Research Profile

Marcella Towler

Biography

Graduated with a BA in Early Childhhood Studies from UCC. I have also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Currently studying for a PhD in education.
Research interests include discourses relating to play in early years education. Further research interests include the Froebelian approach to education both historic and contemporary;developments in the early years sector in Ireland, (particularly in relation to Síolta, Aistear and the Free Preschool year). 
My interest in Aistear has extended to a mentoring role to a preschool in Lesotho. The preschool is using the Aistear curriculum framework to guide their practice.Other research interests include emergent curriculum, STEM in early childhood and educational provision for children with special needs.

Research Interests

I joined the School of Education in 2010 from the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health and continued my doctoral work on the German educator Froebel. In particular, I am interested in how the approach is evident in current early years curricula and practice. This is the focus of my current research.
Within this context, I am interested in developments in the early childhood care and education sector in Ireland, particularly those relating to Síolta; The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Aistear:The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. 
My interest in Aistear has extended to a mentoring role to a preschool in Lesotho. The preschool is using the Aistear curriculum framework to guide their practice.Other research interests include emergent curriculum, STEM in early childhood and educational provision for children with special needs.
I have actively participated in OMEP Annual Conferences in Cork as well as the OMEP World Conference in 2014. I have several peer-reviewed articles, one as sole author, and I have contributed to Early Years Conferences on the topic of early learning.
 

Publications

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2015)'The Multiple Intelligences (MI) Footprint in the Aistear Early Years' Curriculum Framework in Ireland'
Towler, M., Ridgway, A., Mc Carthy, M. (2015) 'The Multiple Intelligences (MI) Footprint in the Aistear Early Years' Curriculum Framework in Ireland'. An Leanbh Og, The Omep Journal of Early Childhood Studies, :161-175 [Details]
(2014)'Early Childhood Care and Education Policy: Ireland Country Note'
Deirdre Horgan, Shirley Martin, Maura Cunneen and Marcella Towler (2014) 'Early Childhood Care and Education Policy: Ireland Country Note'. New Zealand Research In Early Childhood Education, 17 (Special Issue):21-34   [Details]
(2009)'Friedrich Froebel: A Relic from the Past, A Vision for the Future'
Towler, M. (2009) 'Friedrich Froebel: A Relic from the Past, A Vision for the Future'. An Leanbh Óg: Journal of OMEP Ireland, [Details]

Articles

 YearPublication
(2013)Project E.Y.E. and Aistear: Making the Links.
Rosaleen Murphy, Marcella Towler (2013) Project E.Y.E. and Aistear: Making the Links. Cork: Articles [Details]

Professional Activities

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2014)OMEP World Conference and Assembly,
Marcella Towler (2014) Reading, writing, counting and sitting still- Influences on early learning, historic and contemporary. [Oral Presentation], OMEP World Conference and Assembly, University College Cork , 02-JUL-14 - 05-JUL-14. [Details]
(2014)OMEP World Conference and Assembly,
Marcella Towler, Anna Ridgway, Marian Mc Carthy (2014) The Multiple Intelligences footprint in the Aistear Early Years' Curriculum Framework in Ireland. [Oral Presentation], OMEP World Conference and Assembly, University College Cork , 02-JUL-14 - 05-JUL-14. [Details]
(2012)International Froebel Society Conference,
Towler, M. (2012) Froebelian Principles and Pedagogy in Early Years Care and Education in Ireland: the Potential of 'Aistear' and 'Siolta'. [Oral Presentation], International Froebel Society Conference, Froebel College of Education, Dublin , 12-APR-12 - 14-APR-12. [Details]
(2011)OMEP Ireland Conference,
Rosaleen Murphy and Marcella Towler (2011) Aistear and Project E.Y.E. [Poster Presentation], OMEP Ireland Conference, Cork , 02-APR-11 - 02-APR-11. [Details]
(2008)OMEP Ireland Conference,
Marcella Towler; (2008) Title: Friedrich Froebel:A Relic form the Past:A Vision for the Future OMEP Ireland Conference. [Oral Presentation], OMEP Ireland Conference, UCC , 18-APR-08 - 19-APR-08. [Details]
(2008)International Froebel Society Conference,
Marcella Towler; (2008) Title: `Finding Froebel:Froebel's Approach to Education in Current Irish Early Years Curricula and Practice. [Oral Presentation], International Froebel Society Conference, Wheelock College Boston , 09-JUL-08 - 11-JUL-08. [Details]

