About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3983-4001
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

UTILISING RESEARCH ‘PRAXIS’ TO ENHANCE TEACHING PRACTICE IN APPRENTICESHIP EDUCATION: A RESEARCH CAPACITY BUILDING PILOT PROJECT RUN IN THE SCHOOL OF CONSTRUCTION SKILLS

A. Kenny, N. Delaney, A. Ryan

Dublin Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
The Dublin Institute of Technology is one of the largest multi-level higher education providers in Ireland, catering for over 2200 students annually. Under the 1999 Qualifications (Education and Training) Act, DIT became an awarding body in its own right. Programme provision covers apprenticeships, short continuous professional development courses, taught undergraduate and postgraduate, research MPhil and PhDs. While the Institute’s traditional mission was focused on teaching and learning in the field of advanced technical vocational education and training (TVET), over the last decade the importance of developing a research informed culture has become prominent in the strategic policy development of the Institute. Within this new emerging research agenda substantial achievements have being made in specific fields such as; science, engineering, ICT, tourism & food. However the research potential of a large portion of staff who work in the apprenticeship and craft area has being underdeveloped.

This paper reviews some contextual information relating to the emerging research agenda as expressed in documents produced by the Institutes of Technology in Ireland and the DIT. It sign-posts significant Irish national strategies and notes some European Union initiatives that have relevance to research policy in this sector of higher education. The research then applies a ‘single case study’ (Yin 1996) to describe a new initiative which seeks to unlock the research potential of staff in the apprenticeship and craft area in DIT. Reporting the findings from a pilot Research Capacity Building project, which was run in DIT in 2008. This was a collaborative project between the Head of Department of Construction Skills and the Project Manager of the Skills Research Initiative, offered to Assistant Lecturers in the Carpentry and Joinery trade areas. The paper details the emergence of this project and utilises ‘4th Generation Evaluation’ methodology (Guba & Lincoln 1986) to access the effectiveness and future potential of this type of initiative. Further by adopting a participatory ‘insider’ research approach the ‘lived experience’ and ‘voice’ of staff who participated in the project is captured through in-depth ethnographic interviews.

The research demonstrates a willingness of staff working in the apprenticeship and craft area to engage in, and develop skills, competencies and knowledge relating to research ‘praxis’ . However there seems to be a ‘cultural gap’ and mismatch between the high level national and sectoral research policy narratives, and the direct research capacity and capability needs of apprenticeship and craft staff. The research recommends that in order for this staff cohort to gain a footprint in the research domain, there is a need for localized and flexible research capacity building initiatives. This type of proactive research capacity building intervention can facilitate the unlocking, production and dissemination of the rich expert knowledge , experience and skills inherent in the apprenticeship and craft areas.
@InProceedings{KENNY2009UTI,
author = {Kenny, A. and Delaney, N. and Ryan, A.},
title = {UTILISING RESEARCH ‘PRAXIS’ TO ENHANCE TEACHING PRACTICE IN APPRENTICESHIP EDUCATION: A RESEARCH CAPACITY BUILDING PILOT PROJECT RUN IN THE SCHOOL OF CONSTRUCTION SKILLS},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {3983-4001}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Kenny AU - N. Delaney AU - A. Ryan
TI - UTILISING RESEARCH ‘PRAXIS’ TO ENHANCE TEACHING PRACTICE IN APPRENTICESHIP EDUCATION: A RESEARCH CAPACITY BUILDING PILOT PROJECT RUN IN THE SCHOOL OF CONSTRUCTION SKILLS
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 3983
EP - 4001
ER -
A. Kenny, N. Delaney, A. Ryan (2009) UTILISING RESEARCH ‘PRAXIS’ TO ENHANCE TEACHING PRACTICE IN APPRENTICESHIP EDUCATION: A RESEARCH CAPACITY BUILDING PILOT PROJECT RUN IN THE SCHOOL OF CONSTRUCTION SKILLS, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 3983-4001.
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