Biography

Dr. Mary Masterson is an accomplished Associate Professor in Education at the School of Education, University of Limerick, Ireland, with a diverse and extensive background in education. Her expertise spans various areas, including initial and continuing teacher education, policy development, and educational practices.

Dr. Masterson is actively involved in designing and contributing to education studies modules for both undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Limerick. In her teaching role, she covers modules such as History and Policy in Context, History, Policy & Contemporary Issues, Curriculum Studies, Curriculum Reform, and Responding to Diversity. Additionally, Dr. Masterson supervises postgraduate students on research projects, focusing on new technologies, multilingual and multicultural education, intercultural communication, teacher well-being, and internationalisation. Beyond her academic responsibilities, Dr. Masterson plays a crucial role in mentoring student teachers during school placement and providing guidance to tutors new to their roles.

She holds a national position as the National eTwinning/Erasmus Ambassador for Initial Teacher Education in Ireland. In this capacity, she actively promotes the eTwinning program to both pre-service and practicing teachers, providing pedagogical and technical support through workshops. The eTwinning programme, which Dr. Masterson champions, facilitates international exchanges, peer learning, multidisciplinary learning, and innovative pedagogy. It contributes to the development of intercultural and digital skills, aligning with several core priorities of national and international education policies seeking to harness the potential of digital technologies to enhance education and citizenship.
Dr. Masterson holds a Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication & Understanding and Foreign Language Pedagogy from the University of Kassel, Germany (magna cum Lauda). Her academic journey also includes a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from University College Dublin, as well as teacher qualifications and an undergraduate degree in German and History from the University of Galway.

In addition to her educational qualifications, Dr. Masterson is multilingual, fluent in English, Gaeilge, German, and French. She possesses various language-related qualifications from institutions such as Cologne University, Bochum University, Goethe Institute, and Kassel University in Germany. Before joining the University of Limerick, Dr. Masterson had a successful career as a post-primary teacher, teaching German, History, and Information and Communication Technology. She held a position of responsibility, overseeing the placement of foreign language assistants within the school and coordinating an EU international school placement initiative. Dr. Masterson has also been active in Subject Associations, serving as a regional leader for the German Teachers' Association (GDI) and contributing to European Awareness Raising Initiatives and exchange programmes.
Her commitment to education is further evident in her role as an external examiner for teacher education programs at the University of Galway, and currently as the external examiner for the Professional Master of Education program at University College Cork. Dr. Masterson's role as an Initial Teacher Education/Erasmus national ambassador for the eTwinning schools' partnership program reflects her dedication to fostering global experiences and perspectives in education. Her longstanding professional association with the Faculty of Humanities, Foreign Language Research & Intercultural Communication underscores her continuous contributions to the field of education.

Research Interests

Associate Professor Dr. Mary Masterson's research ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2483-4440;
https://www.ul.ie/soedu/about-us/staff/dr-mary-masterson
https://www.drmarymasterson.com/

She has conducted a number of empirical qualitative studies with a focus on multilingualism & multiculturalism in Irish schools in collaboration with colleagues at the School of Education, University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, and with a number of international partners (Germany, Norway, Denmark, South Africa, Poland, Italy and Spain). She has expertise in intercultural communication and understanding and has been involved in the design of virtual modules on intercultural skills for staff and students in Higher Education (Erasmus+ project).

She is currently collaborating on an Erasmus + project known as 'MaMLiSE: Majority and Minority Languages in School Contexts: Helping teachers, pupils and parents' is an international project funded by the National Agency of the Erasmus+ Programme in Poland under Action 2 – Strategic Partnerships, School Education – KA201, running from 01.11.2020 to 31.07.2023 (no. 2020-1-PL01-KA201-081612).

Her research interest lies in the areas of intercultural communication & understanding, multilingualism and multiculturalism, teacher well-being, inclusive education, teaching and learning in online environments, blended learning approaches to education. Her work has been published in national and international peer reviewed education journals and she has given numerous presentations in many countries to peers and to practitioners alike. She is committed to teacher as researcher partnerships and supports the professional development of teachers through university-school partnerships. Her work is visible nationally and internationally and has attracted citations and the invitations to join international research networks demonstrates a growing interest in her work. She has contributed to expert panel discussion on initiatives promoting Internationalisation at Home and Green Internationalisation (National Forum in Higher Education events).

