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Job Title(s)English Course Team Leader - BEd Degree
Team Leader in the Centre For Excellence in Teaching and Learning (NI)
Communications Officer
Phone No.+44 (0) 28 9026 8247 
Internal Phone No.ext. 247 



Human Development Studies

Short Description

Usual teaching responsibilities:

  • First year survey module for all English students: 'History of Literature and Ideas from Plato to Milton'
  • Fourth year specialist module on 20th century English and American literature
  • First and Second Year Liberal Arts Writing and Reading Skills modules, including ‘Knowledge About Language’ sequences
  • Supervision of Final Year Capstone Research Projects. Topics include Educational Research, Pedagogical Methods, Teacher Professional Learning and Development, Educational Policy, and the Teaching of English Language and Literature. (My past research students include four winners of the ‘Best Education Essay in Ireland’ Award as presented by the Global Undergraduate Awards.)
  • Convenor of Online Masters Modules in ‘Research Methods’ and ‘Research Lesson Study’ (a Japanese model for teacher professional learning)
  • Coordinator of St Mary's / Prospect College China Exchange Programme

From 2005 to 2010, I devoted 50% of my time to my role as Team Leader in the Centre For Excellence in Teaching and Learning (NI) at St Mary’s (‘Critical Thinking and Analytical Writing’). This was based on a £250,000 DEL grant aimed at developing the Centre of Excellence that is the St Mary’s Writing Centre.

My responsibilities for that project centred on outreach to schools and HE institutions, helping to disseminate best practice in the teaching of writing and in supporting student writers.

I have been involved in helping to design and set up study skills centres, writing programmes and writing centres as well as to train staff and student peer-tutors at a number of institutions across Britain and Ireland, including Stranmillis College, NUI Maynooth, University of Ulster, Liverpool Hope and London Metropolitan University. I’ve also been coordinating the writing skills component of the St Mary’s admission process.

Past and Present External Associations:

Training teachers on ‘Teaching Shakespeare to Young People’ at Pädagogisches Institut, South Tyrol, 2012.
Comenius LENS programme launched: “Towards a Multidisciplinary Strategy in Reading and Writing", 2009-2010.
Board Member of the European Writing Centre Association (2009-2010).
Specialist Reviewer for National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) Individual Awards, Higher Education Academy (2008 – present)
Teacher of Writing Skills for First Year Bio-Sciences students at Queen’s University, Belfast (2008-2010)
Developed Comenius/CPD online course components: teaching writing in mixed-ability classes, 2008.
Organised the St Mary’s Writing Skills Forum, an annual conference on writing pedagogy, (2005-2007).
Regular outreach sessions with A-Level English classes with particular emphasis on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost, Sophocles, Arthur Miller and exam technique.
Past assistant A-Level Examiner for Northern Ireland Council for Curriculum Examinations and Assessment.
Member of the Higher Education Academy.

Current Research

  • Teacher Professional Development
  • Writing Process and Pedagogy
  • Peer Tutoring and Writing Centre Development
  • The Teaching of Shakespeare
  • Modern and Contemporary Drama

Publications, Presentations and Scholarly Activity

‘Reading Levels and Fitness in Primary School Children,’ (Elaine McLaughlin, Paddy Tally & Matthew Martin), PE Matters: Association for Physical Education (2018)

'An Introduction to Tutoring in the Writing Centre - Four Approaches: St Mary's University College, Belfast, Northern Ireland.' In O'Sullivan, Í., Tighe-Mooney, S., Lenihan, A. and Farrell, A, An Introduction to Tutoring in the Writing Centre, Irish Network for the Enhancement of Writing (INEW) and the All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE). (2017) http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/9329/

'Adapting Writing Centre Models for Diverse School Environments' Presentation at the UKLA National Conference: ‘Literacy for All,’ Belfast (15 April 2016)

'Keeping Safe': Research Lesson Study as a Means for Adapting NSPCC Materials in Special Schools. Developed handbook and video in conjunction with NSPCC staff as an RLS programme for teachers to adapt the ‘Keeping Safe’ programme for use in Special Schools. (2016)

‘Research Lesson Study: Personalised Professional Development.’ Presentation delivered to the teachers of the Sneha School, Deradhun, India, 7 April 2016

'What are Teach Meets?' In Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development. New Berlin, Wisconsin: The Bretzmann Group LLC. (2015)

