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EQI: Centre for Evaluation, Quality & Inspection

Directors

Prof Joe O’Hara

Joe O'Hara is the Inaugural Professor of Education and a member of the School of Policy and Practice in the DCU Institute of Education. He is Director of EQI- The Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection and a member of the Centre for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Joe O'Hara is a Past President of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland was a  member of the The Teaching Council of Ireland from 2012-2016.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Personal Services Overseas (APSO) from 2002-2004 and represented Ireland on the Council of the European Educational Research Association from 2008 to 2013. Joe O'Hara was Head of the School of Education Studies, DCU from 2010 to 2016. He is a Director and Founding Member of the Irish Evaluation Network and Is a member of the Board of the Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland. 

Prof Gerry McNamara

Dr. Gerry McNamara is Professor of Educational Evaluation at the School of Policy and Practice, DCU Institute of Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI) . From 1997-2007 he was Head of the School of Education Studies, DCU. He is course director of the Doctorate in Education , a taught doctoral programme in the field of educational leadership and evaluation.

Gerry is a specialist in educational evaluation and has planned and led many major evaluations at home and abroad, working for, among others, the Dept. of Education and Science, the National Centre for Guidance in Education, Leargas, the Equality Authority of Ireland, the European Commission, and the United Nations Development Programme.Gerry was a member of the Teaching Council of Ireland (2001/2002, 2004-2006),a co-founder of the Irish Evaluation Network, (2000) and was a member of the Council of the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society, (BELMAS) from 2008-2012.

Academic Staff

Dr Martin Brown

Dr. Martin Brown, is lecturer at the School of Policy and Practice and Senior Researcher at the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI) DCU Institute of Education. Martin is a specialist in educational evaluation and assessment and has planned and led evaluations in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Europe and the Middle East; working for, among others, the Dept. of Education and Skills, the National Learning Network and the United Arab Emirates government. Martin has a B.Sc and H.Ed from NUI Maynooth and an M.Sc and PhD from Dublin City University. Research interests include: Assessment, Comparative Education, School Inspection, School Self-Evaluation, Programme Evaluation, Policy Influences in Evaluation, Inclusion in Education.

Martin also has a research interest in teaching and learning in digital environments having designed and developed online Teacher CPD programmes for the PDST and PDST Technology in Education on priority government initiatives such as School Self Evaluation,  ePortfolios for Teaching, Learning and Assessment and Research Methods for the Leaving Certificate Politics and Society Syllabus that is being introduced in September 2017. Current funded projects include:  co-Pi on the Erasmus+ Projects, Polycentric inspection of Networked Schools (PINS), Aiding Culturally Responsive Assessment in Schools (ACRAS) and Evaluation of Third level tutors use of ICT on the Island of Ireland (SCOTENS). Other funded projects include the development of online and site-based CPD modules on Evaluation for teachers in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Dr Denise Burns

Dr. Denise Burns is researching culturally responsive assessment in a project of the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection.  Denise is lecturing in a semester two module of the BSc in Education and Training entitled 'Policy and Structure in Irish Education.'  Denise completed her PhD in Trinity College with a thesis focused on the intellectual skill in the Irish Leaving Certificate. Denise was principal of Sancta Maria College, a secondary college in Ballyroan, Dublin 16.  

Previous to that role, Denise was researcher and report writer in the Commission on School Accommodation, producing reports for the Minister.   Denise worked as principal of St. Monica's College, a secondary college in Cairns, North Queensland and also as a central office administrator in Brisbane Catholic Education.  Denise's research interests include, inter alia, curriculum design, assessment,document analysis, school improvement.

Prof Stafford Hood

Stafford Hood is the Sheila M. Miller Professor of Education, Associate Dean for Research and Research Education, and Founding Director of the newly established Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he also holds appointments as Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Psychology. Prior to this appointment he also served as the Head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. His research and scholarly activities focus primarily on the role of culture in educational assessment and culturally responsive approaches in program evaluation. Dr. Hood was also the founding Co-Director of the annual national conference on the Relevance of Assessment and Culture in Evaluation that was sponsored by the College of Education at Arizona State University from 2000 to 2007 and has served as the principal investigator on several grants funded by the National Science Foundation. 