Her research interest in Global Citizenship Education connects with European and National policy goals that seek to equip future citizens with knowledge and skills for the 21st century. For recent research in this area, see Masterson, M (2017). Perception of the Self and Other and the Role of Language: An Exploratory Qualitative Study (Peter Lang); Masterson, M. (2018). Self-Discovery Through the Experiential Co-Construction of Life-Stories in the Foreign Language Classroom, Journal of Experiential Education (ISI, Q1, 2018); Parker-Jenkins, M. & Masterson, M. (2013) ‘No longer 'Catholic, White and Gaelic': schools in Ireland coming to terms with cultural diversity, Irish Educational Studies. (ISI, Q 4).

She is the School of Education lead in the Erasmus Project on Migrant Education (KA201081612) and played a major role in obtaining the grant as she has teacher education expertise and related published research in intercultural communication and understanding. This project seeks to develop innovative pedagogies and resources for the teaching of majority and minority languages in schools to promote multilingualism and involves academics and teachers from universities and schools in Poland, Germany, Greece, and Ireland. She is taking the lead in several key areas of the project due to her proven professional expertise and related published research. This includes: 1) the design of a manual for schools; 2) the design of materials and resources; 3) and a teacher training component which she will pilot in Irish schools before its roll-out in schools in the partner countries. Her role in this project also involves contributing to the design of materials and resources for schools and the development of an online learning platform to accompany the manual.

The area of Teacher Well-being is another area of research. This has been prompted by the successful conclusion of a joint application to the EU for a project entitled Teacher Well-being and Diversity: Managing language and social diversity in classrooms (Erasmus+ 2016-1-NO01-KA201-022081). The NCCA (2017) evidenced the significance of such research stating that: ‘Wellbeing in school starts with the staff. They are in the front line of the work and it is hard for them to be genuinely motivated to promote emotional and social wellbeing of others if they feel uncared for and burnt-out themselves'. She ahs contributed to a chapter in a co-edited volume, from this project, with Springer on ‘International Perspectives on Teacher Well-being – Insights from Diverse Classroom Teaching Contexts (Murphy and Mannix-McNamara, Spring 2021). She was the leader for the University of Limerick contribution to the Teacher Well-being Handbook (2020) for schools across the three sectors (early school years, primary school, post-primary) in conjunction with colleagues in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. This well-being manual is used as a resource for schools by both the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) and by the Limerick & Clare Education Training Board.
In addition, currently she is conducting a research project on: Teacher Learning Communities and Teacher Reflexivity. This study explores the development of teacher reflexivity via Teacher Learning Communities with a view to enhancing teachers' practice.

She is also interested in the area of digital supported teaching and learning and is conducting research on the development and implementation of digitally enhanced teaching and learning. She is collaborating with a colleague in the School of Physical Education and Sport Sciences on a project exploring preservice teachers' experiences of teaching & learning in online environments. Currently she has a paper under review and a second paper in progress.

Recent research activities focus on exploring new technologies' initiatives for developing pedagogies that support more active participatory and reflective approaches. This work is timely considering the recent emergency move to remote teaching. These research activities connect with the new Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 (DES). Additionally, she has collaborated on a number of international intercultural online projects with a research team at Kassel University, Germany and is a member of the international research network 'ANGEL' (Academic Network on Global Education and Learning).

Professional Activities

Award

  • 2019 - John Coolahan Research Support Award
  • 2012 - DAAD Postgraduate International Award, Kassel University, Germany
  • 2007 - eTwinning award for teachers with excellent eTwinning projects
  • 2002 - Cross-Border Studies National Prize, The Louvain Institute for Ireland, Belgium
  • 2000 - Intercultural Studies Prize, Goethe Institut Dublin/Munich
  • 1998 - Research Scholarship, University of Kassel, Germany
  • 1994 - Gold Medal
  • 1992 - Scholarship for undergraduate studies, Bochum, Germany

