The Centre for Research in Adult Learning and Education was established to contribute to the creation of new knowledge in the field of adult and community education. The Centre works collaboratively with communities and researchers to bring about significant change in the conditions of disadvantaged communities who now turn increasingly to research as a form of social action. In line with the Maynooth University Strategic Plan (2012-2017) the Centre aims to:
- Ask significant and critical questions pertaining to adult learning and education;
- Support the research activities of students and staff of the department;
- Support the research interests of policy-makers and practitioner in the field of adult and community education.
Current research projects in the Centre for Research in Adult Learning and Education include:
HE4U2: Integrating Cultural Diversity in Higher Education
HE4U2: Integrating Cultural Diversity in Higher Education’ (2016-2018) is a European project. The Maynooth University team includes Josephine Finn, Camilla Fitzsimons, Bernie Grummell and Maggie Noone.
Project website: http://www.eucen.eu/projects/he4u2-
For further information, please contact: Maggie Noone: Tel: +353 1 708 6629; Email email@example.com@nuim.ie or Camilla Fitzsimons: Tel: +353 1 708 3951; Email firstname.lastname@example.org
EMPLOY (Enhancing the Employability of Non-Traditional Students in HE) Research Project (2015-2017)
EMPLOY is a European project which promotes the enhancement of the employability of students in higher education from a non-traditional background.
Project Website: http://employ.dsw.edu.pl/language/en/
For further information about the project, please contact: Fergal Finnegan: Tel +353 1 708 6059; Email email@example.com or Jerry O’Neill: Tel +353 1 708 3308; Email firstname.lastname@example.org
DIMA project - Adult Education Strategies - Erasmus+ 2015-17 programme
The DIMA Project: The consortium of six partners (Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus, the Centre for the Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology (CARDET), also in Cyprus, the Slovenian Institute for Adult Education, Slovenia, Narodny Ustav Celozivotneho Vzdelavania – National LLL Institute of Slovakia, the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) in Belgium, and the Department of Adult & Community Education at Maynooth University) are working on a practical and innovative toolkit for developing, implementing and monitoring Adult Education strategies, policies and practices.
See DIMA Project Newsletter and Facebook page
For further information please contact: Michael Kenny, email@example.com
Unlocking Freedom through Adult Education
The Department of Adult and Community Education is a partner in European Funded Erasmus + research project ‘Unlocking Freedom through Adult Education: The role of adult education in supporting the de-institutionalisation of people with disabilities in the community’ (2015-2018). The Maynooth University team includes Laura Burke, Camilla Fitzsimons, Josephine Finn, and Bernie Grummell
This project is led by Disability Federation of Ireland, with partners in Ireland (Maynooth University and Stewarts Care ltd), Bulgaria (the Institute for Community-based Social Services Foundation), France (Universite Paris XII Val de Marne and Centre de la Gabrielle) and Finland (Kehitysvammaisten Palvelusaatio).
Project website: http://www.disability-federation.ie/index.php?uniqueID=11139
For further information, please contact: Laura Burke: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Bernie Grummell: Tel: 353 1 708 3761 or email: email@example.com
Centre for Transformative Narrative Inquiry
The Centre for Transformative Narrative Inquiry in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth explores the role of narrative inquiry in creating a transformative space of learning. It is an interdisciplinary research group drawn from the Departments of Education and Adult and Community Education.
Narrative Inquiry is concerned with researching lives and the stories people tell about them. Narrative methods have claimed an increasing place in academic research and are alive and well (if sometimes marginalised and contested) in various academic disciplines such as literature, history, sociology, anthropology, social policy and education as well as feminist and minority studies.
The Centre will continue its work into the future and operate as a focus for the promotion of Narrative Inquiry across the two Departments.
CONFERENCES AND EVENTS HOSTED
2009 Dr. Linden West, ‘Narrative Research as transitional space for learning’, 20th February.
2009: Gillie Bolton ‘Writing as Reflective Practice for Adult Educators’, 9th September.
2009, Prof. Kim Etherington, ‘Reflexivity in Narrative Research’, 22nd May.
2009 Dr. Jane Speedy, ‘Narrative Inquiry and Transformation’, 9th October.
2009 “Plenty in the Midst of Want”, Speaker – Prof. Ivor Browne, 12th December
2010 Prof. Bronwyn Davies, ‘Collective Biography’, 24th February.
2010 Prof. Arthur W. Frank, ‘Spirit in a Place of Strangers’, 10th June.
2011 2nd December, “Supervising Narrative Inquiry” a workshop presented by Professor Kim Etherington, Bristol University.
