Dr Majella Dempsey

Education

Lecturer

Maynooth University School of Education
Second
207
(01) 708 3529

Biography

I am the course leader for the Bachelor of Science with Education and the Bachelor of Mathematics with Education programmes in Maynooth University. I was central to the development of both courses. I lecture on Curriculum development, Research methods, Teaching, Learning and Assessment. I completed my doctoral research in Trinity College Dublin on the impact of a key skills approach to teaching and learning in secondary education. I was the country lead for the EU  funded project FaSMEd in Ireland looking at the role of technology in promoting formative assessment practices in science and mathematics. I am also involved in a small scale research project looking at how to develop Mathematics Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) with student teachers.  At the heart of all my research interests is the role of pedagogy in teaching, learning, assessment and curriculum.
Prior to joining Maynooth University, I worked as an Education Officer in the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), where my main area of responsibility was working on the senior cycle curriculum developments. I was a member of the Junior Science Support Service (JSSS) working with science teachers on the introduction of the revised curriculum, and, prior to that worked as a science and mathematics teacher.

Research Interests

Research Topics
Classroom-based instructional interventions 
  • The role of key skills in promoting and developing innovative and creative teaching and learning environments.
  • Research on the role of teaching and assessment methods in addressing low achievement in the field of Mathematics, Science and Technology. (FP7 funded research). 
Teachers' mathematical knowledge and beliefs
  • Building Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) in initial teacher education. (3U funded research).
  • Using lesson study to research issues regarding the teaching and learning of science/mathematics across transitions (Senior Primary/Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle/Third-level) in Ireland. (3U funded research)
Task design, analysis and implementation 
  • Critical Evaluation and Design of Mathematics Tasks with Pre-Service Teachers. (Fellowship funding)
Design experiment methodology
  • What is the impact of participation in a module on the competences needed for ‘scientific teaching’ on PSTs attitudes to, and confidence in carrying out experiments at second level? 
Quasi-experimental design methodology 
  • Exploring the impact of a key skills approach to teaching and learning in secondary education (Doctoral research)

Research Projects

  Project Role Description Start Date End Date
Digital Portfolios and Collaborative Learning Research partner 01-MAY-16 30-MAY-17
Building Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) for Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers Team member 15-SEP-14 06-JUN-16
Critical Evaluation and Design of Assessment Tasks. Researcher 14-SEP-15 29-AUG-16
Building Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) for pre-service teachers Member of research team 01-JUL-14 01-MAY-15
FaSMEd Improving progress through formative assessment in science and mathematics Country lead 01-JAN-14 01-JAN-17

Contract Researchers

  Researcher Name Project Role Funding Body
2181724 FaSMEd Research Assistant EU Framework Programme 7

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
2016 'Gearing up for skills development – a challenge of Junior Cycle Reform'
Dempsey, M. (2016) 'Gearing up for skills development – a challenge of Junior Cycle Reform' In: Brian Mooney (eds). Education Matters. Dublin: Education Matters. [Details]
2012 'Developing a Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge using sensor technology with BSc Science Education students'
Dempsey M (2012) 'Developing a Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge using sensor technology with BSc Science Education students' In: Teaching and Learning Fellowships project report 2012: NUIM. Maynooth: NUIM. [Details]
2010 'School-based curriculum development: The Irish context'
Looney, A., Dempsey, M. and O’Shea, M. (2010) 'School-based curriculum development: The Irish context' In: Schools as Curriculum Agencies: Asian and European Perspectives. [Details]
2008 'Key Skills in Senior Cycle: An approach to embedding key skills in the curriculum at upper secondary in Ireland'
Dempsey, M. and O’Shea, M. (2008) 'Key Skills in Senior Cycle: An approach to embedding key skills in the curriculum at upper secondary in Ireland' In: CIDREE yearbook 2008 – A toolkit for the European citizen. [Details]

Other Journals

  Year Publication
2013 'Key Skills in a BSc Science and Maths Education Course'
Dempsey M (2013) 'Key Skills in a BSc Science and Maths Education Course' Brussels: European Schoolnet Web published http://keyconet.eun.org/case-notes/ireland4, KeyCoNet European policy network focused on identifying and analysing initiatives on the implementation of key competencies in primary and secondary school education. BSc module published as . [Details]