He has served on many national advisory boards and committees including the Educational Testing Service’s Visiting Panel for Research, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Technical Advisory Committee,  American Indian Higher Education Consortium’s NSF funded “Building an Indigenous Framework for STEM Evaluation” project, and Robert Woods Johnson Foundations Evaluation Fellowship program to name only a few. His professional service also includes President of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) SIG/Research Focus on Black Education, Co-Editor of the AERA journal Educational Researcher Features Section and editorial boards of the AERA journals Review of Educational Research  and American Educational Research Journal. He also currently serves on the editorial boards of the American Evaluation Association’s journals American Journal of Evaluation and New Directions for Evaluation. He was selected as a Fellow of the American Council on Education in 2001.


Stafford Hood is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Policy and Practice, DCU Institute of Education, Dublin City University.

Dr James Lovatt

Dr. Lovatt is alecturer in Science Education. He is the current Head of the Schoolof STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies. He teaches andresearches in the area of Initial Teacher Education and STEM Education. Dr. Lovatt previously served as Chair of the Professional Masters of Education and asthe School of Education Studies co-ordinator for the BSc Science EducationBSc Physical Education with Biology and BSc Physics Education with Mathematics.

Dr. Lovatt completed his PhD in the area of Chemistry Education. Dr. Lovatt is member of the Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning (CASTeL) and a member of a network for research-based teacher education - Teacher Education: QUality, Integration and LeArning (TEQUILA). Dr. Lovatt has participated in EU 7th Framework projects (SAILS) and is currently collaborating with colleagues to develop Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ applications.

Dr Shivaun O'Brien

 

Dr, Shivaun O'Brien is a lecturer in the DCU Institute of Education, School of Policy and Practice. She is a Director of School Placement for the B.Sc in Science Education, B.Sc. in PE with Biology, B.Sc. in PE with Maths and the Professional Master of Education (post-primary). She took up employment in DCU on a full time basis in 2014, having previously worked as a part-time lecturer for 3 years. She is a member of the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection and has expertise in school self-evaluation (SSE) and school improvement. She has managed a number of research projects involving the provision of supports for SSE in post-primary schools. She has expertise in the facilitation of SSE processes in educational settings. In 2015, she established the DCU Partnership for Learning Programme, which involves the coordination and provision of a wide range of CPD opportunities for teachers in Cooperating Schools. Currently, she is involved in researching data-use in Irish post-primary schools. In addition she is involved in the evaluation of the use of e-portfolios in schools.

She was qualified as a post-primary teacher and worked in mainstream for a number of years. Having completed a Masters Degree in Adult Education and Community Development she worked in many aspects of adult and further education and specialised in work with disadvantaged youth. For 10 years she worked as National Coordinator of the Quality Framework Initiative, a quality assurance system for Centres of Education, which she established and coordinated. She worked for Louth and Meath Education and Training Board as Education Development Officer for five years where she was part of the Senior Management Team. before taking up her position in DCU. During this period she had responsility for setting up 3 new post-primary schools, coordinating the LMETB QQI quality assurance process, developing strategic plan for the VEC, coordinating European projects,establishing a Gaelcolaiste, facilitating self-evaluation processes in post-primary schools and delivering continuing professional development to various staff teams.

Dr Kevin Williams

A former president of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland, Dr Kevin Williams is author of many books including Religion and Citizenship Education in Europe; Education and the Voice of Michael Oakeshott; Faith and the Nation: Religion, Culture and Schooling in Ireland. Most of his research is in the area of philosophy of education and he has contributed chapters to several state of the art collections on the subject. His a regular contributor in the media on issues concerning language policy in education.  

Dr Paddy Shevlin

Dr Patrick Shevlin has been an Inspector with the Education Training Inspectorate (ET) Northern Ireland for 26 years. As a member of the inspectorate, as well as inspecting across a range of education sectors he has had a variety of positions, including that of Education Area Board Coordinator, which involves managing the work of a group of district inspectors within these education support services for the Inspectorate. Before that he was a teacher for fifteen years and occupied a range of senior positions. Dr. Shevlin is an education consultant with the Council of Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) and the honorary president of the Association of Science Education Northern Ireland Region. His research interests include Area Based Inspection, comparative education, Governance, Self-Evaluation, Leadership and Management. He has a B.Sc and Ph.D from Queens University Belfast and a B.Sc and B.Ed from the University of Ulster.