16th September, 2011: Masterclass on “Termination of Pregnancy” Guest Speaker Cherie de Burgh (in collaboration with the Crisis Pregnancy Programme, HSE).
4th November, 2011: Masterclass on “Supporting Minors in Crisis Pregnancy” Guest Speakers from BASE Ballyfermot and Jenny Bulbulia, Barrister (in collaboration with the Crisis Pregnancy Programme, HSE).
2011 “Memory and Transformation: Transforming the Past”, Guest Speaker: Poet, Paula Meehan 3rd December.
21st November 2011, 9th January, 20th February and 16th April 2012: “Fostering the Emotional Climate of Education Provision” a series of workshops with educators in the Education Unit, Midlands Prison, Portlaoise (in collaboration with Kildare VEC).
3rd February 2012: Masterclass on “The role of the Father in Crisis Pregnancy: Where is He?” Guest Speaker Dr. Fergus Hogan WIT (in collaboration with the Crisis Pregnancy Programme, HSE).
21st September 2011 - 16th May 2012: Enhanced Leadership Skills for Primary School Principles in North Co Kildare’, a series of six workshops, (in collaboration with Kildare VEC).
22nd and 23rd March, 2012 “Guiding the Professional Unemployed” Continuous Professional Development Workshop in Adult Guidance and Counselling
18th October 2014 David Mc Cormack and Tony Walsh, “Telling Tales: Narrative, Teaching and Critical Reflection” Workshop at conference: Challenges and Changes in Adult and Further Education, 17th and 18th October, 2014, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co Kildare
20th March 2015 (David Mc Cormack, Bernie Grummell, Tony Walsh and Mary B. Ryan) ‘What is Narrative Inquiry and how do you supervise it? Workshop at Irish Narrative Inquiry Conference, Maynooth University
12th May 2015 ‘Arts in Healthcare: Reflection through Creative Practice’
Collaborative workshop with Dr. Hilary Moss (National Centre for Arts and Health, Tallaght Hospital) and David Mc Cormack (Department of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University), Rua Red Arts Centre, Tallaght
19th and 20th March 2015 Conference Organising Committee ‘A Field in the Making’ Second Irish Narrative Inquiry Conference, Maynooth University
10th February 2016 Dr. Ken Gale ‘Deleuze and Collaborative writing’, Maynooth University
16th April, 2016 Professor Hazel Reid, University of Canterbury, Keynotes address ‘Visioning for the future’, Conference plenary session chairperson, ‘Beyond Activation: Towards a Liberating Vision for Adult Guidance in an emerging Ireland’, Maynooth University.
The Edward M Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention
The Edward M Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention builds capacity for constructive approaches to conflict at all levels in society by:
1. Providing rigorous taught programmes
2. Conducting and disseminating pertinent research
3. Creating opportunities for dialogue in our specialist fields of interest. Please visit the website of The Edward M Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention
The Centre for Studies in Irish Protestantism
The Centre for Studies in Irish Protestantism is committed to the exploration of the totality of Protestantism in independent Ireland in the context of its social, historical, cultural and spiritual dimensions. For a variety of historic and social reasons, religion has played a ... To Visit the website click here.
A Journey in Self-Belief
This one year project creates space for conversations that need to take place.
In a post-conflict society every community has similar challenges:
Facing the present and future with hope.
Rising above its worst fears.
Finding the future not in isolation, but in relationship with their neighbours.
The Protestant community on this island is not unique in having to make this journey. Prof Ron Heifetz (Harvard Kennedy School) says “In a crisis we tend to look for the wrong kind of leadership; we may call for someone with the answers, decisions, strength, and map of the future, someone who knows where we ought to be going. Someone in short who can make hard problems simple.”
Heifetz also says “The real heroism of leadership involves having the courage to face reality—and helping the people around you to face reality.
A Journey in Self-Belief creates space for the Protestant community in both jurisdictions to face reality – to create the future.
The Centre for Studies in Irish Protestantism gratefully acknowledges funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund that makes this project possible.
