Josephine Finn

Adult and Community Education, ALL Institute

Lecturer

Maynooth University School of Education
1st
119
(01) 7087205

Biography

I have been in adult education for over thirty years. I am a graduate of Maynooth University. I began as a mature student by participating in an outreach certificate course, offered by the Department in my local community school in 1982. Ten years later, I finally began my bachelor’s degree. I graduated in 1994 and completed my professional studies in adult education a year later. Like many adult educators, I commenced my career as a ‘freelance’ lecturer. I worked in a number of higher education institutions, community education initiatives, industry and as a group work consultant with RTE. In 2000, I took up a post in the Department as Head of Continuing Education. As part of my role, I became responsible for the very courses that had given me and many others like me, an opportunity to study at university level in the community. It was a privilege to be in a position to develop the programmes further and bring them to ‘hard to reach’ groups who would not have had access to this form of education otherwise. Many community, statutory and voluntary organizations collaborated with me in these endeavors and without them little would have been achieved. It is a tribute to them that during my time in this post over 15,000 students registered for part-time courses at Maynooth University. I completed a five year term as Head of Department in 2015.

Research Interests

I have a lifelong curiosity about experiential learning and its role in knowledge creation. This has led me into research that explores: how learning is gained in experience, the value of recognising prior learning and ‘learning to learn’. My research also looks at how practitioners research and learn in practice and the relationships between practice, research and theory (praxis). I also have a deep interest in policy development in adult education. In particular I am interested in the conditions that influence it and the interlocking regimes and societal and economic circumstances that drive it. I am currently involved in a variety of research that spans the full range of adult education including: • an initiative to establish an inclusive model of higher education for students with intellectual disabilities in the University; • a project that explores the nature of lifelong learning in Palestine, a country under occupation and siege; • European research project that looks at the role of practitioner research in adult education and explores ways of bridging the gap between research and practice; • an examination of the value of recognising prior learning.

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
2016 'Cultivating a culture of practitioner research in university lifelong learning: some critical reflections'
Josephine W Finn (2016) 'Cultivating a culture of practitioner research in university lifelong learning: some critical reflections' In: Universities and Engagement International perspectives on higher education and lifelong learning. Routledge. [Details]
2009 'OECD Report Thematic Review and Collaborative Analysis on Recognition of Non-formal and Informal Learning, Country Note for United Kingdom'
Finn, J. and Janssen, A.T.H. (2009) 'OECD Report Thematic Review and Collaborative Analysis on Recognition of Non-formal and Informal Learning, Country Note for United Kingdom' In: EDU/EDPC/RNFIL(2008)2/PART17 – Country Note – United Kingdom. OECD. [Details]
2007 'Validation of Non-formal Adult Education Courses: A New Validation Function for Higher Education Institutes in Europe'
J.Finn (2007) 'Validation of Non-formal Adult Education Courses: A New Validation Function for Higher Education Institutes in Europe' In: REACTION, Validation and Recognition of Experiential Learning. Kaunas: Vytautas Magnus University. [IR Link] [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
2013 World Council Comparative Education Societies.
(2013) World Council Comparative Education Societies. [Oral Presentation], New students for new times? Global region perspectives on the challenge of opening higher education, Buenos Aires [Details]
2013 PRIMUS project, Estonia.
(2013) PRIMUS project, Estonia. [Oral Presentation], Learning RPL in Practice, Tallinn [Details]

Book Review

  Year Publication
2011 In from the Margins: Adult Education, Work and Civil Society. Antikainen, Ari, Harinen, Pȁivi and Torres, Carlos Alberto (eds.).
Ms Josephine Finn (2011) In from the Margins: Adult Education, Work and Civil Society. Antikainen, Ari, Harinen, Pȁivi and Torres, Carlos Alberto (eds.). Book Review [DOI] [Details]

Teaching Interests

Curriculum Studies
Recognition of Prior Learning Theory, Practice and Policy
Practical Philosophy and the work of Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari
Experiential Learning Theory
Undergraduate Thesis Supervision

External Collaborators

  Name Role / Description Country
European University Continuing Education Network Member of Steering Committee /Research SPAIN