Dr Jane O’Kelly

Jane O'Kelly

Dr. Jane O'Kelly is a lecturer in the DCU Institute of Education. Her research interests include learning communities, further education and training, blended learning and peer and self-directed learning. She lectures in Creative Instructional Design, Research methodologies and approaches, Work-based reflective practice and professional practice in education. Her background includes working in the National Centre for Guidance in Education and Leargas, supporting policy and practice in adult education, vocational education and training (VET) and guidance. She has strong ties to European Commission funded VET programmes through twenty years of administration, management, evaluation and report writing in the Leonardo da Vinci, Lifelong Learning and Erasmus+ programmes. She has a deep interest in contributing to the development of the further education sector in Ireland through research and evaluation in pedagogy, peer support and learner-centred practice to support the continuing professional development of educators and trainers.

Gerry Conyngham

Gerry Conyngham develops and delivers the quantitative modules in DCU Business School. He has been a lecturer in Statistics and Quantitative Methods for over 20 years, specialising in teaching these techniques to business students. Gerry also has over 20 years experience working as a statistical consultant in the public and private sectors. In this role he helps organisations develop survey methodologies, design questionnaires and analyse quantitative data.

Dr Francesca Lorenzi

Formerly she was Co-Chair of the BA inHumanities offered by Oscail the Distance Education Centre at Dublin City University. During thistime she engaged in research and published on evaluation of distance educationcourses. She has presented her research on assessment at several national andinternational conferences. Her most recent project focussed on the evaluationof Fighting Words a creative writing initiative initiated by Irish writer RoddyDoyle and aimed at cultivating creativity particularly among disadvantagedschool children. 

She has served as Research convenor forthe School of Education Studies between 2013-2014.She is currently a member ofFurther Education and Training Research Centre (FETRC), of the Centre for Evaluation,Quality and Inspection (EQI), of the inter-disciplinary project EELF (EthicsEducation through literature and film) and of the Regional Centre of Expertisein Education for Sustainable Development (RCE Dublin) based in DCU.Her specific research interests includebut are not limited to dialogue in education, democratic and inclusiveapproaches to educational assessment, creativity in education, ethics in theclassroom, values and identity in relation to education for sustainabledevelopment. 

Dr Martin Stynes

M Stynes

Dr. Martin Stynes is a senior EQI research associate. His role with EQI involves teaching on the Professional Doctorate in Leadership programme (Ed.D.). He authors and edits work on school leadership and on qualitative research methodologies, as well as supervising Ph.D. and Ed.D. candidates. For further information contact martin.stynes3@mail.dcu.ie In 2017, Martin leads a post-Doctoral EQI research investigation into the school leadership experiences of Irish primary school principals.  His Ed.D. Dissertation on this topic is available on the DCU Doras portal: http://doras.dcu.ie/view/people/Stynes,_Martin.html Martin is the principal teacher of a primary school in Dublin city. Situated in Kilmore West, Scoil Fhursa has an enrolment of 204 boys, aged from 4yrs to 12 yrs. Widely considered as the happiest school in Ireland, it can be visited on social media or in person by appointment. Contact mrstynes@scoilfhursa.ie

Dr Bernadette Sweetman

Dr. Bernadette Sweetman is a Research Assistant in the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection (EQI) at DCU. She is also a part-time Lecturer and Tutor in the Institute of Education, DCU on the B. Rel.Ed and PME programmes

