Education
EDUCATION
University College Cork
Cork
Ireland

T: +353-21-490-2667
E: d.burns@ucc.ie

I have worked in the education system since qualifying as a teacher in 1971. I taught in schools in Cork and Dublin for 30 years. I was seconded to the Education Department in UCC in 2001 to coordinate a continuing professional development  course in  Learning Support. This course has evolved over the years and is now offered as the Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs (PDSEN). I became a full time staff member of the School of Education in UCC in 2006.
My position  involves coordinating, lecturing and school visitation for the Postgraduate Diploma Course in Special Educational Needs (PDSEN).

Each  PDSEN Course caters for twenty five teachers on block release from their schools at primary and post primary level and for teachers involved in literacy and numeracy support in other educational settings. The teachers attend for eight weeks lectures, attend on selected Saturdays during the year and are visited on four occasions in their schools. The course coordinators also work with principals and staffs to develop a whole school approach to Special Educational Needs in their schools
I  present Modules on the Professional Masters of Education (PME) course, the  Masters in Education (Modular) Courses.  I also supervise dissertations.

 

Particular areas of research include:
Developments in policy and practice in the area of Special Educational Needs (SEN)- High Incidence and Low Incidence in relation to categories of exceptionality.


Issues surrounding Inclusion and the responses to educational legislation.


Approaches to a balanced approach to teaching literacy, including Communication, Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Sight Vocabulary, Reading Fluency, Comprehension, Writing and Spelling.


Approaches to the teaching of mathematics

Motivation, especially in relation to the teaching and learning of maths

Research on national standards in literacy and mathematics

Assessment for learning and of learning in English and mathematics. General and particular issues in Assessment and SEN.

Programme planning and in particular the development of Education Plans for pupils with SEN 

Working with Parents and other Professionals.

Short and Long Term Memory

From assessment/testing to developing and presenting programmes for pupils with Special Educational Needs

I have been involved with this course on a seconded and full time basis since 2001 and in that time 350 teachers have graduated with a high degree of competence in this specialised area of teaching.


 

Research Interests

Mr Denis Burns came to the staff of UCC on secondment from his school in 200.He had over 30 years experience in the classroom and had wide experience with the Learning Support Services of the DES. He also developed and coordinated courses and ongoing support for teachers. He was appointed in to a full-time position in the School of Education in 2006 having completed a research thesis on the ‘Developing Learning Support Service’.  He was  co-director and then director of the Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs (PDSEN) during the census period, Denis further developed his interest in numeracy for children with learning difficulties, producing a colourful support textbook for schools in 2014 (Maths in 50 Sports). As well as coordinating the Annual Conference for SEN teachers held at UCC, Denis lectures on the topics of SEN, inclusion and inclusive teaching strategies across a number of courses. He also provides valuable guidance to in-service teacher research in these areas on a local and national level.

My present research engagement relates to the potential of sport to improve standards in literacy and numeracy.
My post involves coordinating the Postgraduate Diploma Course in Special Educational Needs Course for thirty teachers on block release from their schools, primary and post primary. Particular areas of research include:
Developments in policy and practice in the area of Special Educational Needs (SEN)- High Incidence and Low Incidence in relation to categories of exceptionality.
Issues surrounding Inclusion and the responses to educational legislation.
Approaches to the Teaching of Reading, Readability and the Teaching of Spelling.
Approaches to the teaching of mathematics.
Research on national standards in literacy and mathematics
Assessment for learning in English and mathematics. General and particular issues in Assessment and SEN including Error Analysis Strategies.
Working with Parents and other Professionals.
The Gifted Pupil.
Traveller Education.
I work closely with teachers in assessing, developing and presenting programmes for pupils with Special Educational Needs

I have been involved with this course on a seconded and full time basis since 2001 and in that time over 350 teachers have graduated with a high degree of competence in this specialised area of teaching.


My main responsibility with colleague Dr. Dan O’ Sullivan in the School of Education is the coordination of the Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs Course. The course provides substantial theoretical and practical continuous professional development for qualified and probated teachers.

The Department of Education and Skills funds the programme. Places (25)  are allocated to teachers nominated by school management. The expectation is that all schools and educational services (Youthreach, Prison educational Service s etc) will have a teacher qualified in this area. This teacher will assume a ‘lead’ role in the organisation and provision of education to all students with a Special Educational Need as identified by the EPSEN Act, 2004.

We work with the nominated teachers and the school community. Each teacher is visited on four occasions, the principals attend for a one day seminar and research seminars are organised for the learning community that has developed around the course.

There is a strong research element in each of the six course modules. We work with the participating teachers to:

Research and evaluate support provision in their own schools (ED 6201)

Research, evaluate and use appropriate tests in pupil diagnosis and attainment (ED6202)

Research, interpret and implement educational plans. (ED 6203)

Research and develop awareness and understanding of the learning needs across the different categories of disability. (ED 6204)

Research contemporary and developing issues relating to inclusion (ED 6205) and apply effective and inclusive SEN practice and provision in their own schools. (ED 6206)

 

We work with participating teachers to ensure that the results of this research are used to develop and implement effective planning and practice. This is shared with course colleagues and past graduates through Seminars and the publication of ‘PDSEN Course News’ annually.