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
2017 Critical Evaluation and Design of Mathematics Tasks: Pre-Service Teachers
Dempsey, M & O'Shea A. (2017) Critical Evaluation and Design of Mathematics Tasks: Pre-Service Teachers CERME10 Tenth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education Dublin, , 01-FEB-17 - 05-FEB-17 [Details]
2016 Role of technology in promoting formative assessment practices in science classes
Dempsey, M., Aldon, G (2016) Role of technology in promoting formative assessment practices in science classes New Perspectives in Science Education [Details]
2016 Role of technology in promoting formative assessment practices in science and mathematics classes
Dempsey, M., O'Shea, A, & Burke, N. (2016) Role of technology in promoting formative assessment practices in science and mathematics classes Science and Mathematics Education Conference (SMEC) [Details]
2014 Developing Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) for pre-service teachers: a study of students’ developing thinking in relation to the teaching of mathematics
Nolan, B., Dempsey, M.,Lovatt, J., & O’Shea, A. (2014) Developing Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) for pre-service teachers: a study of students’ developing thinking in relation to the teaching of mathematics British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics [IR Link] [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
2017 CERME10.
Dempsey, M & O'Shea, A. (2017) CERME10. [Oral Presentation], Critical Evaluation and Design of Mathematics Tasks: Pre-Service Teachers, Dublin , 01-FEB-17 - 05-FEB-17 [Details]
2016 Invited participant to conference of EU policy networks.
Majella Dempsey (2016) Invited participant to conference of EU policy networks. [Other], Sustainable Networks for Inclusive Education, Brussels , 11-APR-16 - 13-APR-16 [Details]
2015 Sharing innovative practices from across all areas of education.
Majella Dempsey (2015) Sharing innovative practices from across all areas of education. [Oral Presentation], Assessment of Key Competences, Croke Park Conference Centre , 13-NOV-15 [Details]
2014 Vintage is a EU funded project through the Grundtvig action of Lifelong Learning Programme.
Majella Dempsey (2014) Vintage is a EU funded project through the Grundtvig action of Lifelong Learning Programme. [Oral Presentation], Self-Evaluation of key Competence in Adult Age, Ireland [Details]
2014 KeyCoNet Final Conference.
Majella Dempsey (2014) KeyCoNet Final Conference. [Oral Presentation], Improving the Integration of key Competences in School Education, European Schoolnet: Brussels [Details]
2014 Improving Progress through Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education.
Majella Dempsey, Niamh Burke, Ann O'Shea (2014) Improving Progress through Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education. [Oral Presentation], ESRI Educational Research and Practice in Time of Transition: Looking to the Future, Ireland , 09-APR-15 - 11-APR-15 [Details]
2012 RIAI/DES COLLOQUIUM ON POST PRIMARY SCHOOLS DESIGN MAKES A DIFFERENCE -Long Term Value in the Design.
Dempsey M (2012) RIAI/DES COLLOQUIUM ON POST PRIMARY SCHOOLS DESIGN MAKES A DIFFERENCE -Long Term Value in the Design. [Oral Presentation], Keynote address: Post Primary School Curriculum; Teaching and Learning Methods of the Future, Dublin [Details]
2012 SCoTENS the Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South: Tenth Annual Conference.
Majella Dempsey (2012) SCoTENS the Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South: Tenth Annual Conference. [Oral Presentation], Workshop – Critical reflection in science teaching and learning: a creative approach to the introduc, Cavan [Details]
2008 UBUNTU Network.
(2008) UBUNTU Network. [Oral Presentation], Key Skills and their relevance in sustainable development education, [Details]
2008 ASTI Education Conference.
(2008) ASTI Education Conference. [Oral Presentation], Key Skills, [Details]
2008 Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI) Conference.
Dempsey M (2008) Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI) Conference. [Oral Presentation], Making their voices heard: students perception of senior cycle teaching and learning, Ireland [Details]
2008 IVEA Conference.
(2008) IVEA Conference. [Oral Presentation], Flexible Learning Profiles, [Details]
2008 Quest 2008 – Focused Leadership that Deepens Learning.
Dempsey M (2008) Quest 2008 – Focused Leadership that Deepens Learning. [Oral Presentation], Unlocking learning through key skills, Canada [Details]
2007 European Educational Research Association (EERA) Conference.
Dempsey M (2007) European Educational Research Association (EERA) Conference. [Oral Presentation], To embed or bury-the challenge of making an impact on teaching and learning through key skills, ECER [Details]
2007 IVEA Conference.
(2007) IVEA Conference. [Oral Presentation], The Senior Cycle Developments, [Details]
2002 European Educational Research Association (EERA) Conference.
Dempsey M (2002) European Educational Research Association (EERA) Conference. [Oral Presentation], The Student Voice in Transition Year, Ireland [Details]

