educationSoLLE Educational Research

SoLLE Educational Research

"The School of Lifelong Learning and Education takes pride in its record in contributing to research in the field of adult and teacher education. Academic staff have added to the body of knowledge in such fields as adult and community education, adult educational guidance, adult literacy, recognition of prior learning, the continuing professional development of teachers, the professional identity of teachers, intercultural education, virtue epistemology, reflective practice, executive education, creativity in education and entrepreneurship education. The research activity of staff is integrated into the teaching and learning approaches of staff in the delivery of Programmes with the Department of Education.

The School’s  Teaching, Education and Lifelong Learning (TELL) group has been established to foster further the sharing of practice, experience and continue to foster a culture of research in the School. Some of the key outputs delivered by colleagues within the School in more recent years include:

Selected Conference Presentations

Breen, J. (2014) ‘Management Educators in Practice- To be Critical or not to be Critical that is the Question’, International Action Learning Conference, Ashridge Business School.

DiMarie, D. & Graham Cagney, A. (2014, October) A Journey of a Different Kind: The Impact of Receiving a Professional Award on One’s Personal and Professional Life. Poster accepted for presentation at the 37th Annual conference & Fulbright Prize Ceremony, Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill & Ronald Regan Center, Washington DC, October 16-18 2014

Mannix, V. & Graham Cagney, A. (2014, July). Toward a conceptual framework of personal, professional and situational teacher identity: A study of multiple teacher selves in Further and Adult Education in Ireland. Conference paper for Durham University, UK, Conference ‘Screaming in a 20-mile zone: Academic Identities in 2014’ 8-9 July 2014.

Graham Cagney, A. (2014, April). Further & Adult Education in the ‘Path’ of the Perfect Storm. Key Note Presentation: Fulbright Symposium. Delivered at USF World, University of South Florida, Tampa, USA. 2nd April 2014.

Graham Cagney, A. (2014, June). Further & Adult Education in the ‘Path’ of the Perfect Storm. Presentation delivered at Creating Connections, Waterford Institute of Technology. June 10th 2014.

Graham Cagney, A. & Watkins, K. (2014, October). Insider Action Research Doctorates: Creating Transformative Learning Spaces in Professional Development in Higher Education. Conference paper for 11th International Transformative Learning Conference, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City, NY. October, 23-26 2014.

Graham Cagney, A. & Cohen, N. (June 2015) ‘‘I am what I do’: A Study of Teacher Education Qualification (TEQ) Training in Further and Adult Education in the island of Ireland. Inaugural European Conference on the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning: Cork, Ireland, June 8-9 2015 (Accepted)

Graham Cagney, A., Watkins, K., & Ruona, W. (March, 2015) ‘Action Research Professional Doctorates: A ‘Ph’ of a Different Kind’. UK Council for Graduate Education, 2nd International Conference on Developments in Doctoral Education and Training (ICDDET), 30-31 March 2015, University of Oxford, UK.

Graham Cagney, A. & King, K. (2015, February). ‘Who’s on First? Exploring the Learning Domain Expectations and Requirements: Informing Student Success’. Conference paper. 2015. Academy of Human Resource Development International research conference in the Americas. 18-22 February 2015, St Louis, Missouri,USA.

Lanigan M. and McKenzie Brown F., (2011) ‘Reflective Learning in Mathematics? – A Resource for Adult Learners of Mathematics’, Joint Presentation at inaugural Waterford Institute of Technology Research Colloquium, WIT, Waterford, Ireland

Lowry-O’Neill, C. (2012). ‘Everything’s coming up roses: How reflective Practices can nourish flourishing in higher education’, 3rd Annual International Conference on Education and Educational Psychology (ICEEPSY), Istanbul, October 8-13.

Hayes, R., Lowry-O’Neill, C.(2012) ‘Welcome to My House! Enter Freely of Your Own Free Will! : Literary Experience and Threshold Concepts’, International Threshold Concepts Conference, with NAIRTL, University College, Dublin, June 23-25.

Lowry-O’Neill, C. (2011). ‘Be afraid, be very afraid: anxiety as an essential element of engaging the minds of learners’, Engaging Minds: Active learning, participation and collaboration in Higher education, 5th Annual Conference of the National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, June 9-10.

