The LDC actively pursues research funding through a coordinated Centre-led and supported approach. The LDC has contributed to a range of national and EU research projects, addressing adult literacy teaching methodologies, curriculum development, policy and professional development. The LDC is currently involved in a small number of projects, details of which may be found in the sections below.
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From a wider School perspective, The LDC is currently contributing to the overall research strategy & work of the School of Lifelong Learning & Education as outlined here. From a Centre perspective, the LDC is also currently contributing to a number the emerging fields of research in Literacy & FET in the following thematic areas:
- Learner perspectives on curriculum development in adult and further education;
- Upskilling pathways to adult education;
- Engaging with recognition of prior learning for lifelong learning;
- Professional development of FET practitioners
The LDC has also previously contributed to other fields of research in Literacy & FET. Some recent examples include:
- Pedagogies in adult and further education;
- Barriers to Learning for Practitioners and their Learners;
- Family Literacy Framework Research;
- One:One Literacy Tuition
The LDC is also research active through a number of other initiatives/activities such as:
- Progression of literacy & FET practitioners into undergraduate research. In 2019 the Centre will contribute undergraduate research in the areas of under participation of Lone Parents in rural further education opportunities; community supports for further education participation and the implementation of NALA’s Guidelines on the Inclusion of People with Intellectual Disabilities in adult literacy services;
- The provision of support for practitioner based research;
- Taking a pro-active approach to generating Masters by Research proposals that address the theme of Barriers to Learning for Practitioners and their Learners, by desk research on the policies and literature including the need for research on academic literacies.
Key funded research projects currently underway in the Centre include:
- HEA Innovation & Transformation Call: Engaging with recognition of prior learning for lifelong learning A research project in collaboration with the TSSG.
- Erasmus +Research project: On the area of upskilling pathways to adult education. A number of EU partners involved including WIT & National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA).
The Centre is also interested in research collaborations with other partners. A key relationship contributing to this over the last number of years is that between the Literacy Development Centre & National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA). As research is a key element of the work of both organisations, we collaborate strongly & are committed to the use of research in building on our previous work and promoting the use of evidence based practice to improve teaching and learning for the adult literacy services in Ireland
We are currently working together on research gathering learner perspectives on curriculum development in adult and further education titled ‘Fitting into FET: Learner perspectives on the impact of curriculum development at NFQ Levels 1-3’. Research is currently underway with plans to disseminate report late 2019/early 2020.
The Wealth Model in Adult Literacy: transformative learning in action’, a research partnership WIT/NALA. Launched 2018.
The research that led to the Wealth Model of Adult Literacy, launched in 2018 comes from literacy tutors speaking about their practice, and highlights the distinct elements that result in transformational learning.
The Wealth Model and the Meeting the Challenges research reports follow on from case study reports relating to good practice in teaching reading and numeracy. They provide good ideas for new tutors, and validate good practice for more experienced tutors.
This research report, entitled: "Meeting the Challenge: Strategies for Motivating Learners in Adult Education in Ireland" was launched in January 2017.