Research Profile

Stephen O'Brien

Biography

PROFESSIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE (Educational Leadership and Teaching and Learning):

(Sep 2006 – Present)
: Former chair of the School of Education Research Forum and member of the School’s Research and Innovation Committee. As chair of the School of Education Research Forum, I was responsible for leading a team of colleagues to a) Develop the new Teaching Research Laboratory and generally manage its research functions; b) Set up, manage and promote the (seminal) annual schedule of research seminars; and c) Determine and manage the public research face of the school. Former college lecturer on the PDEA and BEd in Sports Studies programmes. Currently, college lecturer on the PME (Professional Master of Education) programme (Curriculum and Assessment and Professional Research Paper or PRP modules; tutor and supervisor (over 16 years) to approximately 7 students annually on school placement; co-designed and formerly taught on the Inclusive Multicultural Education and Foundations modules); and developing new Global Citizenship Education (GCE) curriculum opportunities; MEd programme (designer and coordinator of research methodology or compulsory research seminar supports and curriculum and assessment module option); and PhD (both taught and traditional model) programmes.  Supervisor to PME student teachers each year.  Academic supervisor to MEd and PhD students overseeing theoretical treatise and research methodology elements to theses.  Engaged in a number of collaborative research projects (see later).  Coordinator of School research seminar series in the new TRL (Teaching Research Laboratory) facility.  Former academic policy coordinator for the BEd in Sports Studies programme with respect to curriculum and assessment issues; former director of the Teaching Resource Laboratory in partnership with Dr Tom Mullins and colleagues; former member (2014-2017) of the faculty’s CADC (Curriculum Academic Development Committee); currently serving on the MEd, PhD, EDI School committees and the CACSSS Graduate Studies committee.  Most recently (2019-2020) a committee member on the School’s QR Committee, positively contributing to the SAR and QR visit (including presenting a case study exemplar of the School’s research work to the QR Panel). I am currently developing, in collaboration with CACE, new curriculum developments in Further, Adult & Community Education (at levels 8 and 9).

(Sep 2002 – Sep 2006): Acting Director (2005-2006) of, and Senior researcher (2002-2006) at, the Centre for Adult Continuing Education, UCC – this involved leading and steering a challenging Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement (now ‘Quality Review’) Process; overseeing the myriad of teaching, learning and administrative (including financial) activities of the Centre; and designing and implementing staff development needs and plans, as well as public and community relations.  In my senior research role at the Centre I designed and undertook research in the field of adult education and raised the Centre’s academic profile by disseminating results in peer-reviewed journal/book/report publications, various national and international conferences and community events.  The adult education research studies served to inform good professional practice in the Centre.  For an extensive period I worked with Professor Mairtin Ó Fathaigh on a HEA (Higher Education Authority) funded project designed to identify key aspects of Learning Partnerships for Social Inclusion.  Specifically, the project sought to produce guidelines on best practice for statutory/voluntary providers working with under-represented adult learning groups.  The work culminated in a book published by Oak Tree Press in 2007.  Other projects included: Lecturers’ and tutors’ professional practices in a lifelong learning context.  I also acted as chairperson and facilitator of the Quality Review process and co-authored and edited the Self-Assessment Report outlining the ethos, animating principles, working practices and evaluative outcomes of the Centre over the previous fifteen years.

Lecturer in UCC (University College Cork) - curriculum and assessment module of the HDE (Higher Diploma in Education – later the Postgraduate Diploma in Education or PDE and now the Professional Master of Education or PME) course, MEd research module, curriculum change module on the PDEA (Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Administration) course, engaged in the design and teaching processes of a new Learning Partnership between UCC and CIT (Cork Institute of Technology) relating to the Btech Degree.

(Sep 2001 – Sep 2002): Lecturer in  Cork College of Commerce (CCC) - educational psychology module of Montessori diploma, sociology and psychology modules of applied social science course, teaching methods module of the JEB (Joint Examining Board) programme, teacher of mathematics for repeat Leaving-Certificate students.

Lecturer in UCC – curriculum and assessment module of the HDE (Higher Diploma in Education), curriculum and assessment module and student supervision within the HDEA (Higher Diploma in Educational Administration) and MEd degree courses.

Lecturer in CIT – management psychology course.

(Jan 1998 – Aug 2001): Full-Time PhD study – recipient of the Bristol University Graduate School’s prestigious scholarship award, participant of and contributor to reading groups, discussion fora and seminars on various educational topics.  I presented papers at major educational conferences and had two peer reviewed journal articles published.  I also taught regularly in a supply teaching capacity at a number of secondary and special needs schools in the Bristol area, and helped co-ordinate Easter/Summer Numeracy Schools for disaffected and lower ability pupils.  

(Sep 1991 - Jan 1998)
Secondary school teacher and pastoral Head of First Year in St Bonaventure’s RC School, East London - this was a very challenging and rewarding experience.  Many of the pupils came from socially deprived backgrounds and some had serious emotional, behavioural and learning disabilities.  As a staff we worked hard on such problems and, since, St Bonaventure’s has become a highly successful and heavily over-subscribed comprehensive school.  During my years there I was instrumental in setting up: A new mathematics resource centre; a student school council; ‘after-school clubs’ (including homework support for special educational needs children).  From September 1995 I was promoted to the pastoral position of Head of First Year.  Such duties included: Overseeing the work of six teacher colleagues, greater communication with external agencies (such as the local authority, educational welfare and social workers, the special needs support unit, parents, and the School Inspectorate); working closely with senior management; engaging with curriculum and pastoral development; expanding educational programmes for the adult community; and conducting primary liaison work.  I also contributed to in-service training provision in school by presenting various educational topics and programmes, as well as taking a lead in a number of teacher workshops and mentoring Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs).
 

Third Level Education:  

(Jan 1998 – August 2001): Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol - PhD (Educational Policy and Management)


(1994 - 1996): Goldsmiths College, University of London - MEd (Masters in Educational Policy and Management)

(1990 - 1991): University College Cork - HDE (Higher Diploma in Education)

(1987 - 1990): University College Cork - BA (Hons) in Economics and Mathematics

Second Level Education:
  (1981-1987): Christian Brothers College, Sydney Hill, Cork - received Intermediate Certificate (ten honours) and Leaving Certificate (seven honours)

