The objective of this research group is to pursue collaborative research with communities in the areas of Critical Youth Work, Community Development and Education & Training. The group contributes to the development of new thinking, new paradigms and new ways of measuring progress within the sector.
Aims and objectives
The following objectives are being pursued.
- The group provides a forum for supporting staff to engage with critical discourse and to link teaching with research practice.
- The group actively engages with civil society and become a strategic partner to local groups involved in critical youth community and education work.
- The group engages with other departments, groups and centres within LIT to enhance the role of the Social Sciences and Education and Training in leading collaborative research.
- The group is actively pursuing opportunities for international research
The following staff are active members of the Research Group
- Dr Martin Fitzgerald
- Paul Keating
- Dr Bridget Kirwan
- Dr Sinead McMahon
- Dr Sasha Noonan
- Catherine Corcoran
- Catherine Ann O Connell
- Dr Michael Ryan
Expertise in the Group
Within the group there is considerable professional expertise, academic qualification and research experience in the discipline areas being pursued. Three of the team have completed Doctorates in Education in recent years, while two have completed doctoral studies in the area of Youth Work. The remaining three members of the group are in the advanced stages in their Doctoral studies.
The group has a track record in community based research having worked on projects on community planning, integrated area planning, rural development, community education and training over the past 20 years.
The following are ongoing activities being undertaking by researchers within the group.
Youth Work; Research
Dr Sinead McMahon; 2019: Dissertation-thesis: “Governing Youth Work Through Problems: A WPR Analysis of the ‘Value for Money and Policy Review of Youth Programmes”
Dr Sasha Noonan; 2020: Dissertation-thesis ‘Youth Worker - Just “ADULT SOMEBODIES” in the lives of young people?’ An inquiry into youth workers’ perspectives on professional youth work.
Paul Keating: Ongoing Doctoral Research: “Exploring the potential of online computer games as a mechanism and a space to undertake Critical Education”
Dr Bridget Kirwan: Ongoing Research: “A scoping research understanding the nature of drug misuse among young people in Thurles area (in conjunction with NTLP) and co-operation with Paul Keating.”
Youth Work; Collaboration
The Centre has developed a strong collaboration with Youth Work Ireland in using games for youth engagement. This include collaborative research (GRO), organizing a conference (Games for Youth Engagement), participation in an ERASMUS project (Virtual Youth Work)
The Centre has collaborated with The National Youth Council of Ireland to develop and deliver training programmes and resources for youth workers across the island of Ireland in the use of games to address climate change.
Engage has worked closely with Trocaire to research and support them in using games as a way of undertaking Development Education. This includes the creation of a national competition called “Games Changers” which encourages young people to design games addressing sustainable development issues.
Youth Work; Presentations and Publications
Dr Sinead McMahon (2019) ‘Governing Irish Youth Work through Outcomes”, World Community Development Conference
Dr Sinead McMahon (2020) ‘Value for Money’: Using economic evaluation discourse and devices to govern youth work Thinking critically about impact, evaluation and accountability in youth work’
Dr Sinead McMahon and Dr Sasha Noonan (2019) ‘Re/Forming Irish Youth Work through Policy Framing and Shaming’, Critical Welfare State Studies Conference (with Dr. Sasha Noonan)
Paul Keating (2020) “Using Games in Youth Work and Development Education” Toolkit, NYCI
Education and Training
Education and Training: Research
Dr. Michael Ryan (2020–2023) Supporting Student Engagement Through Active Learning Approaches in Blended and Online Learning Environments (LIT Doctoral Study -Sarah O’ Toole & Lead Supervisor -Michael Ryan DASS & QTnL)
Dr. Martin Fitzgerald (2019-2021)- Exploring the Early Years Educators (EYE’s) perceptions on Anti-Bias Approach and Inclusive Culture in early years settings (LIT-MA Research Study Ger Boland, LIT in collaboration with Tipperary Child Care) (Lead Supervisor – Martin Fitzgerald DASS)
Dr. Martin Fitzgerald (2019-2021) -National Forum Funded Projects including Flexible CPD Pathways Initiative (LIT, MIC, UL) & Projects on Active Learning (Strategic Alignment Fund) National Forum Seminar Series - Active Learning For Student Engagement (Michael Ryan and Martin Fitzgerald).
