015639.
This project marks a significant step towards fostering inclusive education and equipping educators with the tools needed to navigate diverse linguistic and cultural landscapes. Don't miss the opportunity to enhance your teaching practices and contribute to creating a more inclusive educational environment!
The University of Limerick team hosted the European partners on the MaMLiSE Project in May 2022. Currently a series of training workshops for post-primary teachers in in language-sensitive teaching with the needs of children from a migrant background in mind are underway.
This initiative represents a significant step toward fostering inclusive education, providing educators with tools to navigate linguistic and cultural diversity, and contributing to achieving broader societal goals. The emphasis on practical resources and training workshops demonstrates a commitment to translating research into tangible benefits for teachers and students.
This book is a key intellectual output from an EU funded K2 Erasmus + Strategic partnership (School Education) project: Majority and Minority Languages in School Environments: Helping teachers, pupils and parents (MaMLiSE, 2020-1-PL01-KA201-081612).
Free to Download at: https://www.vr-elibrary.de/doi/book/10.14220/9783737015639.
Free access to the workshop materials and resources at the following link:
I am Associate Professor in Education at the School of Education in the University of Limerick, Ireland, with a diverse and extensive background in education.
I have been a teacher educator over 23 years.
I have a diverse range of expertise in the field of education. I am committed to fostering global citizenship and equipping students with the necessary skills to thrive in a multicultural and multilingual world. My interest in multilingualism, multiculturalism, migrant education, intercultural skills, global citizenship, language-sensitive teaching, curriculum studies, wellbeing, policy literacy, and digital technologies reflect my commitment to better understanding the key factors influencing education today.
I hold a Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication & Understanding and Foreign Language Pedagogy from the University of Kassel, Germany (magna cum laude). My academic journey also includes a master’s degree in applied Linguistics from University College Dublin, Ireland as well as secondary school teaching qualifications and a degree in German and History from the University of Galway, Ireland. I also hold qualifications in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and in Information and Communication Technology for Education Purposes (ICT). I hold a qualification in Communication Studies.
In addition to my educational qualifications, I am multilingual, with fluency in several languages (English, Gaeilge, German, French). I possess several language-related qualifications from higher education institutions such as Cologne University, Bochum University, Goethe Institut, and Kassel University in Germany.
Before joining the School of Education at the University of Limerick, I had a successful career as a secondary school teacher, teaching German, History, and Information and Communication Technology for thirteen years. As a teacher, I received several national awards, including an eTwinning award (European Commission) for innovative pedagogy by enhancing learning through digital technologies and an award for an initiative for embedding global perspectives in the curriculum.
I hold a national position as the eTwinning/Erasmus Ambassador for Initial Teacher Education in Ireland. In this capacity, I actively promote the eTwinning program to both pre-service and practicing teachers, providing pedagogical and technical support to schools and teachers. The eTwinning programme, which I champion, facilitates international exchanges, peer learning, multidisciplinary learning, and innovative pedagogy. It contributes to the development of intercultural and digital skills, aligning with several core priorities of national and international education policies seeking to harness the potential of digital technologies to enhance education and citizenship. In this national role, I have gained valuable insights into the potential of international collaborations at school and in higher education to develop critical thinking, intercultural skills, and communication skills—attributes highly sought after in today’s world.
I have written a commissioned policy mapping report (2023) demonstrating the implementation of the new Digital Strategy for School using the eTwinning Programme - The Digital Community for Schools in Europe. I advocate for educators to utilise the European School Education Platform for crafting and joining inventive projects, employing digital tools to connect with schools across Europe.