School of Humanities
BA Degree / Connect
In 2007, the NUI Galway launched seven new four year BA Programmes which enable students to connect with each other in small groups that share a special interest and together connect to the larger world beyond the university. The programmes will welcome the first cohorts in September 2008 and students will have opportutnies to integrate theory to practice in real world settings including placements within community and public bodies. The BA Programmes include: BA with Childrens's Studies, BA with Creative Writing, BA with Film Studies, BA with Human Rights, BA with Irish Studies, BA with Theatre and Performance and BA with Women's Studies.
Information on Service Learning Literacy Pilot Project
: Dermot Burns
Dermot teaches a range of courses in the English Department at National University of Ireland, Galway. A graduate of the Universities of Surrey, Leeds and Galway, Dermot submitted his doctoral thesis in September 2009. He taught second level English for a number of years in the UK, being awarded the prestigious Advanced Skills Teacher status by government inspectors for excellence in teaching and outstanding examination performance. Dermot has worked as an education consultant, literacy coordinator and learning specialist in Ireland and the UK. He teaches Academic Writing, Study Skills, Research Skills and Examination Preparation in a number of departments at NUIG, including Community Education, Mature Students’ Access Programme and the Disability Support Office.
: Community Based Learning: Literacy Project
Visiting US Study Abroad Students
: 30 students
: 36 (13.5 in the community)
: One semester
: Various homework clubs in the Galway area.
This course teaches visiting US Study Abroad students about literacy acquisition and pedagogy. Students are introduced to a range of theories concerning literacy learning and teaching; they will develop academic knowledge and practical skills in this field. The course also organises work experience placements for students to attend. These will be one session per week in local homework clubs. This practical community work affords students the opportunity to put some of the theoretical information they have covered in lectures into action; moreover, it will develop interpersonal and teaching skills. There will be an emphasis placed on learning through fun and games as well as shared reading exercises. Students will submit a portfolio about their work experience at the end of the course. At the conclusion of the semester, members of the homework clubs are invited into the university for a reception evening at which the children will be presented with certificates of achievement to mark the progress they have made. The course is particularly suitable for those students interested in careers in education, psychology or social work; however, all applications will be considered. Students are required to attend one lecture and one tutorial per week as well as one session at a homework club.
During their studies students will learn how to listen to the voices of
school students, how to develop strategies and techniques to overcome
literacy and reading obstacles, how to use new technologies to engage
students more actively in the learning processes and how to reflect
critically on their own contribution. Through the production of
presentations, reports and conference papers they will learn how to
integrate research into the undergraduate learning experience and by
engaging in collaborative projects they will gain a stronger
understanding of the value of international learning communities. By
participating in a Third-level Reading/Mentoring Program, and by sharing
their experience with international colleagues, students will learn
valuable skills which will be of benefit not just to school students but
also to society.
M.A. in Philosophy: Ethics, Culture and Global Change
: Heike Schmidt-Felzmann
: “Service Learning Placement” in MA Ethics Culture and Global Change
: MA students of MA Ethics Culture and Global Change
36 hours course, 100 hours Service (20 of which to be spent within organisation and/or with service users where appropriate)
Semester 1 & 2
Community Partners: (list) No fixed partners; based on students projects and interests each year. Previous partners included e.g. Blue Teapot, Clarecare, Eglington Asylum Seekers Community, Galway One World Centre, Galway Refugee Support Group, Galway Simon Community, GSPCA, Harristown House, NUIG Organic Garden Society, Rape Crisis Network, REMEDI, UNICEF, Volunteering Ireland
The programme is designed for students who wish to bring philosophical reflection to bear on global issues. Through a service learning underpinning, students will be encouraged to reflect on the significance of the theoretical concepts to pressing ethical issues today. The service learning element is linked to the entire MA programme content to allow students to engage in depth with those issues that are of particular interest to them, by combining theoretical work and practical experience. The main topic areas of the course are globalisation, intercultural communication, colonialism, conflict and violence, bioethics and professional ethics, and environmental ethics. In the process of their service, students are asked to reflect on the representation of ethical issues in their field of practice in the ethical literature and compare it with the issues they encountered in practice. At the same time, arising difficulties and conflicts are discussed and, where appropriate, put into the context of the professional and organisational ethics literature. Students are assessed by means of learning journals and a reflective ethics essay. The service learning support that students receive throughout the year includes a weekend away dedicated to organisational aspects, ongoing support to identify students’ areas of interest and assist them with practical challenges in organising their placement, ongoing sharing and feedback on the placement experience and wrap-up at the end of the course. While some students choose to work in the area of service provision on the ground, others prepare reports, training materials or information materials for their host organisation. Past projects included e.g.: delivery of IT support for Eglington Asylum Seekers Community, school-based outreach activities on ethics in stem cell research, report on the costs of violence against women, report on children’s rights and the situation of unaccompanied minors in Ireland, participation in newly established phone service for rural elderly in Clare, an analysis of media coverage of the majority (developing) world in local newspapers, development of information material on the situation of asylum seekers and their access to higher education in Ireland, provision of training in flower arrangement for groups with intellectual disability, development of information material for the GSPCA, development of a professional ethics information resource for Volunteering Ireland, creation of organic garden and Organic Garden Society in NUIG.