 

Examples of further in-school research topics already identified by course participants (2014-2015) include:

·        Implications for my school of recommendations contained in NCSE 2013 and NCSE 2014

·        Readability levels of texts used in first year classes in my school

·        Effective testing for learning in my school

·        W.P.M. -reading and writing rates in selected  classes in my school

·        Implementing a  structured sight vocabulary programme in my school

·        Developing an appropriate  ‘survival math’s programme’  in my school

·        Developing an ‘SEN  Register’ of pupils receiving support in my school

·        Agreed procedures for correcting pupils’ work in my school

·        Including SEN in ‘School Plans and Policies’ in my school

·        The perceived and  actual roles and responsibilities  of the’ Resource and Learning Support Teachers’ in my school

 

Books

YearPublication
(2012)Maths in 50 Sports.
Denis Burns (2012) Maths in 50 Sports. Cork: Cork Education Support Centre. [Details]

Other Journals

YearPublication
(2014)'From Remedial To Learning Support: 50 Years A-Growing'
Denis Burns and Dan O'Sullivan (2014) 'From Remedial To Learning Support: 50 Years A-Growing' Learn (Journal of The Irish Learning Support Association), 36 . [Details]

DVD

YearPublication
(2011)Inclusion: From Evidence to Practice.
Kathy Hall, Alicia Curtin, Karl Kitching, Tracey Connolly, Caitriona Ni Laoire, Denis Burns. Dan O Sullivan (2011) Inclusion: From Evidence to Practice. DVD [Details]

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Irish Association of Teachers in Special Education Member/
Irish Learning Support Association Member01-SEP-14 / 01-SEP-15

Conference Contributions

YearPublication
(2014)SEN: Planning for the Future,
Denis Burns (2014) Implications of new allocation proposals for delivery of SEN provision in schools. [Oral Presentation], SEN: Planning for the Future, West Cork Education Centre, Dunmanway . [Details]
(2013)THE INCLUSION AGENDA: 20 Years on from the Special Education Review Committee (SERC) Report. How are we doing?,
Invited Guest Speakers (2013) The Conference questioned and reflected on progress in education for pup[ils with SEN over the past 20 years. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], THE INCLUSION AGENDA: 20 Years on from the Special Education Review Committee (SERC) Report. How are we doing?, University College Cork , 02-MAR-13 - 02-MAR-13. [Details]
(2013)ILSA Spring Conference,
Denis Burns (2013) SEN Education: Identifying Progress. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], ILSA Spring Conference, Drogheda , 08-MAR-13 - 08-MAR-13. [Details]
(2012)Maths in Sport,
Denis Burns (2012) Official launch of publication. [Oral Presentation], Maths in Sport, Cork Education Support Centre , 10-MAY-12 - 10-MAY-12. [Details]
(2008)IATSE Conference, St Patricks College of Education,
D Burns (2008) Teaching of Phonics. [Oral Presentation], IATSE Conference, St Patricks College of Education, St Patricks College of Education , 15-JUN-08 - 15-JUN-08. [Details]
(2007)National Youthreach Seminar, Kinsale,
D Burns. (2007) Group Teaching. [Oral Presentation], National Youthreach Seminar, Kinsale, National Youthreach Seminar, Kinsale , 01-NOV-07 - 01-NOV-07. [Details]
(2005)West Cork Teachers' Centre Venues,
D Burns. (2005) New Aspects to Maths Teaching. [Oral Presentation], West Cork Teachers' Centre Venues, West Cork Teachers' Centre Venues , 01-JUL-05 - 01-JUL-08. [Details]

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
Consultative Forum of the National Council for Special Education Advisor/consultant to the Forum2013 / 2016

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
UCC Lecturer01-SEP-06 / 01-JUN-10
Togher BNS. Cork Primary Teacher01-JAN-71 / 01-JAN-73
St.PiusX N.S. Templeogue, Dublin Primary Teacher01-JAN-73 / 01-JAN-76
An Mhainistir Thuaidh, Corcaigh Primary Teacher01-JAN-76 / 01-JAN-06

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
1971St.Patricks College of Education NATIONAL TEACHER QUALIFICATION*
1976UCD B.Comm.*
1980UCC H.Dip.Ed.*Gaeilge and History
2004UCC M.Ed.*Learning Support: Developments in the Irish Educational System to 2000 (Thesis)

Outreach Activities

 Description

Local community member: Board of Management, St. Josephs B.N.S., Mardyke

Work with SESS on course design (dyslexia)

Work with NCCA on course design (Level 2 JCSA)

Other Activities

 Description

Work with teachers to develop CPD in Education Support Centres

Work with Traveller Education Support Group

Teaching Interests

My post involves coordinating the Postgraduate Diploma Course in Special Educational Needs Course for 25 teachers on block release from their schools, primary, post primary and further education.. Particular areas of research and practice include:
Developments in policy and practice in the area of Special Educational Needs (SEN)-

High Incidence and Low Incidence in relation to categories of exceptionality.
Issues surrounding Inclusion and the responses to educational legislation.
Approaches to the Teaching of Reading, Readability and the Teaching of Spelling.
Approaches to the teaching of mathematics.
Research on national standards in literacy and mathematics
Assessment for learning in English and mathematics. General and particular issues in Assessment and SEN including Error Analysis Strategies.
Working with Parents and other Professionals.
The Gifted Pupil.
Multicultural Education.

Whole school planning and support.
I work closely with teachers in their schools  in assessing, developing and presenting programmes for pupils with Special Educational Needs.

Challenges and Opportunities pertaining to SEN provision in educational settings.

Modules Taught

 Term (ID))TitleLinkSubject
2015Inclusion - Special Educational Needs and Multicultural Education ED6306Inclusion - Special Educational Needs and Multicultural Education
2015Conceptual Foundations in Inclusive Education ED4107Conceptual Foundations in Inclusive Education
2015The Inclusion of Pupils with Special Educational Needs: Opportunities, Challenges, Dilemmas ED6039The Inclusion of Pupils with Special Educational Needs: Opportunities, Challenges, Dilemmas