Conference – Capturing the Evidence in Family Learning
Family Learning Forum held in Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland 28th May 2014
‘Action Research in Family Learning’
Dr. Esther Prins, Goodling Institute, Pennsylvania State University
This presentation will discuss what action research is, and how it can be used to gather evidence and improve practice in family learning programs.
Esther’s research examines the ways in which social class, culture, race/ethnicity, and gender influence how learners participate in, and benefit from, adult education and family learning (AEFL), as well as the psychosocial meanings and benefits of AEFL. She is broadly interested in participatory approaches to education, community development, and research.
Esther previously coordinated an adult education program and taught ESL classes to Latino/a immigrants in Chicago. She has conducted research and worked in rural and urban educational and community settings in the U.S., Belize, El Salvador, Ghana, and Tanzania. She also teaches the following graduate courses: Family Literacy; Language, Literacy, Identity, and Culture in Global Contexts; and Politics, Language and Pedagogy: Applying Paulo Freire Today.
‘The Evaluation of the DEIS Programme’
Dr Susan Weir, Research Fellow. Education Research Centre, St. Patricks College, Drumcondra, Dublin.
Susan is a full-time educational researcher and has been working in the area of educational disadvantage in Ireland for almost 20 years. Her work has involved, among other things, the identification of schools serving disadvantaged students for the Department of Education and Skills (e.g., Weir & Archer, 2005; Weir 2006), policy work in the area of disadvantage (e.g.,Kellaghan, Weir, Ó hUallacháin, & Morgan, 1995; Archer & Weir, 2005; Weir & McAvinue, 2012), the special nature of disadvantage in rural areas (e.g.,Weir & McAvinue, 2013) and programme evaluation (e.g., Weir, Milis & Ryan, 2002; Weir, Archer, Pembroke & McAvinue, 2007; Weir & Denner, 2013).
She recently represented Ireland at a meeting in Rio de Janeiro on the OECD’s Education and Social Progress International study of Non-Cognitive Skills and completed a review commissioned by the United States Government on how Ireland deals with low-achieving schools.