Research Collaborators

  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Finkbeiner - Joint Publication - University of Kassel -Germany

Peer Reviewed Journals

2021

Teachers' Pedagogical Work and Well-being: Perspectives from the Practitioners

Murphy, T., Masterson, M., Mannix McNamara, P., Tally, P. & McLaughlin, E. (2021) Teachers' Pedagogical Work and Well-being: Perspectives from the Practitioners. Taylor and Francis Published online: 12 Apr 2021 Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice : 588-601

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2020

An exploration of the potential role of digital technologies for promoting learning in foreign language classrooms: Lessons for a pandemic

Masterson M. (2020) An exploration of the potential role of digital technologies for promoting learning in foreign language classrooms: Lessons for a pandemic. International Journal Of Emerging Technologies In Learning :83-96

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2018

Self-Discovery Through the Experiential Co-Construction of Life Stories in the Foreign Language Classroom

Masterson, M (2018) Self-Discovery Through the Experiential Co-Construction of Life Stories in the Foreign Language Classroom. THOUSAND OAKS : SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC Journal Of Experiential Education :341-355

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2013

No longer 'Catholic, White and Gaelic': schools in Ireland coming to terms with cultural diversity

Parker-Jenkins, M,Masterson, M (2013) No longer 'Catholic, White and Gaelic': schools in Ireland coming to terms with cultural diversity. Irish Educational Studies :477-492

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Books

2017

Masterson, M. (2017). Perception of the Self and Other and the Role of Language: An Exploratory Qualitative Study.

Masterson (2017) Masterson, M. (2017). Perception of the Self and Other and the Role of Language: An Exploratory Qualitative Study. . Frankfurt am Main : Peter Lang.

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Book Chapters

2022

No Longer Enough to Know Things: Moving Beyond Current Classroom Practice in Global Citizenship Education

Masterson, M. (2022) No Longer Enough to Know Things: Moving Beyond Current Classroom Practice in Global Citizenship Education. Germany : International Research on Literacy Teaching and Teacher Education Redirecting the Flow of Knowledge: From the Individual to the Local to the National to the International Perspective'

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2021

Perspectives on Teacher Pedagogical Well-being at an urban DEIS second level school in Ireland

Murphy, T. R. N., Mannix McNamara, P., Slattery, G., Masterson, M., O'Sullivan, M., and Corry (2021) Perspectives on Teacher Pedagogical Well-being at an urban DEIS second level school in Ireland. Singapore : Springer International Perspectives on Teacher Well-being and Diversity: Portals into Innovative Classroom Practice :1-228

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Edited Books

This author has not written any publications of this type yet.

Other Journals

2002

Interkulturelles Lernen im Deutschunterricht: Einführung des ABC Modells für kulturelles Verständnis und Kommunikation (Intercultural Education in the German Language Classroom: Introducing the ABC....

Masterson, M. (2002) Interkulturelles Lernen im Deutschunterricht: Einführung des ABC Modells für kulturelles Verständnis und Kommunikation (Intercultural Education in the German Language Classroom: Introducing the ABC..... Dublin : GDI GDI Bulletin (German Teachers' Association Publication)

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2001

Applications of Language Learning Strategies in the Classroom

Masterson, M. (2001) Applications of Language Learning Strategies in the Classroom. Dublin : GDI GDI Bulletin (German Teachers' Association Publication)

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Conference Publications

2017

Teacher Education Policy in Europe (TEPE). Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, May 19-20.

Murphy, T., Mannix McNamara, P., Masterson, M., Tally, P. and McLaughlin, E. (2017) Teacher Education Policy in Europe (TEPE). Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, May 19-20..

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2017

Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE). Dubrovnik: Croatia, October 23-25.

Murphy, T., Mannix-McNamara, P., Masterson, M., O'Sullivan, M., and O'Brien, E (2017) Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE). Dubrovnik: Croatia, October 23-25..

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2016

Educational Association of Ireland Annual Conference

Masterson, M. (2016) Educational Association of Ireland Annual Conference.

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2012

DAAD Alumni Conference

Masterson, M. (2012) DAAD Alumni Conference.

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2011

Practice Conference

Tindall, D. & Masterson, M. (2011) Practice Conference.