Research Interests


ORCID no. 0000-0003-4615-2889
Updated summary - Dr Stephen O Brien has recently completed a monograph with Routledge entitled ‘Inside Education: exploring the art of good learning' - see www.routledge.com/9780415529204 and is currently working on another book publication on Further, Adult & Community Education. Stephen supports research methodology generally in the School especially at MEd and PhD levels, running  central workshops for students about to embark on research work. Stephen is currently researching students’ civic engagement with the aid of ongoing grants, notably from Irish-Aid funded UBUNTU grants (2014-present) and IRC grants (on Civic Engagement in Social Justice Issues from 2014-18). Stephen has worked on the LETS study and on a study on mathematics in the Polish weekend school and has published either as sole or co-author numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, conference publications, book reviews and reports over the years (21 years in academy and 10 years previously in schools). Stephen has given and participated in many workshops and has spoken regularly at conferences on the topics of Mathematics, Teachers’ Social Inclusive Work and Critical Perspectives on neoliberal encroachments in education, inter alia. He has worked with the full range of lifelong learners - from early years to secondary school students, university students and wider adult education learner cohorts.  He is particularly specialized in working on and researching the 'lived' experiences of learners in multicultural and other 'superdiverse' educational settings and is committed to critiquing and advancing conditions for those who are marginalised - politically, socially, culturally and educationally. He has worked with adult learners in community outreach and workplace settings from such backgrounds and his research highlights the importance of progressing minority learner access, accessibility and outcomes.  His experience with `non-traditional' learners continues to challenge his methodology and he has long wrestled with the question: 'do `non-traditional' learners require non-traditional forms of learning?' In response (he continues to struggle with this question), he believes 'non-traditional' learning challenge us all in education and society to adapt and transform traditional pedagogical/andragogical practices to include `others' for whom the standard social and cultural capitals of formal education are both obscure and alienating. In this regard, it is important to critique ethos, systems and structures, programme development, curriculum and assessment practices, democratic governance and notions of `effective' learning climates within and across educational systems and institutions. He believes that it is essential to acknowledge the `lifeworld' of learners and their 'narratives', to engage in relevant (`real-life') and affirming learning issues, to reveal academic mores and skills that appear `beyond reach', to use appropriate language, to engage (where possible) with dialogical practices and personable exchanges, to provide key resources and enable ownership of knowledge, to structure and offer flexible curriculum and assessment opportunities, and to work with colleagues on areas where we as a staff (and institution) can change in partnership with learners. Enlightened by a critical approach to teaching (and utilizing a 'bricolage' approach to a wide range of critical perspectives), he is willing to explore diverse methodological approaches and new theoretical and research perspectives that better place learners at the centre of the learning process. He believes in the power of 'voice' and advocacy (and his own position of responsibility in this regard), as well as the need to develop key networks of specialist supports. In stating this, he does not believe that `non-traditional' approaches can (inadvertedly or otherwise) place themselves `outside' the critical `self-reflexive' approach they espouse. As an intellectual and ideological interest, it remains important to constantly critique a certain `promotional' (sometimes `mystical') ethic attaching to movements for liberatory, transformative action. The challenge presented to critical theory forms (e.g. adult education, forms of critical multicultural and inclusive education) is whether they can expunge negative connotations of dogmatism and idealism and authentically engage in their own reflexive practice. It is well to remind, therefore, that teachers are state workers - they, alongside students, work `within a system'. Teaching and learning methods that aim for the development of critical independent learners must engage with the contradictions, dilemmas, ideological and intellectual contestations that prevail within the education system. Such complexity may not be foremost in the minds of student teachers (or professionals with experience for that matter), but it is incumbent on a teacher educator to engage with (over time, with structure, enthusiasm and encouragement) such deep-rooted ideological, and ultimately, personal/professional issues. It is hoped that self-understanding and self-development may emerge from experience therein. I believe that it is the prime responsibility of a teacher-educator/researcher to foster these learning processes and I hope I do so in the manner in which I undertake my own personal/professional practice, at pedagogical and research levels. My current research interests include:
  • Educational Policy Studies
  • Social Inclusion and the Theory of Social Capital
  • Critical Multicultural Education
  • Critical Global Citizenship Education
  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Adult and Community Education
  • Theories of Learning
These inter-disciplinary areas have important implications for teacher professional development and the promotion of good classroom practice. But they have transdisciplinary relevance too.  Educational philosophy and theory is the 'glue' that binds how well we embrace difference in the academy and how best we serve diverse strengths, interests and concerns. The above research areas also serve to critically inform a broader, effective pedagogical response at both policy and institutional levels. Current research focuses on exploring the links between immigration into Ireland, social exclusion and poverty and the development of democratic multicultural citizenship. It focuses on 'superdiversity' (and relatedly, 'intersectionality' and expansive forms of 'sustainability') and how schools and universities can be positively impacted by, and play a seminal role in, positive social change.

Research Grants

 ProjectFunding
Body
Start DateEnd DateAward
University Access - HEA Funded Research Project01-SEP-0101-SEP-05€130,000.00
AURORAEuropean Union01-FEB-2031-DEC-23€30,178.00
University of Bristol PhD Scholarship01-JAN-9801-AUG-01€50,000.00
ECOLHE PhD Studentship01-OCT-2101-OCT-24€95,800.00
LETs I and II ('Learning to Teach' DES-funded Study based in the School of Education, UCC).01-SEP-0801-SEP-11€100,000.00
Multicultural Education (Phases 1 and 2 on scholarly and network establishment and curriculum development).01-OCT-1001-OCT-12€10,000.00
SOLAS Research Project01-NOV-2001-JUL-22€40,000.00
Ubuntu 2014-2022 - Developing Global Citizenship Education (GCE) opportunities for student teachers01-OCT-1401-OCT-22€55,000.00
CACSSS Research funds (2011-2018).01-SEP-1101-SEP-18€3,500.00
Civic Engagement in Social Justice Issues - Examining the Impact of GTransformative and innovative Pedagogical Methods on Student teachers at UCC and on Local and International Communities of interest.Irish Research Council01-OCT-1428-FEB-19€96,000.00
Teaching Research Laboratory and Outdoor Early Years Education space01-SEP-1701-JAN-20€80,000.00
UCC - AURORA (Alliance of Universities to Reform curricula that Outcasts Radicalism in Asian societies)01-JAN-2101-JAN-24€43,048.00

