Belated thoughts and thanks on last weekend’s NEARImeet in MIC, Limerick, Ireland, which was so well worth the early start and long drive there and back.
NEARI is an Action Research in Education network founded by Drs Mary Roche, Máirín Glenn, Catríona McDonagh and Bernie Sullivan which has an online forum and face to face meetings several times per year. Any researcher with an interest in reflection on their practice is welcome. Each meeting is well planned around a theme (this one was ‘integrity’) and provides the perfect mix of rich input from volunteer presenters combined with insightful audience discourse curated with the ‘light touch’ chairing (in this case by Mary Roche) that allows for interesting detours but keeps the group on point.
So as well as all the audience interaction, we were treated to six thought-enhancing inputs, from veterans and newbies alike:
- Catriona McDonagh presented a lovely ‘prologue’ featuring the poem Integrity by Gary Dodd
- Máirín Glenn’s thoughtful keynote set the the mood for sensitive reflection
- Ruth Sheridan ignited the room with the passion with which outlined her final year Self Study Action Research (SSAR) project, set in the context of her very unique path to becoming a teacher
- Bridget Flanagan updated us on her PhD research, and her reflections on her experience to date (at pilot stage) prompted a debate on the value teachers place (or not) on discussing shared values in the school
- Colette Saunders told us of the Masters by Research she is undertaking in Sligo IT, situated in the world of those who study Early Childhood Education. This was an eye-opener and a study we will all follow with keen interest as Colette progresses.
- Róisín O’Leary outlined her final year SSAR, and explained how it was helping her in her first year of teaching now. Her conclusion that she herself was a variable in her AR was key, food for thought for the more experienced teachers in the room.
Thank you to all six of you, and the others whose questions and conversation was really thought provoking and helpful. Special extra thanks to Ruth – sharing the car journey together from Ballinasloe and back was an experience not to be forgotten, and one to be repeated hopefully!
For date and venue of next #NEARImeet, keep an eye on the website calendar at NEARI events