Featured


Courses

WIT offers a broad range of academic programmes from levels 6 to 10 on the national framework of qualifications across Business, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Science and Computing.

Courses Landing page

Study at WIT

Discover the routes into studying at WIT for school leavers, adult learners, further education students, graduates and people who have already started studies elsewhere as well as options for those interested in online courses.

Study at WIT landing Page

Students

Discover the routes into studying at WIT for school leavers, adult learners, further education students, graduates and people who have already started studies elsewhere as well as options for those interested in online courses.

Students Landing Page

Schools

WIT offers a broad range of academic programmes from levels 6 to 10 on the national framework of qualifications across Business, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Science and Computing.

Schools Landing Page

International

The Office for International Relations co-ordinates the admission, administration and support for international students throughout the course of their studies at WIT.

International Landing Page

Research

WIT is recognised as the leading research performer in the institute of technology sector with research activities that are internationally benchmarked, strategic, and economically relevant. Find out about the amazing multi disciplinary research under way

Research Landing Page

About

Discover the routes into studying at WIT for school leavers, adult learners, further education students, graduates and people who have already started studies elsewhere as well as options for those interested in online courses.

About Landing Page

Events

From virtual events to conferences, talks, public lectures and happenings in on-campus venues Waterford Institute of Technology is a hub of activity. Stay up to date with our calendar of upcoming events.

Events Landing Page

Geraldine Mernagh MEd, PG Dip in Counselling/ Career Guidance, HDip in Education, BA (Hons)

School/ Department:

Education and Lifelong Learning - Adult And Continuing Education

Campus:

Main Campus

arrow-down

My Biography

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”.

Qualifications

  • Master in Education, Trinity College Dublin
  • Post Graduate Diploma Counselling and Career Guidance, Trinity College Dublin
  • Higher Diploma in Education, University College Dublin
  • BA (Hons) in English and French, University College Dublin
  • Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language 

Research

Reasearch Interests

  • 2000-2005 - Recognition for Prior Learning in collaboration with DIT and NUI, Maynooth
  • 2005-2008  - Literacies in Higher Education
  • 2010-2011 - Professional Identity: Metaphor and Reflective Practice, University of Plymouth
  • 2011- Creativity Teaching and Learning- arts based reflection, Queens  University Belfast
  • 2013- Pre-service and In- service pedagogy in  Teacher Education in  Adult Literacy and Further Education
  • 2018-  Registered on PhD programme in Department of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University “ Illuminating the meaning and value of transformative learning  for Further Education Tutors within Higher Education, from an adult educator perspective using subordinate  epistemologies”.

 

Research Supervision

  • 2000- 2003,2007, 2011, 2014 and 2017 Supervisor for students in taught Masters in Education  M.Ed. (MALT)
  • 2010- 2013 H. Mackey, ‘Literacy and the workplace’   Supervisor for student in Masters in Education by Research MA
  • 2000 O Grady, M., “The Uses of Accredited Experiential Learning for Industry” Strand One, MSc
  • 2002 K. Gannon, The Contribution of Multi-Media Technology to the acquisition of literacy by Adult Literacy Learners” Behest Funding, supervision with Mary Barry

Teaching

Experience in Education

  • 2006 -  Present Lecturer in Teacher Education and Adult Literacy and
  • Academic Lead in Teaching Practice in BA (Hons) in Adult and Further  Education           
  • 1998 -2005 Head of Literacy Development Centre, established to design and deliver a suite of degree programmes for Adult Literacy Teachers and Managers. Funded by DES in partnership with NALA.
  • 1997-1998: Seconded from NALA to WIT as Course Director to develop and pilot the first strand of a National Accreditation framework for Adult Literacy Organisers.
  • 1992-1997: Director, National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA).
  • 1989-1992: National Co-ordinator/Development Worker (NALA) 
  • 1987 -89 TCD  Masters in Education 
  • 1982- 1986 Adult Education Tutor  and Tutor trainer- Community Based education, Youthreach etc. DVEC.
  • 1983 -1986 Teacher in the Prison Education Service

Other

General Career Achievemets

  • Represented DES and the National Adult Literacy Agency at education missions to United Nations, Geneva (1990), New York United Nation’s Headquarters (1991), UNESCO, Hamburg (1991, 1993), Namibia 1993) Euro Alpha (1995, 1996, 1997) Belgium, France & Spain