Moran, S. (2016) ‘Happiness in Aristotle, Research Seminar, University of Leeds (UK)

Moran, S. (2015) ‘Speaking Up for Silence: a Pedagogical Virtue’, Interdisciplinary Network, 1st Global Meeting: Silence Oxford University (UK)

Moran, S. (2014) ‘The Corinthian Virtues’, International Conference on Sportsmanship, Waterford, Ireland)

Moran, S. (2013) ‘A Beautiful Lesson’, Interdisciplinary Network 3rd Global Conference: Beauty, Oxford University (UK)

Moran, S. (2013) ‘Sublime Moments in Education’, Waterford Philosophical Society (Ireland)

Moran, S. (2013) ‘Hope as a Pedagogical Virtue in PhD supervision’, Interdisciplinary Network 5th Global Conference: Hope, Lisbon (Portugal)

Moran, S. (2013) ‘The Value of Knowledge’, Redefining Education: Expanding Horizons, Mumbai Teacher Training College (India)

Moran, S. (2012) ‘The 21st Century Learner Needs Intellectual Virtue’, New Trends in Education, Ishik University, Erbil (Iraq)

Moran, S. (2012) ‘The Nature of Academic Work’, International Political Anthropology, Waterford (Ireland)

Murphy, H. (2015) ‘Navigating New Frontiers in Teacher Education for Adult Educators; how a changing regulatory environment influenced the development of new teacher education qualifications for adult educators’. European University Continuing Education Network, Ireland, national conference, NUI Galway, December 10-11.

Murphy, H. (2015) ‘How social and cultural factors in an Irish Higher Education Institution influenced the development of new teacher education qualifications for adult educators’. European Society for Research into Adult Education, Biennial conference on the Professionalization of Adult Education, Larnaca, November 11-13.

De Paor, C., Murphy, H. (2015) ‘Les Opportunities de la Validation des Acquis des enseignants de l’enseignement et formation professionnelle en Irlande’. Paper and conference publication at Europe Admee, Colloque de l’Admee Europe. Liege, Belgium.

Murphy, H (2013) ‘How is professionalisation viewed amongst the stakeholders in adult education in Ireland and who is driving this discourse?’ European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA), Annual Conference, Bonn, November 10-12.

O’ Brien, B. & Iannone, P. (2014) An exploration of quality teaching initiatives at multi-level education environments, Western Business Management conference Paris,   October 2014.

O’ Brien, B. & Iannone, P. (2013) A study of Accounting Students’ Engagement through quality teaching initiatives: Exploring the post-primary/ higher education divide, Irish Academy of Management Proceedings, WIT, Waterford, September 2-4.

O’Byrne, C (2011) ‘From technical competence to ‘thinking’ competence: developing a capacity for reflective practice in postgraduate engineers’ All Ireland Society for Higher Education Conference, DCU, August 25th – 26th

O’Byrne, C (2010) ‘Life as a lecturer: the nature and evolution of academic professional identities in the Institute of Technology sector of the Irish higher education system’. Society for Research in Higher Education Annual Conference, Newport, Wales, December 14th – 15th

O’Byrne, C (2010) ‘A student-led approach to personal and professional development: a case study of a level 9 module in professional development and effectiveness for graduate engineers’ NAIRTL / LIN Annual Conference, Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, October 6th

O’ Grady, M (2014) ESREA Athens conference on Transformative Learning, June 2014: Paper presentation ’Transformative Learning in a Feminist Learning Culture'.

Shanahan, B. (2011) “Multiple Intelligences and Meta Cognition through the study of Blended Learning” Teaching Matters – Research Colloquium for Education Practitioners, WIT


Breen, J. (2014) ‘Exploring Criticality in Management Education through Action Learning’, Action Learning Research and Practice Journal, 11(1), p.4-24.

Graham Cagney, A. (2014). Transformative Learning. in SAGE Dictionary of Action Research, David Coghlan & Mary Brydon-Miller (Eds), SAGE Publications

Graham Cagney, A and Coghlan, D. “Process Consultation as a Mechanism of Transformative Learning: Informing Management Learning”, Journal of Management Learning, for publication 2014.

Graham Cagney, A (2014). “Leaky Pipelines in Tampa, Florida”, Research Matters, Journal of Research and Innovation, Waterford Institute of Technology. Issue 13, 2014.