Publications

Books

 YearPublication
(2022)In Preparation - Key philosophical and theoretical foundations in the field of adult education – towards a sustainable FET vision for Ireland.
Galvin, M., O’Brien, S., Powell, F. and Rudd, T. (2022). (2022) In Preparation - Key philosophical and theoretical foundations in the field of adult education – towards a sustainable FET vision for Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press. [Details]
(2016)Inside Education: exploring the art of good learning [www.routledge.com/9780415529204].
O'Brien, S. (2016) Inside Education: exploring the art of good learning [www.routledge.com/9780415529204]. London and New York: Routledge.   [Details]
(2007)Key Aspects of Learning Partnerships for Social Inclusion: Exploring Lifelong Learning Contexts, Issues and Approaches.
O'Brien, S. and Ó Fathaigh, M. ; (2007) Key Aspects of Learning Partnerships for Social Inclusion: Exploring Lifelong Learning Contexts, Issues and Approaches. Cork: Oak Tree Press. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2020)'Hopes and worries in learning to grow together: Key praxiological lessons for the adult educator'
McCarthy, F. and O'Brien, S. (2020) 'Hopes and worries in learning to grow together: Key praxiological lessons for the adult educator'. The Adult Learner: Journal of Adult & Community Education, [Details]
(2009)'A Critical Review of Whatever it Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America by Paul Tough (2008). Boston and New York. Houghton Mifflin Company, ISBN 978-0-618-56989-2'
O'Brien, S. (2009). (2009) 'A Critical Review of Whatever it Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America by Paul Tough (2008). Boston and New York. Houghton Mifflin Company, ISBN 978-0-618-56989-2'. The Adult Learner: Journal of Adult & Community Education, [Details]
(2007)'A Critical Review of On Bourdieu, Education and Society by Derek Robbins (2006). Oxford. The Bardwell Press, ISBN 0-9548683-6-6'
O'Brien, S. (2007) (2007) 'A Critical Review of On Bourdieu, Education and Society by Derek Robbins (2006). Oxford. The Bardwell Press, ISBN 0-9548683-6-6'. Critical Studies In Education, [Details]
(2019)'The System Crisis 2020: The End of Neoliberal Higher Education in the UK?'
Rudd, T. and O'Brien, S. (2019) 'The System Crisis 2020: The End of Neoliberal Higher Education in the UK?'. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, [Details]
(2018)'Critical researchers 'of and for our times': Exploring student teachers' use of critical multicultural and development education frameworks in their Professional Research Papers (PRPs)'
O'Brien, S and Cotter, G (2018) 'Critical researchers 'of and for our times': Exploring student teachers' use of critical multicultural and development education frameworks in their Professional Research Papers (PRPs)'. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 1 (26):74-104 [Details]
(2014)'Knowing how to feel about the Other? Student teachers, and the contingent role of embodiments in educational inequalities'
Kitching, K., O'Brien, S., Long, F., Conway, P.F., Murphy, R. and Hall, K. (2014) 'Knowing how to feel about the Other? Student teachers, and the contingent role of embodiments in educational inequalities'. Pedagogy Culture and Society, [Details]
(2012)'Mathematics as (multi)cultural practice: Irish lessons from the Polish weekend school'
O'Brien, S. and Long, F. (2012) 'Mathematics as (multi)cultural practice: Irish lessons from the Polish weekend school'. American Journal of Mathematics, 5 (2):133-156   [Full Text] [Details]
(2012)'Cultural Regulation and the Reshaping of the University'
O'Brien, S.; (2012) 'Cultural Regulation and the Reshaping of the University'. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 10 (4):539-562   [Details]
(2011)'Evaluating Learning Outcomes: In Search of Lost Knowledge'
O'Brien, S; Brancaleone, D; (2011) 'Evaluating Learning Outcomes: In Search of Lost Knowledge'. Irish Educational Studies, 30 (1):5-21 [Details]
(2011)'Educational commodification and the (economic) sign value of learning outcomes'
Brancaleone, D. and O'Brien, S.; (2011) 'Educational commodification and the (economic) sign value of learning outcomes'. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 32 (No. 4):501-519 [Details]
(2007)'Ideological Challenges to the Social Inclusion Agenda'
O'Brien, S. and Ó Fathaigh, M.; (2007) 'Ideological Challenges to the Social Inclusion Agenda'. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 11 (5-6):593-606 [Details]
(2005)'Bringing in Bourdieu's Theory of Social Capital: Renewing Learning Partnership Approaches to Social Inclusion'
O'Brien, S and O Fathaigh, M; (2005) 'Bringing in Bourdieu's Theory of Social Capital: Renewing Learning Partnership Approaches to Social Inclusion'. Journal of Irish Educational Studies, 24 (1):63-74 [Details]
(2005)'Critiquing the Partnership Ideal for Social Inclusion: A Voluntary Sector Perspective'
O'Brien, S., Ó Fathaigh, M.; (2005) 'Critiquing the Partnership Ideal for Social Inclusion: A Voluntary Sector Perspective'. Journal of Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 7 (2):4-17 [Details]
(1999)'Equity in Education: Implications of the Standardisation of Standards'
O'Brien, S.; (1999) 'Equity in Education: Implications of the Standardisation of Standards'. Equality Journal, 1 (1):10-18 [Details]
(1999)'New Labour, New Approach? Exploring Tensions within Educational Policy and Practice'
O'Brien, S.; (1999) 'New Labour, New Approach? Exploring Tensions within Educational Policy and Practice'. Education and Social Justice, 2 (1):18-27 [Details]

Book Chapters

 YearPublication
(2019)'Making narrative connections to renew our professional identities and ‘life politics’: Ivor Goodson’s role in challenging the neoliberal consensus'
O'Brien, S and Rudd, T. (2019) 'Making narrative connections to renew our professional identities and ‘life politics’: Ivor Goodson’s role in challenging the neoliberal consensus' In: Y. Novakovic and P. Sikes (eds). Storying the public intellectual: Commentaries on the impact and influence of the work of Ivor Goodson. London and New York: Routledge. [Details]
(2006)'‘What is Learning and How Does it Work? – ‘Learning to Learn’ Lessons for the Adult Facilitator’'
O'Brien, S. (2006) '‘What is Learning and How Does it Work? – ‘Learning to Learn’ Lessons for the Adult Facilitator’' In: In S. O’Brien (ed, 2006) ‘Learning to Learn’ Lessons for the Adult Lecturer and Tutor. Cork. UCC Centre for Adult Continuing Education Publication. University College Cork: UCC Centre for Adult Continuing Education Publication. [Details]
(2017)'‘Resisting neoliberal education: For freedom’s sake''
O'Brien, S. (2017) '‘Resisting neoliberal education: For freedom’s sake'' In: Negotiating Neoliberalism: Developing alternative educational visions. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.   [Details]
(2013)'O’Brien, S. (2013) ‘Re-representing education’s image and status: In the ‘interest’ of pedagogical innovation’'
O'Brien, S. (2013) 'O’Brien, S. (2013) ‘Re-representing education’s image and status: In the ‘interest’ of pedagogical innovation’' In: G. K Zarifis and M. N. Gravani (Eds, 2013) Challenging the ‘European Area of Lifelong Learning’: A critical response. London: Springer Publication. [Details]
(2012)''Developing ‘good’ post-primary teachers and teaching in a reform era: cultural dynamics in a programme level study of the PDE. Re-imagining Initial Teacher Education: Perspectives on Transformation'
Conway, P.F., Murphy, R., Delargey, M., Hall, K., Kitching, K., Long, F., McKeon, J., Murphy, B., O'Brien, S., & O'Sullivan, D. (2012) ''Developing ‘good’ post-primary teachers and teaching in a reform era: cultural dynamics in a programme level study of the PDE. Re-imagining Initial Teacher Education: Perspectives on Transformation' In: Re-imagining Initial Teacher Education: Perspectives on TransformationRe-imagining Initial Teacher Education: Perspectives on Transformation. DublinDublin: Liffey Press.Liffey Press. [Details]
(2012)'Developing ‘good’ post-primary teachers and teaching in a reform era: cultural dynamics in a programme level study of the ‘Dip’'
Conway, PF., Murphy, R., Delargey, M., Hall, K; Kitching, K., Long, F.,McKeon, J., Murphy, B., O'Brien, S., & O'Sullivan, D. (2012) (2012) 'Developing ‘good’ post-primary teachers and teaching in a reform era: cultural dynamics in a programme level study of the ‘Dip’' In: F. Waldron, Dooley, T & Smith, J (eds. 2012) Re-imagining Initial Teacher Education (ITE): Perspectives on Transformation. Dublin: Liffey Press. [Details]
(2009)'The Polish school in Cork: Recognising Polish voices in Irish education'
Long, F. and O'Brien, S.; (2009) 'The Polish school in Cork: Recognising Polish voices in Irish education' In: Ubuntu Network Action Research and Other Projects to Integrate Development Education into Initial Teacher Education 2006-2008. Dublin: Irish Aid. [Details]
(2009)'A forum for exploring intercultural and development education - issues with pre-service second level schoolteachers'
Long, F. and O'Brien, S.; (2009) 'A forum for exploring intercultural and development education - issues with pre-service second level schoolteachers' In: Ubuntu Network Action Research and Other Projects to Integrate Development Education into Initial Teacher Education 2006-2008. Dublin: Irish Aid. [Details]

