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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Working in Schools
Module Code ED8088
School 78
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Catherine Furlong
Semester 2: Catherine Furlong
Autumn: Catherine Furlong
Module TeachersCatherine Furlong
Alan Gorman
NFQ level 10 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module provides students with opportunities to investigate important aspects of classrooms and teaching from various theoretical and practical perspectives. Students will become familiar with a range of pedagogical strategies and approaches and they will be facilitated in exploring ways of applying these creatively, taking account of the requirements of children's learning in different knowledge domains and in different contexts. This module will also facilitate students' understanding of, and critical reflection on, key issues relating to classroom management and the creation of inclusive and enriching teaching and learning environments in line with the Teaching Council's conceptualisation of inclusive education as specified in Céim. Finally, students will examine important strategies of communicating with parents, particularly in the context of communicating and managing child-, parental-, and teacher-expectations, as specified in Céim. An additional focus is on the concepts of ’good’/’effective’ schools, the criteria used to describe such schools and how such criteria are deployed in contexts where there is increasing emphasis on external accountability. Students will explore the notion of schools as communities of learning and examine the link between these communities and the wider community with particular focus on the legislative and policy framework.

Learning Outcomes

1. Show evidence of knowledge and understanding of a range of inclusive pedagogical strategies and approaches, and their theoretical underpinnings, and make appropriate professional choices in their efforts to promote the learning and welfare of all children in an inclusive primary classroom.
2. Make appropriate professional choices in their efforts to promote the learning and welfare of all children and to help children to become confident, successful learners, within a welcoming inclusive classroom environment .
3. Become aware of the relationship between effective classroom management and effective inclusive teaching and develop skills and strategies designed to deal with behaviour in ways that contribute in a positive way to children’s development and learning.
4. Understand the role school and teacher cultures play on teaching and learning, identity and agency within schools as communities and identify pathways to change.
5. Critically reflect on how the school community has evolved during the last ten years and how it has been influenced and shaped by the wider educational, policy and legislative context.
6. Understand the origins and development of the statutory and policy-making framework pertaining to Irish education more generally and Irish primary education more specifically, his/her specific role and responsibilities emanating from that framework, together with the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, including parents

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Whole Cohort
Independent Study60Reading, interaction with online resources before and after lectures
Assignment Completion41Completion of two compsosite elements - independent and group assignment
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Working in Schools and Classrooms Strand
(1) Engagement in critical reflection and enquiry on some of the big issues, questions and themes related to teaching and learning in the primary classroom; (2) Development of key teaching approaches including appraoches inn communicating with parents and wider stakeholders within and beyond the school; (3) Exploration of beliefs and expecations including teacher-parental and child expecations and how teachers can effectively manage and communicate expectations 4) Strategies and approaches to devvelop and foster a welcoming and safe classroom and school enviroments (5) Critical engagement with research on effective classrooms and effective schools; (6) Current perspectives on classroom management and skills and strategies for promoting positive behaviour in schools in line with effective practice, The NEWB Code of Behaviour and current research; (7) Exploration of the theoretical underpinnings of inclusive pedagogical approaches approaches and methods in the context of the Primary School Curriculum; (8) Development of skills and competencies for inclusive active teaching and the facilitation of children’s learning in whole class and small-group learning settings; (9) Creating inclusive and enriching learning environments in primary classrooms with appropriate differentiation and without marking or stigmatising children as different; (10) Grouping for cooperative and collaborative small-group work across the curriculum, with a focus on mixed ability grouping as inclusive pedagogical approach; (11) Effective teaching in multigrade and consecutive grade classrooms; (12) Critical engagement with research on school improvement; (13) Exploration of school governance and leadership with a particular focus on the Irish policy and legislative context for same; (14) Examination of school organisational culture and teacher cultures and the impact that they have in shaping the teaching learning community within the school; (15) Critical engagement with notions of internal and external accountability and how they have been informed by the wider research, economic, and political agendas e.g. school self evaluation, whole school evaluation, whole school evaluation management, leadership and learning, school improvement plans; (16) Engagement in issues of planning for improvement – e.g. school plan, school improvement plans; (17) Critical engagement with international influences on state educational policy e.g. PISA, European convention on Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentCharacteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning in Primary Classrooms50%n/a
Group assignmentExamination of a published whole school evaluation report. Students are asked to: 1. Critique the effectiveness of the school overall relative to the school effectiveness research; 2. Examine the type of leadership in evidence in the school and to discuss the impact of this leadership type on teaching and learning; 3. Explore ways to enhance parental engagement relative to existing practice and 4. Design an improvement plan using the SSE process based on an aspect for improvement.50%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Thomas L. Good,Alyson Lavigne: 2018, Looking in Classrooms, Routledge, London, 9781138646513
  • Louis Cohen, Lawrence Manion, Keith Morrison, Dominic Wyse: 2010, A Guide to Teaching PracticeLpo, 5, Routledge, London, 9780203848623
  • Elizabeth G. Cohen,Rachel A. Lotan: 2014, Designing Groupwork, Teachers College Press, 9780807773208
  • Townsend, T. Ed.,: 2007, International Handbook of School Effectiveness and Improvement: Review, Reflection and Reframing., 1-6, Springer, London,
  • Catherine Furlong,Luke Monahan: 2000, School Culture and Ethos, Marino Institute of Education, Dublin, 9781899162208
  • Harris, A.: 2019, Teaching and learning in the effective school., Routledge, London,
Other Resources

52579, Website, Department of Education, 2016, School Self Evaluation, Dublin, Department of Education, https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/52e10-school-self-evaluation-six-step-process/, 52580, Website, Department of Education, 0, Boards of Management, Dublin, Department of Education, https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/143bed-schools-boards-of-management/, 52581, Website, DES Circular, Department of Education, 2016, School Self Evaluation, Dublin, Department of Education, https://www.into.ie/app/uploads/2019/07/cl0039_2016.pdf, 52582, Website, Department of Education, 0, Role of the Inspectorate, Dublin, Department of Education, https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/818fa1-inspectorate/#:~:text=The%20Inspectorate%20is%20the%20division,to%20the%20wider%20educational%20system., 52583, Website,, Department of Education, 2020, Looking at Our Schools - A Quality Framework for Primary Schools, Dublin, Department of Education, https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/743565-looking-at-our-school-2016/, 52584, Website, ACT, Government of Ireland, 1998, Education Act, Dublin, Government of Ireland, https://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1998/act/51/enacted/en/html, 52585, Website, ACT, Government of Ireland, 2001, Teaching Council Act, Dublin, Government of Ireland, https://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2001/act/8/enacted/en/html, 52586, Website,, Department of Education, 0, School Governance, Dublin, Department of Education, https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation-information/7c7c4b-school-governance-section/,
Programme or List of Programmes
PMEPProfessional Master of Education Primary

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