'Flipping the Classroom: On the Road to Independent, Critical Reading in First Year English.' In Compendium of Effective Practice in Directed Independent Learning. Edited by L. Thomas, Higher Education Academy (https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/node/10476) (2015)

'Research Lesson Study, The Way Forward in Teacher Professional Development': Talk delivered to the NSPCC, Belfast. Member of NSPCC working group developing professional development plan for teachers to use as they deliver the most recent NSPCC child protection programme, 'Keeping Safe.' (2015)

'Academic Writing: Integrating Writing Support into Research Methods.' Keynote address at the 6th Annual Graduate Student Conference at the Dublin Institute of Technology, 16th June, 2015

'Engaged Learning: From Writing Centres to Blended Learning'. Talk delivered to Queen’s University Teaching Award panel as a result of being shortlisted for a Queen's Teaching Award. (2015)

'The Benefits of Research Lesson Study' Delivered at the Belfast TeachMeet, St Mary's University College. (2015)

'Engaged Learning: The Capstone Project, The STRE@M Conference and Student Research'. Talk delivered with Martin Hagan at Ulster University workshop devoted to the 'Teaching-Research Nexus.' (2015)

'Dr Matthew Martin: The Blended Learning Toolkit in Action.' Online publication for the Regional Support Centre (RSC). (See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naqbdtNvTFE; and here: http://youtu.be/ULiBmTWalbI) (2014)

Member of General Teaching Council of Northern Ireland team tasked with evaluating Research Lesson Study Pilot Project in 30 schools, including primary, secondary and special schools (2012 – present).

‘Expertise and Ownership: Weaving Two Strands of the RLS Tapestry’ presented at the GTCNI Research Lesson Study Evaluation Conference (2012).

‘Writing Centres: Peer Tutoring and Staff Engagement’ delivered at the Student Academic Writing Conference at The Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning, University of Warwick (2011).

‘Shakespeare: Difficult Only When Necessary’ delivered to European students and teachers as part of the Comenius LENS programme (2010).

Keynote Speaker at the European Writing Centre Association International Conference, Freiburg, Germany, 2008 (co-presented with Jonathan Worley).

‘The Teaching of Myths, Fairytales and More Advanced Literature for Children’ presented to trainee teachers at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2007.

'Spot the Difference: Content, Form and Grammar' presented as a keynote address at the Writing Symposium of the Shannon Consortium, University of Limerick, 2007 (co-presented with Jonathan Worley).

'Arthur Miller’s Dialogue with Ireland' Chapter in Arthur Miller’s Global Theater ed. Enoch Brater, University of Michigan Press, 2007.

'Writing Support: Ethos and Evaluation' presented at the St Mary’s Writing Skills Forum, 2007

'Negotiating Writing Center/Centre Identity Across Cultures', presented at the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing, Bochum, Germany, 2007 (co-presented with Professor Kathy Cain).

'Developing Student Writing' presented to the United Kingdom Literacy Association conference, 2006 (co-presented with Jonathan Worley).

'Writing Centres: Involving Lecturers and Disseminating Practice' presented at the St Mary’s Writing Skills Forum, 2006

'Developing Writing Programmes to Support Students of Physics' presented at the HEA Physical Sciences Subject Centre conference on Physics and Pedagogy, University of Bristol, 2006.

'TransAtlantic Boundaries Part II: Negotiating Authority in Writing Centers/Writing Centres Across National Borders' presented at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2006 (co-presented with Professor Kathy Cain).

'Writing in the Dark': Bringing Students' Writing into the Light Through Peer Tutoring’ Issue 9 – English Subject Centre Newsletter, November 2005 (co-written with Jonathan Worley).

Poster: 'Extending, Developing and Diversifying a Writing Centre', Higher Education Academy, CETL Launch, London, 2005.

'Teaching Writing and Assessing Writing' presented at the Enabling and Enhancing the Study of English, English Subject Centre Conference, London, 2005.

'Having a Field Day: Managerialism, Educational Discourse and the Fifth Province of Ireland' in The International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 18 no. 3, 2004, 180-187 (co-written with Leo D’Agostino). This paper was first presented at the Power/Discourse/Resistance Conference held at the University of Plymouth, 2003.

‘No Surprises’: The Discourse of Conversation versus the Discourse of Quality Control in the Teaching and Assessing of Writing presented at the British Educational Research Association National Conference, University of Exeter, 2002.

Please use the Staff Directory if you wish to contact another member of staff.