Conference Publications

 YearPublication
(2016)How do we re-present education? Development Education meets Critical Pedagogy
Cotter, G. and O’Brien, S. (2016). (2016) Opening Conference Address and Publication on dedicated website - http://representing-education.idestucc.com/ How do we re-present education? Development Education meets Critical Pedagogy [Details]
(2014)Science and Mathematics Education Conference. Dublin City University, June 24-25, 2014
Killilea, M., O’Brien, S. and Delargey, M. (2014) Sociocultural lessons for reform-based mathematics: Tracing pedagogical shifts in a transition year classroom Science and Mathematics Education Conference. Dublin City University, June 24-25, 2014 [Details]
(2011)Mathematics Education in Ireland 4
Conway, P. F., Delargey, M. Murphy, R. and O'Brien, S. ; (2011) Learning to teach in the context of reform-oriented mathematics . In: Dooley, T., Corcoran, D eds. Mathematics Education in Ireland 4 Dublin, , pp.94-111   [Details]

Published Reports

 YearPublication
(2022)Towards a sustainable Further Education and Training (FET) vision for Ireland.
Galvin, M., O’Brien, S., Powell, F. and Rudd, T. (2022). (2022) Towards a sustainable Further Education and Training (FET) vision for Ireland. SOLAS Publication, Dublin. [Details]
(2011)Learning to Teach (LETS): Developing curricular and cross curricular competences in becoming a 'good' secondary teacher. School of Education/DES, School of Education, UCC. [Executive Summary].
Conway, PF; Murphy, R; Delargey, M; Hall, K; Kitching, K; Long, F; Mc Keon, J; Murphy, B; O'Brien, S; O'Sullivan, D. (2011) Learning to Teach (LETS): Developing curricular and cross curricular competences in becoming a 'good' secondary teacher. School of Education/DES, School of Education, UCC. [Executive Summary]. School of Education, University College Cork, Cork.   [Full Text] [Details]
(2006)'Learning to Learn' Lessons for the Adult Lecturer and Tutor - Advancing Professional Practice Through a Reflective Portfolio Process.
O'Brien, S.; (2006) 'Learning to Learn' Lessons for the Adult Lecturer and Tutor - Advancing Professional Practice Through a Reflective Portfolio Process. Centre for Adult Continuing Education Publication, UCC, Cork. [Details]
(2005)Self-Assessment Report for the Quality Review Process.
O'Brien, S.; (2005) Self-Assessment Report for the Quality Review Process. Centre for Adult Continuing Education Publication, UCC, Cork. [Details]

Newspaper Articles

 YearPublication
(2019)Irish Times - Could traditional subjects become a thing of the past in Irish schools?.
McGuire, P. (contribution by S. O'Brien) (2019) Irish Times - Could traditional subjects become a thing of the past in Irish schools?. Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2016)Irish Times - We don't need no free market education.
O'Brien, S (2016) Irish Times - We don't need no free market education. Newspaper Articles [Details]

Radio Presentation

 YearPublication
(2019)Drive Time Radio 1 - AONTAS on 50 Years of Adult Education.
O'Brien, S (2019) Drive Time Radio 1 - AONTAS on 50 Years of Adult Education. Radio Presentation [Details]
(2019)RTE Radio 1 - 'Tormented teachers and anxiety in the classroom'.
O'Brien, S (2019) RTE Radio 1 - 'Tormented teachers and anxiety in the classroom'. Radio Presentation [Details]
(2016)Radio Youghal - On my book 'Inside Education'.
O'Brien, S (2016) Radio Youghal - On my book 'Inside Education'. Radio Presentation [Details]
(2013)Radio Youghal - 'On Education'.
O'Brien, S (2013) Radio Youghal - 'On Education'. Radio Presentation [Details]

Video recording / TV

 YearPublication
(2022)Introducing Development and Global Citizenship Education (GCE): Exploring key principles and practices.
O'Brien, S. and Hoy, S. (2022) Introducing Development and Global Citizenship Education (GCE): Exploring key principles and practices. Video recording / TV [Details]

Discussion

 YearPublication
(2019)Policy Discussion Paper in Preparation for the Adult Learner summit 2019 - 'Learner Voice'.
O'Brien, S. (with Dowdall, L., Fazelli, T., Field, J., Finnegan, F., Fleming, T., Flynn, P. and Lavender, P. (2019) Policy Discussion Paper in Preparation for the Adult Learner summit 2019 - 'Learner Voice'. Discussion [Details]

Radio Performance

 YearPublication
(2019)The world we want to live in: Stories told between student teachers and their pupils (Radio Youghal - the 'Global Hub' Programme).
O'Brien, S (2019) The world we want to live in: Stories told between student teachers and their pupils (Radio Youghal - the 'Global Hub' Programme). Radio Performance [Details]
(2013)Radio Series (Radio Youghal) - 'The value of education in today's society'.
O'Brien, S (2013) Radio Series (Radio Youghal) - 'The value of education in today's society'. Radio Performance [Details]

Artistic Research Projects (R&D)

 YearPublication
(2018)We make the road by walking: A journey through Development Education.
O'Brien, S. and Cotter, G.`(with artistic facilitators John Raftery and Dr Tadhg Crowley) (2018) We make the road by walking: A journey through Development Education. Artistic Research Projects (R&D) [Details]