Newspaper Articles

  Year Publication
2015 'Teachers against learning' sounds very like a new form of professional self-harm.
Dempsey, M., & Jeffers, J. (2015) 'Teachers against learning' sounds very like a new form of professional self-harm. Newspaper Articles [Details]
2014 Students need to know physics and chemistry are important.
Dempsey, M. (2014) Students need to know physics and chemistry are important. Newspaper Articles [Details]
2014 Teachers should grasp this unique opportunity to engage with young learners.
Dempsey, M., & Jeffers, J. (2014) Teachers should grasp this unique opportunity to engage with young learners. Newspaper Articles [Details]

Conference Hosted

  Year Publication
2011 Project Maths: Engagement with initial teacher educators.
Majella Dempsey (2011) Project Maths: Engagement with initial teacher educators. Conference Hosted [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2011 Teaching and Learning Fellowship
2015 Teaching and Learning Fellowship Maynooth University

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
European Educational Research Association (EERA) Convenor Network 3 01-MAY-07 /
Irish Association of Science Education Lecturers (IASEL) Maynooth University member 02-MAY-16 / 30-OCT-17
Discover Science and Engineering Member of the consultative panel for school related initiatives 01-SEP-10 / 29-JUN-14
UN Regional Centre for Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development Member 01-JAN-08 / 18-DEC-09
Amgen Foundation Science Education Initiative Member of high-level expert group 19-JUL-12 /
Kildare Education Centre Management Committee 01-AUG-08 / 07-FEB-16
KeyCoNet European Policy Network Associate Member 19-JUL-14 / 31-DEC-15
Mountmellick Development Association Board of Management 05-OCT-08 / 12-OCT-14

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
Irish Science Teacher's Association Conference Committee Member 2016 / 2017
Research Ethics Member 2016 / 2019

Employment

  Employer Position From / To
Department of Education and Skills Regional Development Officer Junior Science Support Service (JSSS) 01-AUG-03 / 01-AUG-06
National Council for Curriculum and Assessment Senior Cycle Education Officer 01-JUN-06 / 31-DEC-09
Department of Education and Science Science and mathematics teacher 01-AUG-92 / 01-AUG-03

Education

  Year Institution Qualification Subject
2016 Trinity College Dublin Doctor of Philosophy Education
2001 Maynooth University Master's Degree Education
1986 Maynooth University Bachelor of Science Biology, chemistry and mathematics
1996 Maynooth University Higher Diploma in Education Education

Consultancy

  Client Description
AmgenTeach programme
High Level Expert for Ireland
Teaching Council
External Advisor

Outreach Activities

  Description

External Collaborators

  Name Role / Description Country
Newcastle University Partner in FaSMEd project ENGLAND
Dublin City University Research partner IRELAND
European Scoolnet Lead for the Co-Lab project BELGIUM
University of Nottingham Partner in FaSMEd project ENGLAND
École Normale Supérieure de Lyon Partner in FaSMEd project FRANCE
Soer-Troendelag University College, Trondheim Partner in FaSMEd project NORWAY
Università degli Studi di Torino Partner in FaSMEd project ITALY
University of Duisburg-Essen Partner in FaSMEd project GERMANY
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre Partner in FaSMEd project SOUTH AFRICA
University of Duisburg-Essen Partner in FaSMEd project GERMANY