School of Languages, Literature and Cultures
Service Learning in Italian
Dr. Anne O’Connor
Dr. Anne O’Connor is a lecturer in Italian Studies at National University of Ireland, Galway. A graduate of University College Cork, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Birmingham, she teaches a range of language and literature classes in Galway. Her research interests include nineteenth century literature, travel literature and language teaching methodologies. She is responsible for First Year Italian, Diplomas in Italian and for the Service Learning element of the Italian degree programme.
: Community Based Learning: Language Teaching
: 3rd & 4th Year Students
24 hours (12 in the community
: 5 ECTS
: 2 Semesters
: Various Primary Schools in Galway. That have included Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla; Scoil an Linbh Iosa, Francis St; St. Nicholas NS, Claddagh; and Galway Educate Together NS, Newcastle.
This module teaches university students about language acquisition and language teaching methodologies before arranging for them to teach introductory classes in Italian in local primary schools. During the placement in the schools, the students develop a teaching portfolio and reflect on the experience of community based learning. Due to the nature of the practical work, there is a strong emphasis on language acquisition through fun and games. Primary school pupils see that language learning can be fun and learn about a new culture and language. At the end of the Italian course, the pupils come to the university for ‘Italian Day’ during which they are presented with a certificate to mark their achievement in learning Italian. The module is for final year students, between 10 and 16 are enrolled on it each year and they work with about 100 pupils in Galway City. This course was awarded the prestigious European Language Label in 2007 for excellence and originality in language teaching.
For full module description download here: English - Irish
Interculturalism and Foreign Languages in the Community
: Laura McLoughlin
Laura McLoughlin holds a degree in Modern Languages and Literatures from the Università degli Studi “La Sapienza”, Rome and a PhD in Italian 20th Century Poetry from NUI, Galway. She has published books and articles on Italian poetry, the pedagogy of translation and language teaching methodology. She is currently involved in research in the use of audiovisual translation in language teaching.
Marketing Languages. Italian in Secondary Schools
Number of Participants
2 hours per week
St. Mary’s College, Galway
The aim of the module is to promote awareness of the role of language in contemporary multicultural contexts and stimulate interest in foreign languages among teenagers. To this purpose, the module analyses the situation of ethnic minorities in Galway, reflect on the multicultural dimension of everyday life and the intercultural role of languages as mediators between different cultures. Students of NUI Galway and pupils in second level schools will conduct research and interviews with local minority communities, collate their work and publish it on a purpose built website http://www.italianliving.org. In addition a final Foreign Languages Event will be held at which they will present their findings and promote acquisition of foreign languages as a means to overcome cultural and racial barriers.
School of Political Science and Sociology
Ageing, Wisdom, and Links between Generations
This course, centring on links between ageing, wisdom and intergenerational interaction, aims to develop and explore new strategies for supporting interaction between older and younger people in the community and also at the end of the year, produce an article about wisdom and intergenerationality in Ireland. Students will carry out their work within the community, learning from older people, their insights, experiences and personalities and also the people who work with them.
School of Education
Learning to teach for social justice through engagement
Josephine Boland & Elaine Keane
Elaine Keane is a Lecturer (Sociology of Education, Educational Disadvantage and Intercultural Education) in the School of Education at NUI Galway. Her research focuses on diversity issues in both post-primary and higher education contexts. Prior to coming to the School of Education, she worked as a researcher in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, also at NUI Galway, on EU-funded national and international projects in the area of access to higher education, and as a post-primary teacher of French and Civic, Social and Political Education. She regularly facilitates workshops with academic staff in higher education institutions on the topic of widening participation in higher education and implications for learning and teaching. She is deeply committed to the advancement of social justice through education.
Dr. Josephine Boland is Senior Lecturer (Teaching and Learning) in the School of Education, NUI Galway with particular responsibility for Curriculum Studies. In her research and publications she has focused on higher education policy and practice, completing her doctoral thesis on ‘Embedding a civic engagement dimension within the higher education curriculum; a study of policy, process and practice in Ireland’. She is a member of Meitheal – a community of practitioners in NUI Galway who are committed to implementing strategies for learning through civic engagement. In association with Campus Engage, Josephine designs and provides workshops in higher education institutions on curriculum planning and assessment design for service/community-based learning.
Postgraduate Diploma in Education
Learning to Teach for Social Justice (Elective Unit)
: Postgraduate Diploma in Education Students
: 14 students
A range of hours in the relevant community organisation.