Professional Activities

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2022PhD Studentship secured Erasmus Project: Empower Competencies for Online Learning in HE (ECOHLE)
2021PhD Studentship secured AUROR EU Erasmus + Project
2014PhD Studentship (Global Citizenship Education) IRC
2019Captain, UCC Staff Golf Society (2019-2022) UCC Golf Society Membership
2017Academic Expert Group - Adult Education AONTAS
2017Grawemeyer Book Award nomination for best education book of 2017 Grawemeyer Book Award International Panel, University of Louisville
1998PhD Scholarship Bristol University

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
University of Brighton International Research Group (2016-2019) Executive Member/
Ubuntu (Sep 2019-Present): Executive member of the Ubuntu (funded by Irish Aid) national steering group charged with providing guidelines on Global Citizenship Education (GCE) for Initial Teacher Educators (ITEs) in Ireland. Executive Steering Group Member01-SEP-19 / 01-SEP-24
UCC IFUT Branch Committee Executive Committee Member01-SEP-19 / 01-SEP-24
Praxis - Executive member of the UCC cross faculty Development Education Committee collaborating with such organisations as Trocaire and Galway One World. This high profile committee is responsible for inter and intra faculty programme initiatives that promote Development Education policy and practice. UCC hopes to be a flagship model within the EU for such university work on nurturing local and global citizenship.The committee is based at the Centre for Global Development (CGD). I currently serve as the academic coordinator on the university wide module UW0012 (‘Global Citizenship and Development Education’ or GCDE) which is a 12-week course that operated in Semester 2 each year and which is open for free to all current students and staff at UCC (as well as to the general public for a fee of 100 euros). This module is extremely popular – and we have a waiting list of some 245 prospective learners this year (2022) alone! Executive Committee Member01-JAN-21 / 01-JAN-24
National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) for SOLAS Dr Stephen O’Brien was appointed on the 14th December, 2020 to the National Technical Advisory Committee to support SOLAS in their drafting and publishing of a new 10-year Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy Strategy. This National Technical Advisory Committee is tasked with: Contextualising the main issues of relevance to the development of the strategy; providing technical assistance in relation to mapping of existing service and provision / support; assisting SOLAS in identifying relevant technical and other stakeholders for consultation purposes; providing technical support14-DEC-20 / 01-JAN-22
INTERPEARL - Associate member of the Innovative Teacher Education through Personalised Learning (INTERPEARL) Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project. The aim of the partnership is to develop, implement, test and transfer innovative practices of personalised learning within teacher education systems. Associate Member01-JAN-20 / 01-SEP-21
Erasmus Mundi Programme - Masters in Adult Education for Social Change Associate Member/
British Educational Research Association Member/
AONTAS - the national adult learning organisation National Further Education and Training Learner Forum (NFLF) Academic Expert Group - its primary aim is to enhance AONTAS’ (the national adult learning organisation’s) ability to effectively inform Irish Further Education and Training (FET) policy and practice.01-DEC-17 / 01-SEP-18
Educational Studies Association of Ireland Member and Peer Reviewer/
Peer reviewer for various national and international journals Peer reviewer (Irish Educational Studies, The Journal of Educational Policy, Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, An Leanbh Óg, the OMEP Ireland Journal of Early Childhood Studies, etc.).01-SEP-01 / 01-JAN-24
The Adult Learner Editorial Committee (Ireland's sole Adult Education Journal) Former editorial board member (2002-2006) and now current editorial board member (2020-Present) and peer reviewer for the journal01-SEP-20 / 01-SEP-24

