Christine Ni Chathasaigh and six postgraduates from Mary Immaculate College have been awarded bursary awards.
Research Bursaries Awarded to MIC Students including Christine Ni Chathasaigh
Over €100,000 has been awarded in research bursaries from An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) to six postgraduate students at Mary Immaculate College (MIC). The bursaries, which are valued at €17,612 each, will support PhD students at MIC to engage in critical research on key aspects of Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education.
The bursary awardees include Christine Ni Chathasaigh, teacher in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh in Limerick city; Caitríona Ní Luasa, principal of Gaelscoil Naomh Séamas in Killorglin, Co. Kerry; Caitríona Ní Mhurchú, deputy principal of Gaelscoil Inis Córthaidh in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford; Carmel Nic Airt, part-time lecturer at MIC and former principal of Gaelscoil Uí Chaoileáin in Clonakilty, Co. Cork; Helena Nic an Fhailí, advisor at the PDST (Professional Development Service for Teachers) and seconded teacher from Gaelscoil Liatroma in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim; and Toirdealbhach Ó Lionaird, principal of Coláiste Gobnatán in Ballyvourney, Co. Cork. Each of the bursary recipients are graduates of MIC’s M Oid san Oideachas Lán-Ghaeilge agus Gaeltachta programme.
In welcoming these bursaries from COGG, Professor Michael Healy, Vice-President of Research at MIC, said, “Mary Immaculate College is immensely proud of our M Oid san Oideachas Lán-Ghaeilge agus Gaeltachta programme and the work of an Dr TJ Ó Ceallaigh, Comhordaitheoir an Chláir, and his colleagues who deliver this programme. Since its inception, the programme has gone from strength to strength, and this new development, involving sponsorship of merit-based Ph. bursaries by An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta, further underpins the excellence of the programme right through to doctoral level. The College is delighted to welcome the awardees who will join our thriving postgraduate research community and acknowledges the contribution of COGG.”
Commenting on the calibre and potential impact of the PhD research proposals, Muireann Ní Mhóráin, Chief Executive of An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta, said, “A key function of An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta is to support a wide variety of research and action initiatives aimed at the development of the Gaeltacht and Irish-medium sector and the teaching of Irish in all schools. Research is critically needed to guide and stimulate a more comprehensive, cohesive, systematic, and future-ready approach. These PhD research proposals have the potential to provide a distinctive and significant contribution to the field. COGG is delighted to support such research initiatives and wishes the awardees all the best with their research trajectories.”
The Christine Ni Chathasaigh doctoral research will focus on teacher language awareness and will examine the specific needs, professional development, and impact of this learning on teachers’ pedagogical practice. According to Christine, who teaches Home Economics and Irish in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, “Teachers are the most important factor in ensuring the success of the immersion system, yet a qualification in Irish is not an essential requirement to teach in the sector. We have much to learn about how subject teachers go about effective language development and about the impact of this learning on their pedagogical practice in the Irish-medium immersion classroom. My research will explore this delicate topic.”
Thanking COGG for its support, Dr T.J. Ó Ceallaigh, Director of Taught Postgraduate Studies in Education at MIC, indicated that research-informed educational provision is critical in the evolution of effective language immersion education in Ireland. He said, “Our knowledge base in relation to Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education is growing constantly and there continues to be a core base of support for immersion education among parents, educators and policymakers at all levels. However, a complex and interacting multitude of variables initiate, influence and impact on the development of such programmes. High-quality provision powered by scholarship and research is key for the continued success and growth of immersion education. Specific targeted research efforts are needed at this time to advance the field. It will be a privilege to support PhD bursary awardees in these efforts.”
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Cabhróidh na sparánachtaí le 6 mac léinn tabhairt faoi thaighde ar ghnéithe bunriachtanacha den oideachas lán-Ghaeilge & Gaeltachta.
— Mary Immaculate College (MIC) (@MICLimerick) June 9, 2021