March 15, 2004

New SCoTENS funding application approved

SCoTENS, Standing Conference on Teaching Education, North and South, administered by the Centre for Cross Border Studies, have approved new funding applications for research projects and conferences. They included:

Dr Hugh Kearns, Stranmillis UC and Dr Michael Shevlin, TCD

The Proposal: To host a two one-day conferences in Dublin and Belfast for 30 people to discuss the following:
1. to identify policy and practice in the preparation of pre-service teachers for teaching pupils with special educational needs in Ireland.
2. to establish an all-Ireland network of teacher educators with responsibility for special education needs in undergraduate and postgraduate courses of initial teacher education.

Granted £5,000 to host two one-day conferences.

A North/South Conference on Education for Diversity and Citizenship
Una O’Connor, University of Ulster, and Gerry Jeffers, NUI Maynooth

The proposal: To assist with the finances for hosting a major two day conference to develop joint North/South proposals in the following areas of Education for Diversity and Citizenship:
1. Initial teacher education
2. In-service teacher education (including members of support services and NGOs)
3. Research and evaluation

The Main objectives of the conference will be to:
1. Share approaches to diversity and citizenship at ITE and CPD level
2. Share insights from existing research in both jurisdiction
3. Identify possibilities for joint research and evaluation

Granted £4,000 to assist with costs associated with organising conference

A preliminary Evaluation of a Teaching Package for Children with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD)
Dr. Jean Ware, St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra

The proposal: To build on research into the practicalities of teaching cause and effect to children with profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties conducted by the Special Education Department in St. Patrick’s College, by extending the trial of its specially written teaching package to include teachers of PMLD children in
the North.
The Main objectives of the project will be:
1. To carry out refinements to the teaching package in line with the suggestions made by the staff in the trial school, and the teachers who took part in the inservice course in the South.
2. To introduce the package to staff from Northern Ireland schools and run a short course for teachers expressing an interest in its use.
3. To support teachers from both the North and the South in implementing the teaching technique with appropriate children in their classes
4. To evaluate the usefulness of the package and the success of the support provided in enabling teachers to use the techniques practically, effectively and independently.

Granted £4,000 to assist with costs towards implementing the project.

Dr Paul Conway (NUI Cork), Dr Hugh Kearns (Stranmillis UC), Dr Mary McAteer(University of Ulster, Magee College) and Regina Murphy (St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra)

The Proposal: To conduct a comparative study of principles, policy, processes and provisions for teacher continuing professional development (CPD) in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and to outline a set of principles for the provision of teacher CPD in Ireland, identifying obstacles to progress and opportunities for growth.

The research will focus upon the following five aspects of CPD:
1. Overarching principles
2. Regional policy
3. Processes
4. Provisions
5. Possibilities

There has been agreement in principle to fund this project subject to a number of recommended revisions.