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2022)ISS21 UNIC Seminar Series, Seminar 1,
O'Brien, S. (2022) (2022) The ‘critical’ role of education in understanding, and engaging, ‘superdiversity’: learning together about key principles and cultural practices across the university space. [Invited Oral Presentation], ISS21 UNIC Seminar Series, Seminar 1, Presentation for the ISS21 UNIC Seminar Series, Seminar 1 on ‘Exploring superdiversity: A critical roundtable discussion’. Online MS Teams, February 28, 2022 . [Details]
(2021)Online presentation to the School of Education staff,
O'Brien, S. (2021) (2021) The ‘critical’ purpose of Global Citizenship Education: New Céim Standards for Initial Teacher Education in Ireland. [Invited Oral Presentation], Online presentation to the School of Education staff, MS Teams, December 8, 2021 . [Details]
(2021)Research Master Class,
O'Brien, S. (2021). (2021) Global Citizenship & Development Education. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Research Master Class, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick . [Details]
(2021)AURORA - European, Indian and Nepalese Consortium,
Hoy, S. and O'Brien, S. (2021). (2021) Designing inclusive education in Initial Teacher Education (ITE). Online workshop with Indian and Nepalese educators. [Invited Lectures (Workshops)], AURORA - European, Indian and Nepalese Consortium, Google Meeting, June 22, 2021 . [Details]
(2020)Presentation to the QR Panel,
O'Brien, S., Cotter, G. and Hoy, S. (2020). (2020) Introduction to Development and Global Citizenship Education (DGCE). An Exemplary Case Study of Research at the School of Education, UCC. [Invited Oral Presentation], Presentation to the QR Panel, Tower Room 2, UCC, February 12, 2020 . [Details]
(2019)Tormented teachers and anxiety in the classroom,
O'Brien, S (2019) Invited chair of panel discussion at the Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork: Jan 12, 2019 (later disseminated on Radio 1). [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Tormented teachers and anxiety in the classroom, UCC . [Details]
(2019)What is ‘character’?,
O'Brien, S (2019) Guest of honour speech at the annual student awards ceremony . [Keynote Speaker], What is ‘character’?, Christian Brothers College, Cork City, - 01-NOV-19. [Details]
(2019)History of the Adult Learner Journal – a panel of current and former members of the editorial board,
O'Brien, S (2019) Invited speaker for panel discussion at the Council Chambers, Cork City Council. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], History of the Adult Learner Journal – a panel of current and former members of the editorial board, Cork City Council Chambers . [Details]
(2018)The importance of integrating ‘learner voice’ into adult education provision – evidence from national and international studies,
O'Brien, S (2018) Invited keynote speaker at The National Adult Learner Forum, Croke Park, Dublin: April 13, 2018. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], The importance of integrating ‘learner voice’ into adult education provision – evidence from national and international studies, Croke Park, Dublin . [Details]
(2017)What’s the point of stories? On making a case for critical ethnography,
O'Brien, S (2017) Paper presented at the EthnoArts Annual Conference, University of Porto: June 21-23, 2017. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], What’s the point of stories? On making a case for critical ethnography, University of Porto . [Details]
(2017)Telling education stories 'with a point': Some key theoretical and methodological challenges,
O'Brien, S (2017) Invited keynote speaker at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York: October 31, 2017. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Telling education stories 'with a point': Some key theoretical and methodological challenges, Columbia University, New York . [Details]
(2016)Ubuntu (Irish Aid funded project for student teachers) network members annual meeting,
O'Brien, S. (2016) Critical Pedagogy and Development Education. [Invited Oral Presentation], Ubuntu (Irish Aid funded project for student teachers) network members annual meeting, Aisling Hotel, Dublin , 18-FEB-16 - 18-FEB-16. [Details]
(2016)The Adult Literacy Organisers’ Forum on ‘Leadership and Innovation’,
O'Brien, S. (2016) Setting the Context for Further Education and Training: The Adult Literacy Organiser’s (ALO’s) Role. Key Introductory Talk, and Key Facilitator, for the Adult Literacy Organisers’ Forum on ‘Leadership and Innovation’, engaging key leaders from the DES, ETBI, SOLAS and including the Minister of State for Skills and Training Mr John Halligan. [Chair Sessions at Symposia], The Adult Literacy Organisers’ Forum on ‘Leadership and Innovation’, Ambassador Hotel, Cork , 13-OCT-16 - 14-OCT-16. [Details]
(2016)2016 AONTAS (The National Adult Learning Organisation) AGM,
O'Brien, S. (2016) What’s happening in adult education? Let’s listen to the educators and learners!. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], 2016 AONTAS (The National Adult Learning Organisation) AGM, Aisling Hotel, Dublin , 11-MAY-16 - 11-MAY-16. [Details]
(2016)2016 IRMSS (International Research Methods Summer School),,
O'Brien, S. (2016) What’s the point of stories? Investigating the hidden power of critical ethnography. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], 2016 IRMSS (International Research Methods Summer School),, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick , 27-MAY-16 - 29-MAY-16. [Details]
(2016)The Adult Literacy Organisers’ Forum on ‘Leadership and Innovation’,
O'Brien, S. (2016) Learning from experience: On becoming innovative leaders in education. [Keynote Speaker], The Adult Literacy Organisers’ Forum on ‘Leadership and Innovation’, Ambassador Hotel, Cork , 13-OCT-16 - 14-OCT-16. [Details]
(2014)Educational Policy Series,
O'Brien, S. (2014) Re-representing education's image and status: New challenges for critical literacy. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Educational Policy Series, University of Brighton , 14-MAY-14. [Details]
(2014)OMEP World Conference,
O'Brien, S. (2014) Learning Identity. [Invited Oral Presentation], OMEP World Conference, University College Cork , 03-JUL-14. [Details]
(2014)Science and Mathematics Education Conference (SMEC) 2014,
Killilea, M., O'Brien, S. and Delargey, M. (2014) Sociocultural Lessons for Reform-Based Mathematics: Tracing Pedagogical Shifts in a Transition Year Classroom. [Poster Presentation], Science and Mathematics Education Conference (SMEC) 2014, Dublin City University , 24-JUN-14 - 25-JUN-14. [Details]
(2013)Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century,
O'Brien, S. (2013) New Accountabilities in Irish Education. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century, University College Cork , 15-MAY-13. [Details]
(2012)2nd Annual Conference of the Network of Polish Schools in Ireland - Literacy and Bilingualism – University College Dublin: 24-25 November, 2012),
O'Brien, S. and Long, F. (2012) (2012) Mathematics as (multi)cultural practice: Irish and Polish lessons. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], 2nd Annual Conference of the Network of Polish Schools in Ireland - Literacy and Bilingualism – University College Dublin: 24-25 November, 2012), University College Dublin , 24-NOV-12 - 25-NOV-12. [Details]
(2012)School of Applied Psychology Research Seminar Series,
Stephen O'Brien (2012) Mathematics as (multi)cultural practice: Irish lessons from the Polish weekend school. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], School of Applied Psychology Research Seminar Series, University College Cork , 14-MAR-12 - 14-MAR-12. [Details]
(2011)University Challenged,
O'Brien, S.; (2011) Presenting a critique of the 'new' university direction. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], University Challenged, University College Cork, Ireland , 11-MAY-11 - 11-MAY-11. [Details]
(2011)Creative Educations: A Workshop,
OBrien, S.; (2011) A Creative Education for a Changing Society. [Invited Oral Presentation], Creative Educations: A Workshop, University College Cork, Ireland , 14-SEP-11 - 14-SEP-11. [Details]
(2010)2nd International Education Conference,
O'Brien, S.; (2010) Cultural Regulation and the Reshaping of the University. [Oral Presentation], 2nd International Education Conference, Paris , 06-JUL-10 - 08-JUL-10. [Details]
(2009)ESAI Conference,
O'Brien, S.; (2009) The (Economic) Value of Learning Outcomes: In Search of the Signs of Lost Knowledge. [Oral Presentation], ESAI Conference, Kilkenny , 02-APR-09 - 04-APR-09. [Details]
(2008)ESAI Conference,
O'Brien, S.; (2008) Bringing in Polish Voices in Irish Education. [Oral Presentation], ESAI Conference, Galway , 06-MAR-08 - 08-MAR-08. [Details]
(2008)CIT Cork School of Music,
O'Brien, S. ; (2008) Research Methodology - Engaging in problematics. [Invited Oral Presentation], CIT Cork School of Music, CIT Cork School of Music , 04-DEC-08 - 05-DEC-08. [Details]
(2006)ESCalate Annual Conference,
O'Brien, S.; (2006) Learning Partnerships for Greater Inclusion: Exploring Renewed Lifelong Learning Approaches. [Invited Oral Presentation], ESCalate Annual Conference, Stirling University, Scotland , 23-APR-06 - 24-APR-06. [Details]
(2005)FACE Conference,
O'Brien, S.; (2005) What is Learning and How Does it Work?. [Oral Presentation], FACE Conference, University College Cork , 06-JUL-05 - 08-JUL-05. [Details]
(2004)SFEU Annual Conference,
O'Brien, S. ; (2004) Key Aspects of Learning Partnerships for Social Inclusion - lessons for the FE provider. [Invited Oral Presentation], SFEU Annual Conference, Glasgow, Scotland , 01-DEC-04 - 03-DEC-04. [Details]
(2004)DCI-UCC Globalisation Conference,
O'Brien, S.; (2004) Ideological Challenges to the Social Inclusion Agenda. [Invited Oral Presentation], DCI-UCC Globalisation Conference, Cork , 01-JUN-04 - 01-JUN-04. [Details]
(2004)ESAI Conference,
O'Brien, S.; (2004) How can Learning Partnerships Promote Social Inclusion?. [Oral Presentation], ESAI Conference, Maynooth , 01-APR-04 - 03-APR-04. [Details]
(1999)ISATT Conference,
O'Brien, S.; (1999) The Impact of the 'Raising Standards' Agenda on Teachers' Perceptions: A Theoretical Analysis. [Oral Presentation], ISATT Conference, St. Patrick's College, Dublin , 27-JUL-99 - 31-JUL-99. [Details]
(1998)Perceptions of Equality: Philosophy, Policy and Practice Conference,
O'Brien, S.; (1998) Equity in Education: Implications of the Standardisation of Standards. [Oral Presentation], Perceptions of Equality: Philosophy, Policy and Practice Conference, University of Hertfordshire , 31-OCT-98 - 31-OCT-98. [Details]
(1998)BERA Conference,
O'Brien, S.; (1998) New Labour, New Approach? A Critical View of Educational Theory. [Oral Presentation], BERA Conference, Belfast , 27-AUG-98 - 30-AUG-99. [Details]

