“Childhood” is an important educational issue as it signifies the tension between continuation and change, which is one of the prime educational questions of all time. If childhood, as understood by Hannah Arendt, represents new beginnings and new possibilities to different futures beyond reducing it to a repetition of the past; the way in which we conceptualise childhood in any historical or political period is imperative, not least within education.
The guiding questions of this project include:
- What importance did ideas of “childhood” play in the constitution of the new republic?
- What happened to those visions of the child ‘of the revolution’ in Ireland?
- Who had visions of a radically different childhood than what eventually became established?
- What are the tensions still there as a result?
- What visions were they and where did they go?
Overall, we explore the different conceptions of childhood and the tensions that emerge from inquiries into concrete historical, empirical and theoretical circumstances. Through our inquiries we will also be able to formulate strategies for addressing “childhood” that are in line with a pluralistic democratic society.
Project members at MU are:
- Dr. Leah O’Toole, Lecturer in Early Childhood Education Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education;
- Dr. Suzanne O’Keeffe, Lecturer in Early Childhood Education Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education;
- Deirdre Ford, Lecturer in Early Childhood Education Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education;
- Dr. Thomas Walsh Lecturer Department of Education;
- Professor Carl Anders Säfström, Director, Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy;
- Professor Gert Biesta, Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy.
The project is currently funded through SCoTENS: “Contested childhoods across borders and boundaries: A north-south comparative study”, with Diane McClelland, Department of Teacher Education, Stranmillis University College, as partner.
Financed by: Swedish Research Agency, 2018-2021
The first purpose of the project is to analyse the institutional dimension of teaching, i.e. to identify different manners of teaching dealing with controversial sustainability issues. The second purpose is to analyse the learning—both the process and the content—within the identified manners of teaching. The third purpose is toanalyse teachers’ reflections, judgements and experiences teaching controversial sustainability issues.
The project has been designed as follows: to identify general teaching traditions –manners of teaching regarding controversial sustainability issues that many teachers use –within subjects and to analyse a) the pros and cons of each of the traditions regarding learning and b) teachers' didactical reflections on the teaching of controversial sustainable issues. This design has been chosen because we want to avoid that the knowledge created becomes anecdotal and the power of generalisation is missed. We will conduct a national survey in order to identify manners of teaching of controversial sustainable issues in the subjects of biology, geography, civic education, and religion in lower secondary education. Out of the results from the survey we will select teachers to be studied through interviews and video-recordings. This project's focus is directly in line with the considerable amount of attention on sustainable development at the international as well as national policy level (Agenda 2030 and Global Action Programme on ESD).
- Professor Carl Anders Säfström, Maynooth University
- Professor Leif Östman, Uppsala University, Sweden (PI)
- Dr. Michae Håkansson, Uppsala University
- Dr. Petra Hansson, Uppsala University
- Dr. Stefan Bengtsson, Uppsala University
Financed by: Swedish Research Agency, 2020 - 2022
This interdisciplinary international network for ground-breaking research on the Public role of Education in Democratic Sustainability Transitions (PEDST) brings together researchers from, the research group SMED (Studies of Meaning-making in Educational Discourses) at Uppsala University, the Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD) at Ghent University, the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Maynooth University, and the research group Feminist Aesthetics in Public Education (FAPE) at Södertörn University. It aims to increase the quantity and quality of environmental and sustainability education (ESE) research through a common research programme. PEDST integrates expertise from sustainability transition studies, ESE research and research on public education and democracy. The interdisciplinary constellation of the PEDST network as well as its design as a scientific hub that connects numerous projects makes it possible to address research questions that are impossible to answer within a single research project and/or through the work of individual researchers. Thus, it will generate knowledge on the public role of education in democratic sustainability transitions as well as relevant, well-tested analytical models and methods. 3 three-day workshops and 3 two-day seminars with reading seminars, theoretical seminars, empirical seminars, guest lectures, writing workshops and application workshops will result in joint conference contributions, articles, a special issue and applications for future research. This will contribute to all network partners’ possibilities to develop their research capacities through innovative empirical research and the development of theoretical models and methods.
• Professor Carl Anders Säfström, Maynooth University
• Professor Leif Östman, Uppsala University, Sweden (PI)
• Dr. Katrien Van Poeck, Ghent University, Belgium
• Senior Lecture Lovisa Bergdahl Södertörn University, Sweden
Financed by: Swedish Research Council Grant, 5.4 million SEK (€550k) 2020-2024
Tensions around gender and social equality are commonplace both in societal debates and the classroom and often include reference to the body (e.g. headscarves, skin colour, gestures, touch and comportment). To date, pedagogical research has been mainly focused on dialogic approaches to these tensions and little attention has been paid to their bodily and sensory aspects. The present study combines feminist theory with sensory studies in examining embodied expressions and the social and cultural coding of sensual experiences in the classroom.
The purpose of the project is to explore how tensions and conflicts around gender and social equality are embodied in the classroom and to develop pedagogical-philosophical thinking about how gender and social equality can be fostered in schools. Methodologically, the project consists of two parts: a) an explorative, empirical study with qualitative interviews and microethnographic field studies; and b) a philosophical study that seeks to generate pedagogical thinking about education for gender and social equality in schools.
The project will run for four years with three investigators: Sharon Todd, from Maynooth University; Elisabet Langmann (PI) and Lovisa Bergdahl from Södertörn University, Sweden. The first two years will be spent on planning, collecting and analysing the empirical material and the final two years will be spent on generating pedagogical theory for teachers’ and students’ work with gender and social equality in the classroom.
• Profesor Sharon Todd, Maynooth University
• Senior Lecturer Elisabet Langmann, Södertörn University, Sweden
• Senior Lecturer Lovisa Bergdahl, Södertörn University, Sweden
Financed by: ISF-P Funded: 2020-2022, €666,392.00
The EDURAD project aims to build on existing research and practices in order to develop a multi-actor, effective and comprehensive educational approach to address both the radicalization process and the violence associated with it. The priority area the project focuses on is the education sector, adopting a broad perspective that includes formal, informal and non-formal education. This broad lens is intentional as it ensures that the impact is far-reaching, more effective and sustainable and involves both macro-level policy actors and grassroots local community actors taking into account cultural, religious and social sensitivities. This approach on Preventing Violent Extremism through Education (PVE-E) is two-pronged. First, it involves the creation of interdisciplinary, local and inter-sectorial networks called ‘PVE-E hubs’ to produce new knowledge, enhance awareness and build the capacity of teachers, parents, youth and community NGOs and faith leaders. Second, it involves the development of pedagogical ‘PVE-E tools’ in the form of online modules that can be taught in history, politics or civics lessons, and trainings with educators on how to use them successfully.
University of Linz (Austria)
National University of Ireland Maynooth (Ireland) - Prof. Aislinn O'Donnell (Education), Dr Joe Oyler (Education), Dr Anthony Malone (Education), Prof. Claire Hamilton (Law), Dr Brian Melaugh (Applied Social Studies)
Center for Social Innovation – CSI (Cyprus)
Stichting VU (Netherlands)
Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
The MSCA European Training Network “Solidarity in Diversity” (SOLiDi), coordinated by prof. Stijn Oosterlynck, University of Antwerp, and including the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Maynooth University as beneficiary passed the first phase of selection with a score of 96.6% and has been invited by EU to start the grant preparation. Prof. Sharon Todd and Prof. Gert Biesta will be the scientists in charge for Maynooth University, joining a network of 10 beneficiaries and 23 partner organizations from eight European countries.