Graham Cagney, A. “Doing Action Research In Your Own Organization, (4th Ed) D. Coghlan & T. Brannick”. (Review), Journal of Action Learning: Research & Practice, London: Routledge. ISSN 1476-7333 (Online) (for publication 2015).

Lowry-O’Neill, C. (2011). ‘Creativity in the classroom: from an intuitive approach to a reflective approach’, Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives. 12(4), pp. 481-493.

Mernagh, G. and Tracey, S. (2013), ‘Extending critical reflective practice in teacher education through metaphor and multimedia technology’, Scotens.

Mackey, H and Mernagh, G., (2011), ‘Paper, pen and pigeon hole- Exploring the potential of workplace literacy’, Research Matters, Waterford Institute of Technology

Moran, S. (2014) ‘Hope as a Pedagogical Virtue’, book chapter in eBook Hope (ed. Geoffrey Karabin) Freeland, Oxfordshire: Interdisciplinary Press (UK)

Moran, S. (2013) ‘The Teacher as a Role Model: Intellectual Virtues in Practice’, book chapter in Reflections on Science and Spirituality in an Age of Technology (ed. Jayanti Chavan) Mumbai: Institute of Science and Religion (India)

Moran, S. (2013) ‘Knowledge from Testimony: Benefits and Dangers’, Journal of Philosophy of Education, vol.47, no.3 (UK)

Murphy, H. (2015) The Professionalisation of Adult Education in Ireland – an exploration of the current discourse, debate and policy developments. In Lattke et al eds. Professionalisation of Adult Educators. International and Comparative Perspectives. Bonn. Peter Lang.

O'Byrne, C (2015) 'Policy, profession and person: the formation of reflexive academic identities in an Irish Institute of Technology' in Evans, L and Nixon, J (eds) Academic Identities in Higher Education, London: Bloomsbury.

O’Byrne, C (2014) ‘Structure and Agency in an Irish Institute of Technology’ in Gornall, L, Cook, C, Daunton, L, Salisbury, J, and Thomas, B Academic Working Lives: Experience, Practice and Change, London: Bloomsbury

O’Byrne, C (2011) ‘Against the odds: researcher development in teaching focused HEIs’ International Journal of Researcher Development, 2 (1) pp 8-25 Wall J. (2015). Leadership in Implementing Technology-Enhanced Learning in Educational Institutions, E-Learning - Instructional Design, Organizational Strategy and Management, Dr. Boyka Gradinarova (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-2188-6, InTech, DOI: 10.5772/61108. Available from: and-management/leadership-in-implementing-technology-enhanced-learning-ineducational-institutions

Wall J. (2012) Strategically Integrating Blended Learning to Deliver Lifelong Learning, International Perspectives of Distance Learning in Higher Education, Dr. Joi L. Moore (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-0330-1, InTech, DOI: 10.5772/34686. Available from:

Wall J. (2011). Academic professional development within Waterford Institute of Technology, in Designing Together: Effective Strategies for Creating a Collaborative Curriculum to Support Academic Professional Development Ed. Fitzpatrick N. and Harvey J., pp. 217 – 227, ISBN 1 900454 41 6

Thomas K., Wall J., Graham B., Troy P., Crowe D. and O’Connell A. (2011). Work Integrated Learning and Construction Project Management: A Case Study of an Industry-Academia partnership in Ireland, in Work-Integrated Learning in Engineering, Built Environment and Technology: Diversity of Practice in Practice, Ed. Keleher P., Patil A. and Harreveld E., pp. 221 – 244, ISBN13: 9781609605476

Student Research Projects

"Insider Action Research Doctorates: Creating post-graduate pathways to doctoral level of a different kind." This research strives to create a professional development framework underpinned by a signature pedagogy that will provide post - graduate pathways to doctoral level that meet the specific needs of teachers working in further and adult education.

"Teachers in transition - the impact of change on teacher identities in the Irish Further Education Sector." The research will investigate the nature of FE teacher identities, the impact of recent and on-going changes on those identities, and the implications of teachers’ responses to change for the teachers themselves, their learners, their institutions and the sector.

"Evolving a Model for Flexible Lifelong Learning Delivery through the use of Technology in Irish Higher Education." This research will investigate the developments in technology enhanced learning with a view to formulate a strategic framework that will serve educational institutions and external stakeholders, bring industry and higher-level education closer in the delivery of lifelong learning.

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