"McKinsey had a culture that fostered rigorous debate over the right answer without that debate resulting in personal criticism." Lou Gerstner
Research Project TEN HUNGER: Chipulikano Chakuti Pawe Kusintha Pakachitiro Kavinthu / Transformative Engagement Network (TEN), led by National University of Ireland, Maynooth
The Transformative Engagement Network (TEN) is a research project funded through the Programme for Strategic Cooperation between Irish Aid and Higher Education and Research Institutes. The project partners are Maynooth University (lead), University of Mzuzu, Malawi, Mulungushi University, Zambia and the Zambian Open University. The project seeks to enhance the capacity of universities to better serve the needs of smallholder food producers within vulnerable communities as they cope with the challenges of climate change. The project will seek to initiate new knowledge flows and exchanges of expertise between rural communities, the agencies and organisations that work with each community, and between national and international bodies concerned with agriculture, food security, nutrition and climate change. In doing this, the partners will demonstrate the potential of universities to promote and facilitate a range of participative, inclusive engagements between these stakeholders with a view to enhancing the capacity of food insecure smallholders and agencies working with them to adopt climate-sensitive agricultural techniques and to improve the nutritional status of community members. A masters level degree and a number of short under graduate courses will be developed for in service policy makers and service providers involved in climate change and food security. A research network and repository about demand-led agricultural production, climate change adaptation and nutritional outcomes will be established in order to provide widespread global access to research generated by the masters’ students and the project in general. The repository will also act as a hosting platform where other relevant research can be shared.
The Maynooth University project team are: Dr Bernie Grummell - Department of Adult and Community Education, Emeritus Professor Martin Downes - Department of Biology, Dr Conor Murphy - Department of Geography and Professor Anne Ryan (PI) - Department of Adult and Community Education.
Please visit the TEN website.
REGIONAL (Comparative analysis of Adult Learning (AL) policy formulation) Grundtvig Lifelong Learning Project (2014-2015)
The REGIONAL project is undertaking a comparative analysis of Adult Learning (AL) policy formulation, implementation and financing in 16 regions in six countries across Europe during the period 2014-2015. The project consortium partner, Maynooth University were tasked with reviewing adult learning policy development in three regions and with undertaking a series of interviews to identify progress and gaps in how adult learning policy is devised.
The regions selected for the purposes of this project were:An urban region: City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB), A midland rural region: Longford Westmeath Education and Training Board (LWETB), A border region: Cavan Monaghan Education and Training Board (CWETB).
The term region, within this research project, is defined as an educational geographic area administered by an Education and Training Board (ETB). Education and Training Board (ETBs) were established in 2014 by the amalgamation of a number of existing Vocational Education Committees (VECs) into one area administrative structure. The research was informed by reviewing secondary publicly available data including census information and area annual reports. In each case the data was complemented by seeking further information from adult educators involved in the delivery of adult learning programmes in the region.
Bridging the Gap - Translating Development Research into Practice. Michelle Kinsella and Michael Kenny of the REGIONAL Project presented a paper at the Development Studies Association of Ireland Annual Conference in November 2014. The well received paper critiqued the assumption that in qualitative analysis a research team in one country can sensitively analyse data collected in other countries without ‘colonising’ the data through their cultural situatedness perspective. The paper is available free online at http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/5779/
Learning from Others We can learn a lot from other countries, the mistakes they make and the things they achieve, this is particularly true in our area of further education. The REGIONAL Project has looked at how policy is formed in six countries across Europe (Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Serbia, Hungary and Ireland) to identify why there are such significant gaps in the provision of further and vocational education as noted by the Mind The Gap European Report (2012). Please visit the draft outcomes of our research. You will find it here. If you are interested in the outcomes of a specific country the profiles can be found at the following links; Ireland, Germany, Italy, Serbia, Slovakia and, Hungary. We have summarised these into a brief set of videos available on you tube at following links: Ireland, Germany, Italy, Serbia, Slovakia and, Hungary.
If you would like us to send you a hard copy of the country profile and the upcoming comparative report including the research deliverables which identify specific areas in relation to policy making in the field of Adult Further Education and Training, please contact us at; Michael Kenny, Lecturer email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Michelle Kinsella, Research Assistant REGIONAL email: email@example.com. REGIONAL - European Life Long learning - Comparative analysis of regional policies for adult learning - Project.
Project Investigators: Michael Kenny is Lecturer at the Department of Adult & Community Education and Principal Investigator: Grundtvig REGIONAL project - European Life Long learning - Comparative analysis of regional policies for adult learning - which runs from 1st January 2014 - 31 October 2015.:
Michelle Kinsella, Department of Adult & Community Education, is REGIONAL Project Research Assistant.