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
EDI Committee, School of Education (2021-present) Committee member/
Quality Review Committee 2019-2020 Member/
National Further Education and Training Learner Forum (NFLF) Executive Member2017 / 2026
Dr Mary L Thornton Scholarship Panel Executive Committee Member2017 / 2019
AONTAS Star Awards Committee Executive Committee Member2016 / 2020
UL's national network of Initial Teacher Educators Associate Member Associate member of both UCC’s Centre for Global Development and UL’s national network of Initial Teacher Educators engaged with delivering Development Education/Global Citizenship Education for and with student teachers.2010 / 2026
CACSSS Graduate Studies Committee (April 2019-Present) Member/
Research and Innovation Committee 2018-2021 Member/
Cohort PhD Committee, School of Education, UCC Member for first two cohorts of this doctoral programme/
School of Education Research Forum Chair2017 / 2018
PME Team member Teaching team member/
Curriculum Academic Development Committee (CADC) School of Education Representative2014 / 2016
Quality Review Committee, School of Education, UCC (2012-2013) Committee Member2012 / 2013
MEd Committee, School of Education, UCC Member/
Acting Director and Senior Researcher, Centre for Adult and Continuing Education, UCC. Acting Director and Senior Researcher2005 / 2026

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
Department of Education, University College Cork Part Time Lecturer01-SEP-02 / 01-SEP-06
Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol Full-Time PhD study01-JAN-98 / 01-AUG-01
Centre for Adult Continuing Education, University College Cork Senior researcher and latterly Acting Director (2005-2006)01-SEP-02 / 01-SEP-06
University College Cork College lecturer, School of Education01-SEP-06 /
St Bonaventure's RC School, East London Secondary school teacher and pastoral Head of First Year01-SEP-91 / 01-JAN-98

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
1990University College Cork BA (Hons)Economics and Mathematics
1991University College Cork Diploma of EducationHDE (Higher Diploma in Education)
1996Goldsmiths College, University of London MEdMasters in Educational Policy and Management
2001Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol PhDEducational Policy and Management

Languages

 LanguageReadingWritingSpeaking
French BasicBasicFunctional
English FluentFluentFluent

Consultancy

 ClientDescription
University of Limerick (2018-present)
External Examiner to the Structured PhD Programme, Mary Immaculate College, University of limerick
University of Edinburgh (2008-2011)
I served as external examiner to the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, with statutory appointment from November 1, 2008 – October 31, 2011.
AONTAS (2017-present)
Executive member of the international five-person Academic Expert Group overseeing the National Further Education and Training Learner Forum (NFLF) and advising AONTAS and SOLAS on the integration of ‘learner voice’ in adult education policy and practice; and on developing new research projects and innovative research methodology approaches. This research support enables AONTAS to develop its regional fora and national adult learner voice events and reports.
Mary Immaculate College, Limerick (2017-2018)
Chair and facilitator to the Department of Arts Education & Physical Education, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick in designing their Strategic Planning direction for 2017-2021.
Ongoing research Collaborations (2001-present)
See 'Research Overview' section concerning ongoing Research Project Collaborations - International, National and Local, and Research Awards and Sponsorships - for details of other pro bono professional services/consultancy work that are centred on research guidance/support/service.
CIT Cork School of Music
Professional Development Research advisor to CIT Cork School of Music
CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development)
Former research advisor to the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) through the Higher Diploma in Personnel Management programme operating in the Centre for Adult Continuing Education, UCC.
UCC and CIT
Formerly engaged in the design and teaching processes of a new Learning Partnership between UCC and CIT (Cork Institute of Technology) relating to the Btech. degree

Outreach Activities

 Description

Engaged in partnership talks with unique school leaving age cohort providers (e.g. the Cork Life Centre; the XLC Project in Waterford) with respect to the potential development of UCC modules (from FET programmes I am co-developing with CACE and from work being done in CRTL) that may provide tailored CPD opportunities (particularly in the area of Youthreach) for aspiring and practising teachers in unique community settings (the new programmes we are developing may also feed into newly anticipated apprenticeship degree programmes).

Coaching young children - FA badge.

Regular school visits - annual PME tutor to new student teachers

Most recently: O’Brien, S. (2019). RTE Radio 1 ‘Drive Time’ Interview regarding the ‘50 Years of AONTAS – the power of adult education’, June 18, 2019. O’Brien, S. (2019). RTE Radio 1 Interview regarding the panel discussion ‘tormented teachers and anxiety in the classroom’, Jan 14, 2019. McGuire, P. (2019). Could traditional subjects become a thing of the past in Irish schools? Contribution to article written in the Irish Times, March 19, 2019. O’Brien, S. and Cotter, G. in conjunction with PME students, artistic facilitator John Raftery and Glucksman education curator Tadhg Crowley (2018). We make the road by walking: A journey through development education. Art Exhibition at the Glucksman, UCC. May 23-25, 2018. See our dedicate website: http://idestexhibition2018.idestucc.com/ O’Brien, S. (2016). We don’t need no free market education. Article written in the Irish Times, February 23, 2016. O’Brien, S. (2016). Radio Interview on my book Inside Education, Community Radio Youghal (CRY 104 FM) with Gertrude Cotter, July 4, 2016. O’Brien, S. (2013). Radio Interview on Education, Community Radio Youghal (CRY 104 FM) with Rosarii Griffin, May 24, 2013. O’Brien, S. (2013). The Value of Education in Today’s Society. Lead talk at the launch of the Education for a Brighter Future Radio Series. Pobail Scoil Na Trionoide, Youghal. Nov 5, 2013.

Journal Activities

 JournalRoleTo / From
Adult Learner (Aontas) Journal Member of Editorial Board01-SEP-02 - 01-SEP-06
Adult Learner (Aontas) Journal Member of Editorial Board01-SEP-20 - 01-SEP-23
Journal Of Education Policy Referee-
An Leanbh Og, The Omep Journal Of Early Childhood Studies Referee-

Other Activities

 Description

(2021): Chair of ‘Museums, Art and Music’ Panel 1 discussion for CACSSS Postgraduate Conference 20 January, 2021 (online)

(2022): Engaged in partnership talks with unique school leaving age cohort providers (e.g. the Cork Life Centre; the XLC Project in Waterford) with respect to the potential development of research opportunities and/or UCC modules (from FET programmes I am co-developing with CACE and from work being done in CRTL) that may provide tailored research network and CPD opportunities (particularly in the area of Youthreach) for aspiring and practising teachers in unique community settings (the new programmes we are developing may also feed into newly anticipated apprenticeship degree programmes). 

(2016): GDPR Compliance workshops.

