Commissioned Research

Research on the Continuum of Teacher Education

In 2007, the Teaching Council commissioned research on the continuum of teacher education in Ireland and internationally. This included initial teacher education, induction and continuing professional development. The research was done in two parts, the first of which was a background paper prepared by John Coolahan, Professor Emeritus of Education at NUI Maynooth. This was followed by a detailed study undertaken on the Teaching Council’s behalf by Dr. Paul Conway, Dr. Rosaleen Murphy, Dr. Anne Rath and Professor Kathy Hall from UCC. This research has informed the Council’s work on drafting its Review and Accreditation Strategy, its Policy paper on the Continuum of Teacher Education and its Criteria and Guidelines for Providers of Initial Teacher Education Programmes.

Attitudinal Survey

As part of its role in promoting teaching as a profession, the Council has published the results of a survey on attitudes to the teaching profession. This survey of 1,000 adults, carried out by independent market research company, iReach Market Research, has shown that overall, there are positive attitudes to the teaching profession. The majority of respondents are satisfied with the way teachers do their jobs and have a high level of trust in teachers. There is also a strong endorsement of the valuable role teachers play in our society and a good level of understanding of the complexity of the role and the skill level required.

Research on Job Satisfaction and Occupational Stress in Teaching

In July 2010, the Teaching Council engaged the ESRI to compile a report on its behalf in relation to primary teachers’ job satisfaction and stress levels.

The study was based on data obtained through the Growing Up in Ireland longitudinal research into nine year old children. As well as focusing on children and their parents, that study collected very detailed information on their teachers and the school context over 2007/2008. For each of the 8,000+ children in the survey, questionnaires were completed by their classroom teacher and school principal. 

The ESRI report was approved by Council at its meeting on 13 June 2011.

Research on Teachers’ Professional Development

In July 2010, the Teaching Council engaged the ESRI to compile a report on its behalf in relation to continuing professional development among primary teachers.

The study was based on data obtained through the Growing Up in Ireland longitudinal research into nine year old children. As well as focusing on children and their parents, that study collected very detailed information on their teachers and the school context over 2007/2008. For each of the 8,000+ children in the survey, questionnaires were completed by their classroom teacher and school principal.

The ESRI report was approved by Council at its meeting on 13 June 2011.

Practice-based Research

In July 2010 a team of four post-doctoral teachers, in collaboration with Professor Mark Morgan from St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, was funded by the Council to carry out research entitled “Practice-based Research Encompassing Professional Development”. The four researchers are convinced of the viability of this form of CPD for busy practitioners who wish to improve their practice, and/or understanding of practice while developing as professionals. The research was school-based and grounded in teacher self-evaluation whereby teachers acknowledged the core values informing their practice and tested how these values are lived out daily in their professional practice within their classroom work.

Research on Entry Requirements to Initial Teacher Education

Following a consultation process (2012-2013 ) on entry requirements to initial teacher education, the Teaching Council concluded that due to the complexity of the issues raised, further research was necessary. It therefore commissioned the ERSI to carry out this research. The findings of same (published 10 November 2016) offer key insights into ITE entry requirements and application procedures, the profile of applicants, and the implications of changing entry criteria. The report situates these findings within the international context, and has subsequently informed the Council’s deliberations and advice. This advice has been submitted to the Department of Education and Skills, who will make the final decision on the matter.