Bernadette is the Irish Project Manager of the Erasmus+ research study  ‘E-Evalinto: Evaluation environment for fostering intercultural mentoring tools and practices at school’.  The aim of this European project, which has six European partners led by the University of Salamanca, Spain, is to combat early school leaving amongst the migrant student population at secondary  level. From 2013 to 2016, Bernadette worked as Research and Development Officer for the Irish Centre for Religious Education.  Here, she developed her skills in quantitative research through her work on the large-scale joint project ‘Religious Diversity and Young People’.  The project was led by the WRERU at the University of Warwick.  The first output of this study was featured in Diversity and Intersectionality: Studies in Religion, Education and Values (Bern: Peter Lang, 2016).  Concurrently, Bernadette was conferred as Doctor of Education (specialising in Religious Education) from DCU in November 2016.  Her thesis was entitled ‘Godparenthood in Ireland: An Empirical Study of the Educational Intentions Influencing Parental Selection of Godparents’, the first Irish study of its kind, resulting in Bernadette being invited to international conferences and appearances on national media.

Bernadette Sweetman has published widely in the field of Religious Education and her resource materials include the three-part series Our Family Mass:  Resources for the Family Sunday Liturgy (Veritas: Dublin, 2010 – 2012); several Teacher Manuals for the Credo Series of R.E. textbooks used across High Schools in the U.S.A., and My Simple Mass Book, a children’s missal (CTS, London, 2013).  She was invited to speak to various groups as an RE consultant during this period. 

Dr Brendan Walsh

Brendan Walsh FRHistS . B.A., University College Dublin, 1989:H.Dip.Ed., University College Dublin, 1990:Diploma in Montessori Education, St. Nicholas College, 1992:Masters in Education,University College Dublin, 1995:Ph.D (University College Dublin) 2005:PhD (Cantab.) 2015.Dr. Walsh worked as a post-primary school teacher from 1989-2000 teaching English, History, Geography and Classical Studies. He lectures in the fields of History of Education and Education Policy.

Dr Walsh in Head of the School of Policy and Practice at the Faculty of Education and a Research Fellow at the Center for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection at Dublin City University. 

Craig Skerritt

Craig Skerritt is a researcher at the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection, Dublin City University. A former post-primary teacher and school leader, he has an honours degree in history and sociology, and a professional diploma in education from University College Cork, and a master’s degree in policy studies in education from the Institute of Education, University College London.

His main research interests are education policy- particularly relating to the relationship between autonomy and accountability within education systems, and how teachers (re)construct their professional identities in response to policy, initial teacher educatin, and the subsequent professinoal development of teachers.  He is also interested in the soiology of education and specifically in how class-based inequalities both engender and are engendered by educational disadvantage.

Associate Advisory Faculty

Professor Herbert Altrichter

Herbert Altrichter is currently Full Professor of Education and Educational Psychology and Head of Department at Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria. He is also the programme leader of the University’s MA in ‘School Management’. A native from Vienna, Austria, he earned his PhD in Education 1978 from the University of Vienna and started his career as lecturer at the Universities of Vienna and Klagenfurt. After some international experiences as visiting scholar to Cambridge and Deakin University (Australia) he was appointed Associate Professor of Business Education at the University of Innsbruck (1991). From 1994-1999 Herbert Altrichter was Austrian Delegate to the Governing Board of the Centre for Research and Innovation in Education (CERI, OECD, Paris). He was the founding president of the Austrian Educational Research Association (ÖFEB) and is now Treasurer of the European Educational Research Association (EERA) (2013-2017). Herbert also founded and edits learned journals (journal für schulentwicklungjournal für lehrerinnen- und lehrerbildung, journal für Praxisforschung, Zeitschrift für Bildungsforschung) and has undergone a training as organizational consultant.

His research interests include educational governance studies (school development and system reform), evaluation, teacher education and qualitative research methodology. His book ‘Teachers Investigate Their Work’ saw its 4th edition in German in 2007 and its 2nd English in 2008; translations in Greek and Chinese are available. Within the research field governance studies he conducts empirical studies about changes which have been triggered by innovations on various levels of the school system and have an impact of in-school and system-wide governance (e.g. Schulentwicklung durch Schulprofilierung? (2011); The Effects of a Free School Choice Policy on Parents’ School Choice Behaviour (2011); Bildungsstandards und externe Überprüfung von Schülerkompetenzen (2012); School decentralisation as a process of differentiation, hierarchization and selection (2014)). Recently, he has done research on school inspections and quality management regimes (Impact of school inspections on teaching and learning – describing assumptions on causal mechanisms in six European countries (2013); Neue Schulinspektion und Qualitätsmanagement im Schulsystem (2013); Does Accountability Pressure through School Inspections Promote School Improvement? (2015)). Additionally, he is interested in the conceptual and methodological foundation of governance studies (e.g. Theory and Evidence on Governance: conceptual and empirical strategies of research on governance in education (2010); Handbuch Neue Steuerung im Schulsystem (2010); Governance – Steuerung und Handlungskoordination bei der Transformation von Bildungssystemen (2011); Educational Governance als Forschungs­perspektive (2013)). 