Approx. 10 hrs support sessions (briefing, reflection, debriefing, presentations)
2.5 credits as part of the PGDE, or as a Certificate of Achievement
: Galway Traveller Movement & Galway Refugee Support Group
‘Learning to Teach for Social Justice’ has been developed as an elective Specialist Teaching Methodology Unit within the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). Most of the participating students are working with the Galway Traveller Movement’s “Pavee Study” project, through which homework and other academic support is provided to Traveller students from post-primary schools throughout Galway. PGDE gain academic credit if they meet the criteria for satisfactory and sufficient engagement in the activities of both the relevant community organisation and the School of Education and complete the assessment – a Reflective Paper. Experiential learning takes place in the community organisation, at times negotiated between the student and the organisation. Special tutorial sessions are designed to prepare students for, and support them, during, the community-based experience and to assist them in reflecting upon that experience and communicating their learning to others. Preparation and training is also provided by the community organisations in respect of their specific needs and expectations.
This collaborative project has been developed as part of the School of Education’s commitment to teaching and learning though civic engagement. The initiative is consistent with particular aspects of our mission – namely, to serve as a resource to the educational and wider community. While providing a service to a community partner – in response to needs identified by the organisations – it provides student teachers with unique experiential learning opportunities. The experience is designed to connect with those aspects of the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (specifically, ‘Education, Diversity and Social Justice’) which are concerned with issues of diversity, interculturalism and educational disadvantage. The initiative allows student teachers to begin to connect theory to practice and to consider how they might adapt and implement inclusive, intercultural philosophies and methodologies in a practical, real-world context. Further, it provides an opportunity for staff of the School of Education to gain first-hand experience of issues relating to educational disadvantage, interculturalism and diversity in ‘non-traditional’ educational contexts and sites. As teacher educators, we have an opportunity to consider innovative ways of preparing student teachers for the diversity they encounter within schools. Members of the partner organisation also play a valuable role in this regard, in terms of the contribution they make to sessions for the Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
The initiative has a number of longer term goals beyond the immediate outcomes for participating students and partner organisations. These include a) exploring how the pedagogy of community-based/service learning can be embedded in the curriculum of the PGDE, b) developing good practice in this area, and c) contributing to a research agenda informed by the principles of the ‘scholarship of engagement’.
Service Learning in Mathematics Education
"The Living Scenes 3 (LS3) project, which forms a central part of the
Service-Learning programme within the B.A. Mathematics and Education, School
of Education and School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics,
NUI Galway, was featured in the Living Scenes nationwide
showcase at the Baily Allen Hall, NUI Galway on Wednesday evening last, May
Living Scenes is now in its eleventh year, firmly established nationally as
a pioneering programme in intergenerational education and learning. Living
Scenes 3 extends the potential of Living Scenes to teacher education. In the
last academic semester, older members of the local community; transition year
pupils from the local Presentation Secondary School, Galway; and first-year
students of the B.A. Mathematics and Education worked collaboratively - in
intergenerational teams - on a large-scale group narrative: a modern re-telling
of the story of Fionn mac Cumhaill and the Fianna.
Facilitated by well-known local writers and
artists, the LS3 participants developed scripts, and through creative
technologies, developed their scripts into stop-frame animations, which
re-imagined the story of Fionn, including a contemporary interpretation of this
famous Irish narrative. A short video describing LS3 is available on the
School of Education's YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cxo1P2I51mI&lr=1."
Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge
BA sa Chumarsáid
Ronán Ó Dubhthaigh
Rónán is the Academic Director of the Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge programmes in Communications. Presently there are students attending two diplomas, a 4 year degree and two streams of a higher diploma in Aonad na Cumarsáide. He was appointed to the Board of Comhairle RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta in late 2007. Rónán is also the Managing Director of An Fhiontarlann Teo., a television production company in An Cheathrú Rua. In the past he has worked as executive producer for 4 series of magazine style programmes about the Gaeltacht and as the producer/editor of documentaries made by the company for TG4. He also worked in community radio from 1982 until 1990. In 1993 Rónán completed a B.A. in Communication Studies from Dublin City University and was appointed the first Manager of Raidió na Life in Dublin that same year. He began working in the National University of Ireland, Galway in September 1994 to develop the Ard-Dioplóma i gCumarsáid Fheidhmeach.
Céim sna Dána
3rd Year Students
Number of Participants
: Optional but up to 20 Students
Fulltime, 150 hours engagement in the community
: Céim sna Dána
4th Year Students
Number of Participants
: up to 20 Students
part time, minimum of 48 hours in the community
10 ECTS (5 Each Semester)
: 2 Semesters
The first BA in communications offered by NUI Galway through the medium of Irish, will give students the opportunity to explore the potential of developing the community based learning capacity of students within the Gaeltacht regions of Ireland and to explore contemporary societal issues though a placement within a community organisation. This option is available in the third year whereas in the 4th year each student researches a community based learning project in the first semester and then in conjunction with the community group produce the communication product suitable for the group and in conjunction with the group in the second semester.
Further information can be accessed by contacting Lorraine McIlrath (firstname.lastname@example.org), CKI Project Coordinator.