A previous European project, the Regional Project delivered a basic toolkit that informs the developments in the DIMA project. the toolkit is available at http://www.regionalproject.eu/pdf/TOOLKIT.pdf. The toolit was very well received at the 13th European Week of Regions and Cities (OPEN DAYS) hosted in the European Committee of the Regions' premises, known as the 'Meeting Place' in Brussels on 12-15 October 2015. The programme is available at this site.
The project partners were the Agency of Adult and Further Education is run under the auspices of the Lower Saxony League for Liberal Adult Education (nbeb), The Hungarian Ministry for National Economy, SVIMEZ Italy, the Regional Economic Development Agency for Šumadija and Pomoravlje Ltd (REDASP) Serbia, IDP European Consultants Brussles, Academia Istropolitana Nova (AINova) Slovakia, and the Department of Adult and Community Education Maynooth University.
Lifelong Learning in Palestine (2011 - 2013)
This project seeks to develop Lifelong Learning as a collaborative project in Palestine. It aims to develop Lifelong Learning provision in formal and informal networks across the West Bank and Gaza, linking the work of universities to centres outside of the university in civil society. Seminars and workshops will develop pedagogic partnerships in different settings, facilitating a wide arrangement of adult learning right across Palestinian society. Palestinian institutions will link innovative work in Lifelong Learning to different regions in Europe and the Arab world.
In addition to Maynooth University, the project's European Partners are: University of Glasgow University of Malta, St Mary's University College London. Palestinian University Partners are: University of Birzeit, Islamic University of Gaza, University of Al Quds, University of Bethlehem. The non-university partners are:Centre for Applied Research in Education (CARE),Women Graduates of the Islamic University of Gaza.
The Maynooth University project team are Josephine Finn (PI), Tony Walsh, Dr Bernie Grummell and Michael Kenny. Please visit the Project Website.
DIALOGUE (Opportunities for Dialogue between Researchers, Practitioners and Policy Makers0 (2010 - 2013)
Josephine Finn, Maeve O'Byrne and Fergal Finnegan are the Maynooth University representatives on the DIALOGUE Project (2010 - 2013). Adult Education and more globally Lifelong Learning are usually recognised as a field where research and practice are closely connected. While the importance of encouraging research which informs policy and practice in Lifelong Learning may be widely acknowledged by individuals and Governments, the ways in which knowledge might be most effectively exchanged and used to improve practices is not clearly understood. A key aim of the DIALOGUE project has been to examine how closer links might be improved through the promotion of a dialogue between researchers, practitioners and policy makers which encourages knowledge exchange and to promote new ways of working.
The general objectives of DIALOGUE are to:
- Deepen in the understanding of the relation and influences of hindering factors in University Lifelong Learning (ULLL) research and practice and explore the barriers and constrains existing in different EU countries and in the Higher Education system.
- Develop recommendations on how the knowledge triangle between researchers, professionals and policy makers can be reinforced and strategically developed in the future
The practical objectives of the project are to:
- Develop the dialogue between research and practice around 4 relevant thematic groups (Access and progression - Quality assurance and enhancement - Learning and guidance - New media)
- Review, develop and evaluate models of good practice in the transfer of research results to professional practice exploring ways of involving practitioners in research
- Identify and explore barriers at national and institutional level to transfer the knowledge, but also existing opportunities
- Encourage networking with partners inside and outside the university to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from and between ULLL and other partner organisations
- Development of final recommendations aiming at the promotion of a sustainable ULLL.
This project has now finished and the AdultEducation_EUCEN_PolicyReportDoc is available to read [PDF format] here.
SIRUS Project (2009 - 2011)
Josephine Finn was the Maynooth University representative on “Shaping Inclusive and Responsive University Strategies”, or SIRUS, was co-funded by the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme (2009 - 2011). The project addressed various aspects of developing or reframing institutional lifelong learning strategies and their implementation in universities. Based on existing research, the underlying assumption in the SIRUS project was that many universities already contribute substantially to lifelong learning (LLL), but that these approaches are often not guided by institutional strategies and are constrained by national legal frameworks and financial provisions.
Through the further development of institutional strategies for lifelong learning, the aim of the project was to look at the positioning of LLL in different types of higher education institutions in Europe and to demonstrate different ways of incorporating LLL activities into institutional portfolios. Thus the SIRUS project offered an opportunity for a diverse group of universities to develop and enhance their strategic LLL approaches through interactive discussions with colleagues from across Europe. Specifically, the goals of SIRUS were to:
• Support universities in developing, embedding and enhancing lifelong learning strategies
• Test the implementation of the ten commitments adopted in the European Universities’ Charter on Lifelong Learning
• Ensure wide dissemination of existing best practices in the field to universities, governments and stakeholders
• Contribute to the further development of policy recommendations.
