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I-Rise Research Group

I-RISE is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Society and Education. It contributes to the dynamic exchange and ever evolving interdisciplinary research agenda of modern education and explore societal issues in modern Ireland.  These researchers have solid links with arts and education associations and organisations on both a national, European and international level.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of this comprehensive interdisciplinary group is to examine contemporary issues and influence education practice and policy in education, art and design. 

The ethos and mission of the group is to consolidate and integrate educational theory to practice, explore new and innovative methods of pedagogy, concepts and curriculum in arts, design. There is a specific focus on early childhood education and practice education. Additionally, there is a substantial gap in this integration of educational theory to practice currently. This research group will make an original contribution and aims to bridge this gap. Collaborative and interdisciplinary practice is a vital aspect of this research group with members of this research institute possessing an established and diverse record of research, scholarship, and professional activity.

This research group will enable and facilitate opportunities for academic staff, researchers and postgraduate research students to engage in authentic dialogue. This provides real opportunities to enrich and support interdisciplinarity and facilitates growth in research across multi-disciplinary contexts.

Research Focus

The research in this group focuses on the following areas:

  • Inclusion and The Arts
  • Democracy and Education
  • Inclusion and Early Childhood Education
  • Practice Education for Early Childhood Education
  • Assessment and Professional Supervision in Education
  • Communities of Practice
  • Sustaining Partnerships in Society and Education
  • Professional Conversations in Learning Environments
  • Social Exclusion and Education
  • Models of Professional Development
  • Education Leadership
  • Evaluation of Early Childhood Educational Policy and Practice

Founder /PI: Aoife Prendergast

Postgraduate Students

Supervision of Postgraduate Students (5 Current Students)

  • Michelle Coe – ‘Continuing Professional Development in Times of Transition Effective Supervision in Social Care Competencies and Coru: Moving forward with a framework for Social Care Practice Placement Education: An exploration of the development of a Placement Educator Competency Framework and Guide.’
  • Susan Meagher – ‘The relationship between neighbourhood background and its effect on progression to 3rd level education’
  • Rafaelle Monteiro – ‘Building Communities of Practice in Early Years Exploring Engagement of Supervision in Early Childhood Education and Care’
  • Jackie Kearney – ‘Regulatory Creep – Satisfaction or Surveillance in Irish Social Care Practice’
  • Laura Firth  – “The transition between the early years education environment and primary school educational environment specifically, in relation to the effectiveness of the AIM model”

External Collaboration

I-RISE promotes active engagement and collaboration between research and practice in education and society. Researchers have initiated and are involved in numerous collaborative networks with local, national and international partners. Partnerships include universities and research centres, local authorities and early childhood settings, professional associations, advocacy networks, government agencies and departments, and international bodies.

They include:

NEARI – Network for Educational Action Research in Ireland

IASCE – Irish Association of Social Care Educators

PLE – Pedagogy, Learning and Education – National Association of Higher Education Institutions in Early Childhood Education and Care

FESET – European Association for Social Education and Pedagogy (Bilingual Association)

Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland.

Aarhus University, Denmark.

UC Leuven-Limburg (UCLL), Belgium.