School of Lifelong Learning & Education researcher is WIT’s first research postgraduate student to receive prestigious Teaching Council research grant
Anne O’Mahony is the first research postgraduate student at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) to receive Teaching Council funding to research FET teacher professional learning.
Recipients of the Professor John Coolahan Research Support Framework awards span all levels of the Irish education system including students, teachers, academics and professionals from schools, colleges and universities across Ireland. These awardees study and collaborate with colleagues and experts in their field.
Anne is currently a School of Lifelong Learning & Education Research Masters candidate for a project titled ‘An exploration of how Further Education and Training (FET) Teachers engage with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in South-West Ireland.’
The FET sector is key to the economic growth and recovery of Ireland and this masters valuably seeks to explore FET teacher engagement in professional learning and development and will contribute to CPD policy for teachers in the Irish FET sector.
This prestigious award will enable Anne to work with Dr Anne Graham Cagney at WIT to further explore FET teacher engagement in professional learning and the evolving professional identity of those working in Ireland’s ‘Cinderella Sector’.
“This award is an invaluable opportunity to further my work with colleagues within and across the sector, to be part of the PG research community at WIT and is also professional recognition of the importance of promoting research within the FET sector. It is a professional and personal honour to receive this award” said Anne O’Mahony.
Before starting out as a researcher at WIT, Anne O’Mahony completed her BA at WIT in Adult and Further Education with a first class honours degree. This academic achievement built on her years of experience as a Cork ETB tutor.
Making an impact
Dr Helen Murphy, Head of School said “We are particularly delighted that Anne as one of WIT’s MA research students has become the Institute’s first research postgraduate student to be successful in competing for this award. Anne has excelled in her studies to date and is one of the first FET teachers to receive this award. WIT would like to thank the Teaching Council for its continued support and we wish Anne well in her studies.”
Adult Education senior lecturer at WIT, Dr Anne Graham Cagney, is Anne’s supervisor and encouraged her to apply for the Teaching Council award. She notes that Anne demonstrated exceptional promise as she progressed in her studies as a part-time adult learner from Higher Certificate in Literacy Studies to her BA (Hons) in Adult and Further Education.
“I know Anne to be deeply committed to research that can inform national policy and create a better and more equitable society for the future. She represents the commitment and passion that WIT researchers bring to their work,” said Dr Graham Cagney.
Anne added that during the application process she received tireless encouragement and support from her family, her fellow FET teachers and former students during the BA.
“I wouldn’t be able to have undertaken this journey without the support of my family and from my supervisor Dr Graham Cagney. The support I’ve received is a testament to the commitment to continuing education and professional development of my friends, peers, and colleagues as well as the lecturers and staff at the School of Lifelong Learning and Education at WIT.
School of Lifelong Learning & Education
The School of Lifelong Learning & Education has a long history of engagement with the Teaching Council in the development of Teacher Education Qualification (TEQ) awards for the FET sector at degree and postgraduate level. This emerging educator sector is supported and encouraged through high quality, relevant, academic endorsement.
About the Teaching Council Awards
The Professor John Coolahan Research Support Framework funds projects that support teachers’ ongoing engagement in and with research. The award is a key element of the Council’s CROÍ Research Series (Collaboration and Research for Ongoing Innovation) and is focused specifically on promoting and supporting research and collaboration for professional learning across all the educational sectors.
Related CoursesBachelor of Arts (Honours) in Teaching in Adult and Further Education
Higher Certificate in Arts in Arts in Literacy Development