Enhancing Knowledge Workers Adult Learning Solutions (EKWALS) Project (2009 - 2011)
Michael Kenny was the Maynooth University representative on the Enhancing Adult Learners Workers Solutions (EKWALS) EU funded project (2009 - 2011). The current economic crisis is generating a paradigm shift in the European job market. The assumption that Knowledge Workers, irrespective of their education, are immune from unemployment is no longer valid. In such a context, adult learning needs to adjust to better cope with the double challenge of Ageing Knowledge Workers (AKW) who tend to have lower education and engage in less training than younger workers. Adults vary tremendously in how they acquire knowledge and one single adult learning solution cannot adequately address the diversity of adult learners. Please visit the project website.
Using Digital Arts-based Methods to Develop Postgraduate Research Project (2009 - 2010)
Dr Bernie Grummell was the Maynooth University representative along with Angela Rickard (Centre for Teaching and Learning/Education Department) and Siobhan Clancy (National Learning Digital Repository) for the Using Digital Arts-based Methods to Develop Postgraduate Research Project. This project developed and used the creative capacity of digital arts-based research processes to identify research opportunities with postgraduate students. It developed an arts-based research process that created spaces, resources and emotional supports to express understandings and experiences of educational issues. It involved students co-creating digital arts-based representations of issues relevant for educational research. This approach acknowledged that 'in contact with art, people could see and feel more that they could say' (Ellis and Bochner, 2003:507-8). Please visit the Project Website.
Making Climate Change Real (2008 - 2009)
Making Climate Change Real: Developing digital learning resources to enhance local understanding of climate change was an interdisciplinary collaboration between departments in Maynooth University, namely: the Centre for Teaching and Learning (Claire McAvinia), the Departments of Education (Angela Rickard), Geography (Nuala Murphy, Conor Murphy), Adult and Community Education (Bernie Grummell, Michael Kenny, Kellyann Reid). This project created a number of digital learning resources that explored a range of climatic events, linking these with the science of global climate change, in order to promote understanding of the science. The materials were presented on a website to encourage student participation in discussion on the causes of climate change, to address adaptivity to local climate change challenges (including community-based monitoring of climate and adaptation in Ireland). In 2009 we worked with a local secondary school and community council. We developed these activities further by producing a set of enhanced learning objects that introduce key concepts and data about climate change in Ireland and explore their potential significance for local communities.
Please visit the Project Website.
Non-Traditional Student Experiences: Research (2008 - 2010)
Dr Ted Fleming and Dr Fergal Finnegan were the Maynooth University representatives on the RANLHE and the Combat Poverty Agency Projects.
- Want to know about experiences of non-traditional students in European Higher Education? Read this RANLHE report: Merrill, B., Armstrong, P., Alheit, P., Schoemer, F., Rheinlander, K., Bron, A., Thunborg, C., Nizinska, A., Kurantowicz, E., Field, J., Morgan-Klein, N., West, L., Monteaguedo, J.G., Ballesteros, M.A., Finnegan, F. & Fleming, T. (2010). Experiences of Non-Traditional Students in European Higher Education: Student Experiences. Poland: University of Lower Silesia. http://www.ranlhe.dsw.edu.pl
- Want to know about cultural and institutional experiences of non-traditional students in European Higher Education? Read this RANLHE report: Merrill, B., Armstrong, P., Alheit, P., Schoemer, F., Rheinlander, K., Bron, A., Thunborg, C., Nizinska, A., Kurantowicz, E., Field, J., Morgan-Klein, N., West, L., Monteaguedo, J.G., Ballesteros, M.A., Finnegan, F. & Fleming, T. (2010). Experiences of Non-Traditional Students in European Higher Education: Cultural and Institutional Perspectives. http://www.ranlhe.dsw.edu.pl
- What happens to mature students of NU Maynooth after they graduate? Read the report funded by and written for Combat Poverty Agency:Fleming, T., Loxley, A., Finnegan, F. & Kenny, A. (2009). Where Next?: Mapping and understanding the Post-First Degree Destinations of Mature Disadvantaged Students in three Irish Higher Education Institutions. Dublin: Combat Poverty Agency.