Dr. Bridget Kirwan (2020-2022) - How do parents experience the support services available to them when their children are/have experienced being in care? LIT-MA Research Study – Mags Higgins LIT in collaboration with Silver Arch FRC) (Co-Supervisors Bridget Kirwan and Emma Aherne)
Catherine Ann O Connell (Ongoing doctoral studies) “Embodying and Enacting a Pedagogy of Care in Higher Education.”
Education and Training: Collaboration
Dr Michael Ryan, Series of workshops and seminars to Education Networks: Developing Resilience and Responding Positively to Change and Loss within: Education Environments & Resilience and Self Care for Education Professionals
Dr Michael Ryan, National Forum Funded Projects including Flexible CPD Pathways Initiative (LIT, MIC, UL) & Projects on Active Learning (Strategic Alignment Fund) National Forum Seminar Series - Active Learning For Student Engagement (Michael Ryan and Martin Fitzgerald). SATLE
Dr Michael Ryan, LIT Research Application for Funding under Domain of Professional Knowledge and Skills for Teaching Staff. (Dept -QTnL) & AIT/LIT Collaborative Component under Assessment Literacy Strand. (Michael Ryan +Project Team from QTnL)
Dr Bridget Kirwan (2018- ongoing). Certificate in Energy Efficiency through Behaviour change programme (On-Line) co-authors Clifford Guest and Seamus Hoyne.
Dr Martin Fitzgerald (ongoing) series of workshops and seminars to Education Networks: Leadership in Education, MBTI Personality Type and Leadership
Dr Martin Fitzgerald (2019) Kilkenny and Leighlin Diocese, Leadership and the Power of Teaching 2019 –Carlow further education College (Carlow ETB), Leadership and developing leadership skills in education
Dr Martin Fitzgerald (2020) CEIST Schools Leadership for Middle Management, MBTI, Personality and Leadership
Education and Training: Presentations and Publications
Dr Michael Ryan (2021forthcoming). The LIT Compendium of Active Learning For Student Engagement -in collaboration with LIT Colleagues. LIT Ryan, M.
Dr Michael Ryan (2020) - Undergraduate Reflections of An Arts Student, Chapter in: Ryan, S. & Sheridan, J.P.
Dr Michael Ryan (2020, p.306-311). Remember Maynooth: A College Across Four Centuries. Dublin: Messenger Publications.
Dr Michael Ryan (2018) Inside Education: Exploring the art of good learning. ISBN-979-0-415-52920-4 Book Review of above Publication – in: The Adult Learner Review. Maynooth Author - Stephen O’ Brien. Routledge
Catherine Ann O Connell (2019), CRALE Conference presentation in 2019: Presentation entitled: Exploring a Pedagogy of Care in Higher Education.
Catherine Ann O Connell (2020), CRALE Conference poster and presentation 2020: Narrative Inquiry -the heart of methodology.
Community Development; Research
Catherine Corcoran: (Ongoing PhD research): “Developing Resilience through Collaborative Planning: A Case Study of Ferbane”
Dr Michael Ryan (2018-2021)- An Exploration of Community Based Social Care Model of Care for Residents with Dementia (LIT-MA Research Study -Noelle Clancy LIT in collaboration with Carebright, Bruff) (Lead Supervisor - Michael Ryan DASS)
Dr Bridget Kirwan (2020-2022) - How do parents experience the support services available to them when their children are/have experienced being in care? LIT-MA Research Study – Mags Higgins LIT in collaboration with Silver Arch FRC) (Co-Supervisors Bridget Kirwan and Emma Aherne)