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
School of Education Workload Committee Committee member2019 / 2019
School of Education Teaching and Learning Committee Committee member2018 / 2019
EYCS staff student committee Chair2014 / 2019
OMEP Ireland Committee World Conference Programme Co-ordinator2014 / 2014
OMEP Ireland Committee Conference organising subcommitee member2011 / 2014
First Year Experience Working Group Committee member2013 / 2014
Executive Management Group of Early Years and Childhood Studies 2010 / 2012

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
Cork College of Commerce Tutor/
University College Cork College Lecturer, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health16-SEP-07 / 31-AUG-10
University College Cork College Lecturer, Early Years and Childhood Studies,School of Education01-SEP-10 /

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
2010University College Cork Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher EduTeaching and Learning in Higher Education
2004University College Cork BA - UCCEarly Childhood Studies

Outreach Activities

 Description

My work as mentor to the Children’s programme in Ha Maqele, Lesotho commenced when a colleague in the School of Applied Social Studies Dr Jacqui O Riordan asked me to join skype calls to Lesotho in 2016. I work with Early Years and Childhood Studies students in UCC and part of that work involves exploring working with Aistear. Jacqui felt that I could contribute to the discussions with M’e Mats’ireletso and M’e Marethabile., the preschool teachers. Jacqui and I visited the centre in 2017 and saw how Aistear has been adapted to suit the context in Lesotho. Since our visit in 2017, the Skype calls have continued and Eileen Coates from the Board of Directors of Action Lesotho has joined these communications thus providing further support and insight on the projects. This has been a mutually beneficial collaboration. M’e Mats’ireletso and M’e Marethabile discuss their ideas and activities and the successes and challenges therein. Jacqui, Eileen and I have also benefited from this involvement as it has contributed to our insights on a broad range of perspectives on childhood and education. We regularly advise on education, curricular activities and the day to day difficulties that arise therein.

Other Activities

 Description

Conference delegate:
June 9th 2012 Edinburgh: Attended the Froebel Network Edinburgh Conference: 'Froebel: Gifts for our Future 4 making Connections Across Time and Place'

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

I am interested in all aspects of teaching relating to early childhood care and education.
I teach on the following modules on the EYCS degree:
SS1015 (Social Policy and Society Part 1),
SS1016 (Social Policy and Society Part 2),
ED1014 (Contemporary Issues in Early Years and Childhood Studies 2)
SS2027 (Childcare Placement and Preparation).
I have contributed to Module ED6026 on the Masters in Education Programme.
I am module co-ordinator on modules ED1012 (Early Years and Childhood Studies: Pedagogical Principles and Practices) and ED2005 (Early Years and Childhood Policy: Planning and Practice)
I have also been module co-ordinator on ED6062 (Play in Learning and Development in Early Childhood) on the Master in Education Programme.
 

Recent Postgraduates

 Graduation YearStudent NameInstitutionDegree TypeThesis Title
2016Susan O' Dwyer University College CorkM.Ed.An Exploration of the Role and Potential of ICT in the Infant Education of a Primary School
2019June O Sullivan University College CorkM.Ed.To play or not to play-the role of the teacher in classroom play?
2018Laura Hyde University College CorkM.Ed.An Exploration into Teacher and Parent perceptions of Aistear: current practice and future potential.
2018Grace Quinlan University College CorkM.Ed.Child’s play or fire fighting? An exploration of perspectives and practices around play-based approaches in lower primary.

Modules Taught

 Term (ID))TitleLinkSubject
2020Contemporary Issues in Early Years and Childhood Studies 2 ED1014Contemporary Issues in Early Years and Childhood Studies 2
2020Early Years and Childhood Studies: Pedagogical Principles and Practices ED1012Early Years and Childhood Studies: Pedagogical Principles and Practices
2020Early Years and Childhood Policy: Planning and Practice ED2005Early Years and Childhood Policy: Planning and Practice
2019Play in Learning and Development in Early Childhood ED6062Play in Learning and Development in Early Childhood

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School of Education

Scoil an Oideachais

Leeholme, O' Donovan's Road, Cork, Ireland

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