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Teaching Council to research teachers' experiences of Droichead


L-R: Dr. Teresa O Doherty (President MIE); Dr. Julie Uí Choistealbha, (MIE); Ms. Carmel Kearns (Teaching Council);
Dr. Melanie Ní Dhuinn, (TCD); Dr. Conor Mellon (Teaching Council).


The Teaching Council has announced that it has commissioned Marino Institute of Education and Trinity College Dublin to research teachers' experiences of Droichead, the professional induction framework for teachers. The Research team will be led by Dr. Julie Uí Choistealbha (MIE) and Dr. Melanie Ní Dhuinn (TCD). Droichead has been developed through extensive consultation with the profession. Overall in the past 2 years almost 4,500 newly qualified teachers have gone through the process, and there are now approximately 5,200 trained professional support team members in schools supporting the growth of the process. To ensure the continued successful growth of Droichead and in line with its ongoing commitment to periodic policy review, the Council has commissioned this research to explore the reasons for its success and identify any issues that need to be addressed.

Entitled DEEPEN (Droichead: Exploring and Eliciting Perspectives, Experiences and Narratives), the research will explore a range of topics, including the roles and responsibilities of those engaging in, and supporting, the Droichead process, resourcing and supports for the process, the impact of the Droichead on school culture, and the connections between the Droichead process and initial teacher education. It will focus in particular on small schools, Gaelscoileanna, DEIS (Delivering Equality and Opportunity in Schools) schools, and special education settings. It is anticipated that it will be completed by autumn 2021 and will inform the Council's review of policy.

Speaking about the research the Director of the Teaching Council, Tomás Ó Ruairc, said: "Droichead is entering an exciting new phase in its growth, with over 2,700 newly qualified teachers being welcomed by their experienced colleagues into the most important profession in over 1,100 schools this year alone. Such quality professional practice and learning by so many teachers in so many schools augurs well for the quality of teaching and learning for all learners. We are committed to the highest of standards in all aspects of our work, and ongoing research is of vital importance to the successful growth of policy. That is why we are delighted to launch this DEEPEN-ing of Droichead in our education system. This research will help us identify the reasons for success, as well as issues that need to be addressed. It will help us identify solutions to these issues, all in collaboration with the teaching profession, the Department of Education and Skills and stakeholders."

As a first step in that collaborative process, a meeting of key stakeholders, including Droichead schools, will take place in Marino Institute of Education this morning, at which the research will be introduced, and an initial discussion will take place regarding the experience and impact of Droichead.

Find out more about the project and join the conversation @DEEPEN_Project on twitter.

Notes for editors:

About the research brief:

The initial invitation to researchers called for creative and accessible approaches to research that could capture the lived experience of teachers, and could be easily disseminated and communicated to the wider profession. A research team from Marino Institute of Education and Trinity College Dublin was awarded the tender in autumn 2018. The research will use a range of innovative research methods and will focus on the experience of the Droichead process in a broad cross-section of settings, with a particular focus on small schools, Gaelscoileanna, DEIS(Delivering Equality and Opportunity in Schools) schools, and special education settings.