·         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

  • 1996-2002  - Subject expert to design and advise upon the implementation and assessment of  the FETAC Level 3 certificate for Further Education target groups
  • 1997-2005 - Course leader and chairperson of the national steering group to design and deliver the first Irish modularised degree programme at level 6, 7 and 8 for Adult Literacy Further Education practitioners. This degree programme was developed in collaboration with WIT, DES, VEC, FAS, FETAC, Youth reach and voluntary groups
  • Programme Director for two Programmatic Reviews for the BA in Adult Education suite of programmes

·         2000, 2002 - Creation of RPL programme and guidelines handbook presented to Academic Council WIT

  • 2000 - Active in the development of blended learning programmes and IT assisted learning
  • 2003 - External Examiner Queen’s University Belfast

·         2011- Recipient of SCOTENS funding with QUB to research the use of ‘Arts based reflection and technologically enhanced learning in the  Adult Literacy classroom’

  • 2010 - Partnership with University of Plymouth to pilot a tool for increasing the use of reflective practice in the classroom by  experienced Adult Literacy Tutors
  • 2012- Members of the editorial board for the Academic Journal “Research Matters” Waterford Institute of Technology
  • 2014- Academic Lead for Teaching Practice in BA (Hons) in Teaching in Further and Adult Education  

 

Conference Papers

  • 2002 “Accredited Prior Experiential Learning and its contribution to Higher Education” A presentation made to the Academic Council, Waterford Institute of Technology
  • 2003 ‘Hermeneutics and Literacy as Social Practice’ WIT/NALA seminar hosted by Dublin Institute of Technology
  • 2004 ‘ RPL: An evaluation of the RPL Process’ delivered in Waterford Institute of Technology’, Dublin Institute of Technology
  • 2005 ‘Documenting the Professional Development and Education Needs of Adult Literacy Teachers and Managers: A National Perspective of Key Stakeholders’, The Programmatic Review of the BA Degree in Adult Education, Waterford Institute of Technology.
  • 2007  ‘Meeting the Educational and Professional Development Needs of Teachers and Managers in Ireland and the United Kingdom’ National Research and Development Centre, Annual Conference, England.
  • 2008  ‘Creativity and Giving Voice to  Adult Literacy Practitioners’ RAPAL Conference, Galway, Ireland
  • 2008  ‘Challenging Assumptions: Literacy, Tutoring and Voice’ NAIRTL, Waterford Institute of Technology
  • 2010  ‘Reflective practice: the theory and Practice’ workshop University of Bedfordshire’
  • 2014  Symposium on Teaching and Learning, Waterford Institute of Technology, ‘Creativity and Professional Development’
  • 2015 ‘Developing Subversive Pedagogies in Neo-liberal Times’ Further Education and Training Forum, WIT.
  • 2019 ‘What’s Really going on in transformative learning in adult teacher educator programmes?- Mapping the role of the affective domain in the pedagogy of transformative learning from a teacher-educator background.ESREA Spring school, Lake Como, Italy
  • 2019 ‘I am a powerful eagle with wings outstretched: Using metaphors and images to generate  practitioner knowledge about the core values underpinning literacy work’ HELLIN conference, Waterford Institute of technology.
  • 2020 ‘Using poetry and metaphor to navigate personal grief and self-doubt, leading to a transformative, powerful and insightful way of knowing’. Adult Education in Global Times,: An International Research Conference’, Vancouver, Canada.
  • 2020 ‘Getting into our bodies to surface the values which inspire our activism: An exploration of collage making techniques’ -ESREA Life History and Biography Network, Canterbury

Publications

Peer Review Journals

  • Mernagh, G. and O’ Brien, M. (2008), ‘Putting Theory into Practice: The Professional Development of Literacy Educators’, Research Matters, Waterford Institute of Technology
  • Mackey, H. and Mernagh, G., (2011), ‘Paper, pen and pigeon hole - Exploring the potential of workplace literacy’, Research Matters, Waterford Institute of Technology
  • Mernagh, G. ‘Extending critical reflective practice in teacher education through metaphor and multimedia technology’. SCOTENS
  • Mernagh, G.  ‘Arts based reflection in the classroom’ SCOTENS