Education and Lifelong Learning - Adult And Continuing Education
Geraldine Mernagh has come to higher education as a programme developer, from and for emerging adult educational fields of practice. Since the early 1980s she has represented the interests of the adult literacy movement beginning when she was an adult literacy tutor teaching in a range of contexts including Community Training Workshops, the VEC (now ETB) Adult Literacy Schemes and in the prison service.
As the Director of NALA, she contributed to policy development for the Green and White Papers on Adult Education and the first International Adult Literacy Survey. She also worked nationally and internationally with NGO networks, mapping the emerging field of training and development of adult literacy tutors and learners. In that position, she collaborated with key stakeholders including practitioners, the DES and VECs to develop the BA (Hons) in Teaching in Adult and Further Education which began the professionalisation of adult literacy practitioners and the establishment of the Literacy Development Centre in Waterford Institute of Technology. As the founder of the Literacy Development Centre, she promoted distance learning, RPL and worked on extending the range of assessments within higher education to create greater links between theory and practice for practitioners.
Geraldine is the Academic Lead for the BA (Hons) in Teaching in Adult and Further Education. She lectures in pedagogy, policy and perspectives on further education, sociology, the theory and practice of literacy for adult tutors and the WIT lecturing staff. She also supervises dissertations and theses on the level 8 and 9 teacher education qualifications in Further and Higher Education. She is currently undertaking a PhD with the Department of Adult and Community Education: “Illuminating the meaning and value of transformative learning for Further Education Tutors within Higher Education, from an adult educator perspective using subordinate epistemologies”.
· 1999 - Sourced funding (400,000) and negotiated with national stakeholders including WIT to establish the National Literacy Development Centre in the School of Education
· 2002 - Legitimised adult literacy as a cognitive academic discipline by establishing (in partnership with WIT) the first two lectureships in the British Isles in Adult Literacies
· 2000, 2002 - Creation of RPL programme and guidelines handbook presented to Academic Council WIT
· 2011- Recipient of SCOTENS funding with QUB to research the use of ‘Arts based reflection and technologically enhanced learning in the Adult Literacy classroom’