Dr Richard Boyle

Richard is Head of Research, Publishing and Corporate Relations at the Institute of Public Administration, responsible for planning and management of research and publications functions. He has carried out a wide range of research and consultancy studies on aspects of public service management including public sector reform, performance measurement, evaluation, the management of cross-cutting issues, and long-term policy thinking. Richard’s major areas of specialisation include public sector performance management, monitoring and evaluation systems, and public service change and reform programmes. He is an expert on evaluation, is Chair of the Irish Evaluation Network, and has served on the board of the European Evaluation Society. He has provided support to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in a number of monitoring and evaluation reform initiatives.

In recent years Richard has been engaged in a number of major consultancy projects for public sector organisations in Ireland, particularly in the fields of programme evaluation, strategic management, organisational restructuring and performance management. He has also conducted research for the third sector on government funding of voluntary and community organisations. Internationally, he has conducted research on behalf of the European Commission, the OECD, and the World Bank. Among his many publications is The State of Policy Evaluation in Ireland (2014). Richard has over 30 years experience of working with public sector organisations, including over 25 years with the IPA. Before joining the IPA Richard worked in local government in London.

 Dr Melanie Ehren

Melanie Ehren is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Education, working on research into effects and unintended consequences of high stakes testing, accountability systems and school inspections on school improvement and teaching and learning in schools. Her research started with a PhD on effects of school inspections. In this research she used novel techniques such as a policy theory evaluation to reconstruct the assumptions on effects of school inspections. Her paper on ‘The Relationship between School Inspections, School Characteristics and School Improvement, co-authored by Adrie Visscher, was placed on the 2010 highest cited article list of the British Journal of Educational Studies. Melanie Ehren has studied the effectiveness of accountability systems and external evaluations on school improvement in many different countries and contexts. She was part of the OECD expert team reviewing the Evaluation and Assessment in Education in Luxembourg; she studied the effects of different types of accountability measures (e.g. quality reviews) in New York City and Boston as part of a visiting scholarship at Columbia and Harvard University (sponsored by the Spencer foundation). She wrote an expert opinion on ‘Educational performance standards and external’ testing for the Austrian National Education Report of 2012, received the Austrian ‘excellent researcher stipend’ to teach at the University of Linz in June 2012 and was contracted by UNICEF to review the inspection system in Zanzibar/Tanzania.

She recently coordinated a three-year research project on the impact of school inspections on school improvement in six European countries (financed by the European Committee Life Long learning) and currently coordinates the Special Interest Group on ‘Educational Evaluation, Accountability and School Improvement’ of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) with professor Maag Merki. She is currently also leading an Erasmus+ comparative study on the impact of (‘polycentric’) school inspections, a Nuffield funded project on teachers’ responses to high stakes testing in Mathematics, and a systematic literature review on the impact of accountability systems in developing countries (funded by the UK Department for International Development). She is also the program leader of the Institute of Education’s MA in ‘Evaluation, Inspection and Educational Improvement’.

Professor Peter Tymms

Professor Peter TymmsPhD is Director of iPIPS and international study of children starting school. He was Head of Department in the School of Education at Durham University until 2013 and before that Director of CEM at Durham University which runs projects monitoring million pupils across the UK and beyond each year. His main research interests include monitoring, assessment, interventions and research methodology generally.

He set up the PIPS (Performance Indicators in Primary Schools Project) which runs in thousands of schools around the world. Peter Tymms is an adviser to the German National Educational Panel Study.