(2021): Extensive submission to the UCC Civic and Community Engagement Committee (UCCEC) - contribution to an IUA / Campus Engage sector submission on the proposed new Education for Sustainable Development strategy by the Department of Further and Higher Education, May 28, 2021.

(2018): Multimedia technology use in education (ongoing work with Audio Visual and Media Services and Digital Humanities, June 18, 2018).

(2019): Certificate in Research Integrity with the Oxford University Press (as part of the Epigeum Online Course System with a score of 85%, December 3, 2019).

(2021): Unconscious Bias – HR training online MS Teams session, UCC, 11 June, 2021.

(2016): ‘The viva and beyond’, January 28, 2016 (Graduate Studies Office event regarding viva challenges, arrangements and procedures).

(2022): Chair of ‘Panel 3: Teaching, Learning and Innovation’ discussion for the CACSSS Postgraduate Conference 22 February, 2022 (online)

(2020): Recruitment and Selection Training – HR training (North Wing Conference Room, UCC, January 13, 2020).

(2022): Chair of PhD Transfer panel.  Waterford Institute of Technology, March 25, 2022.

(2016): Key Facilitator, for the Adult Literacy Organisers’ Forum on ‘Leadership and Innovation’, engaging key leaders from the DES, ETBI, SOLAS and including the Minister of State for Skills and Training Mr John Halligan, Ambassador Hotel, Cork, October 13-14, 2016.

(2017- Present): Developing a Masters Programme for teacher qualification aimed at Further Education and Training (FET) and Community Education (CE) practitioners.  The programme, entitled ‘Postgraduate Diploma in Further, Adult & Community Education (PFACE)’, is now at Full Planning Proposal (FPP) stage (stage 6 of 7).  For the first time in the history of the School of Education UCC, a truly Lifelong and Lifewide curriculum provision can soon be offered to prospective students i.e. those learning practitioners who teach adult learners across QQI levels 1-6. The research collaboration and professional network spinoffs are enormous and the programme itself will generate 630,000 euros over its first four-year cycle, which accounting for costs and a 40% central overhead figure, will deliver a healthy surplus which in turn can be enhanced into the future.  In addition, and in close collaboration with the Centre for Adult Continuing Education UCC (specifically Dr Séamus Ó Tuama, Lyndsey El Amoud and FET practitioner Finola McCarthy), we are developing a complementary level 8 stand-alone programme (with entry routes to the level 9 offering).  Opportunities for international programme, apprenticeship and other programmatic, as well as new international research project collaborations are enormous.  CPD opportunities at local, regional and international levels are likewise made possible (with the use of micro-credentials, for example). We already have a strong network of partners (at statutory and non-statutory levels) who have indicated their firm support for our ambitious, transformative plans.

(2019): Christian Brothers College Cork School Awards - Lead talk on 'What is Character'? 

  • I organised with Gertrude Cotter (IRC Scholarship Doctoral Student) a major Research Forum event (Saturday July 16, 2016) which spoke to the theme: ‘How do we re-present education? Development Education meets Critical Pedagogy’.  The purpose of the day Forum was to, for the first time in Ireland, formally bring together scholars, practitioners and activists from both educational traditions and beyond to draw upon their synergies and collate a critical response to ‘education in our times’.  We were delighted to welcome to UCC leading scholars in both fields (Professor Ivor Goodson, Dr Tim Rudd, Professor Fionnuala Waldron, and Professor Vanessa Andreotti by skype).  Full details of the research theme, Forum programme , speakers, etc. are still available on our dedicated website: http://representing-education.gertrudecotter.info/

Researcher with a small group of funded British academics who are focused on redirecting education away from neoliberal directions.

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests include:
  • Learning theory and practice
  • Curriculum and Assessment - policy, theory and practice
  • Inclusive multicultural education - particularly engaging methodological strategies in the classroom
  • Global Citizenship, Educational Sustainability, Development Education 
  • Educational policy and practice - particularly, ideological change forces on teachers' work culture
  • Mathematics education - with particular focus on the impact of different forms of cultural literacy
  • Social inclusion - with specific focus on more equitable forms of educational provision
  • The 'big' educationalists - their ideas, change propositions and challenges to formal schooling
  • Research methodology seminar/individual support e.g. connections between research purpose, theory and methodological considerations
  • Contemporary issues in education e.g. critical analysis and impact of the learning outcomes movement; critiquing Neoliberal effects/affects in educational policy and practice
  • Further, Adult & Community Education  

Recent Postgraduates

 Graduation YearStudent NameInstitutionDegree TypeThesis Title
2014T J O'Ceallaigh PHDForm-focused Instruction in Irish-medium immersion education: A critical examination of teachers' perspectives and practices.
2024Seánín Hoy (2021-2024 Doctoral Scholarship) University College CorkPHDThe state of inclusion in Initial Teacher Education. A critical investigation into how to better prepare teachers for the promotion of inclusion, equality and participation in global democratic societies.
2024Nuala Glanton (2020-2024 Doctoral Study) University College CorkPHDWhat is FET for? - A critical exploration of the key values guiding Further Education and Training to meet Ireland’s wider social as well as economic needs.
2019Gertrude Cotter NUI (UCC)PHDGlobal-Local Connections: What educators, who use community-linked and multimedia methodologies, can learn about critically engaging university students in Development Education
2016Carol Yelverton National University Of IrelandDOCTORATE OF PHILOSOPHYA critical search for the ‘self’ in adult education: Bourdieuian insights into transformative possibilities.
2015James Boyle University College CorkPHDA comparative policy analysis of key employability interventions for the 16-24 year old cohort in Further Education
2012Marie Killilea MEdA critical study of the pedagogical impact of sociocultural understandings of mathematics on Transition Year pupils within one classroom setting

Current Postgraduate Students

 StudentDegree Type
Lavelle Patrick Gerard Doctoral Degree (Structured)
Mc Carthy Finola Helena Doctoral Degree

Research Information

Internal Collaborators

 NameInstituteCountry
EDI, UCC University College CorkIRELAND
ISS21 University College CorkIRELAND
UCC project on Inclusive education and progression pathways for people with intellectual disabilities. University College CorkIRELAND
Community Engagement, UCC University College CorkIRELAND
Centre for Global Development UCCIRELAND
EU Project based in UCC EU (supporting my UCC Colleague Emmauelle Schon-Quinnlivan who is PI for this research project)IRELAND

External Collaborators

 NameOrganisation / InstituteCountry
Alternative Pathways to Neoliberal Education University of BrightonENGLAND
Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil. Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil.BRAZIL
INTERPEARL University ConsortiumICELAND
Ubuntu Development Education Network University of LimerickIRELAND
AURORA EU - Erasmus + Project (European and South East Asian Universities)IRELAND
Erasmus Mundi Programme - Masters in Adult Education for Social Change University of Glasgow as PISCOTLAND
AONTAS IRELAND

Contact details


Search profiles by name

Search profiles by topic

School of Education

Scoil an Oideachais

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

Top