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2010

Association for Language Awareness

Masterson, M (2010) Association for Language Awareness.

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2010

Responding to Cultural Diversity in Ireland: Issues, Dilemmas and Challenges

Parker-Jenkins, M. & Masterson, M. (2010) Responding to Cultural Diversity in Ireland: Issues, Dilemmas and Challenges.

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2009

British Educational Research Association Conference

Parker-Jenkins, M. & Masterson, M. (2009) British Educational Research Association Conference.

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2009

The Irish Association for Applied Linguistics

Masterson, M. (2009) The Irish Association for Applied Linguistics.

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2009

Educational Association of Ireland Annual Conference

Masterson, M. (2009) Educational Association of Ireland Annual Conference.

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2009

Educational Association of Ireland Annual Conference

Parker-Jenkins, M. & Masterson, M (2009) Educational Association of Ireland Annual Conference.

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2008

Educational Studies Association of Ireland Annual Conference

Masterson< M. (2008) Educational Studies Association of Ireland Annual Conference.

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Conference Contributions

2020

UL School of Education Research Symposium: Landscapes of Learning

Murphy, T., Mannix McNamara, P., Masterson, M., Slattery, G., Corry, J., and O'Sullivan, M. (2020) UL School of Education Research Symposium: Landscapes of Learning.

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2019

Teacher Well-being and Diversity Conference

Masterson , M., Murphy., Mannix-McNamara, P., Slattery, G., O'Sullivan, M. and Corry, J. (2019) Teacher Well-being and Diversity Conference.

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2018

FÉILTE 2018: Life-long learning: Making a difference!

Murphy T. Mannix McNamara, P., Masterson, M., O'Sullivan, M., and Corry, J. (2018) FÉILTE 2018: Life-long learning: Making a difference!.

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2018

Teacher Well-being and Diversity Conference

Murphy T. Mannix McNamara, P., Masterson, M., O'Sullivan, M., and Corry, J. (2018) Teacher Well-being and Diversity Conference.

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2017

Teacher Education Policy in Europe (TEPE) Annual Conference

Murphy, T., Mannix McNamara, P., Masterson, M., Tally, P., and McLaughlin, E. ( (2017) Teacher Education Policy in Europe (TEPE) Annual Conference.

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2017

Teacher Education Policy in Europe (TEPE) Annual Conference

Murphy, T., Mannix McNamara, P., Masterson, M., Tally, P. and McLaughlin, E. (2017) Teacher Education Policy in Europe (TEPE) Annual Conference.

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Published Reports

2019

Teachers' Pedagogical Work and Well-being Research Report. Seed Funded SCoTENS Research Project, University of Limerick/Queens University Belfast.

Murphy, T., Masterson, M., Mannix McNamara, P., Tally, P. & McLaughlin, E. (2019) Teachers' Pedagogical Work and Well-being Research Report. Seed Funded SCoTENS Research Project, University of Limerick/Queens University Belfast. . Armagh, Northern Ireland : SCoTENS (Cross-border studies in Teacher Education )

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Editorials

This author has not written any publications of this type yet.

Book Reviews

2012

The changing faces of Ireland: exploring the lives of immigrant and ethnic minority children

Masterson, M (2012) The changing faces of Ireland: exploring the lives of immigrant and ethnic minority children. Irish Educational Studies :97-99

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Other Publications

2018

Self-Discovery Through the Experiential Co-Construction of Life Stories in the Foreign Language Classroom

Masterson M. (2018) Self-Discovery Through the Experiential Co-Construction of Life Stories in the Foreign Language Classroom.

Read more
2012

The changing faces of Ireland: exploring the lives of immigrant and ethnic minority children

Masterson, M (2012) The changing faces of Ireland: exploring the lives of immigrant and ethnic minority children. Irish Educational Studies :97-99

Read more
2002

Interkulturelles Lernen im Deutschunterricht: Einführung des ABC Modells für kulturelles Verständnis und Kommunikation' (Intercultural Education in the German Language Classroom: Introducing the AB....

Masterson, M. (2002) Interkulturelles Lernen im Deutschunterricht: Einführung des ABC Modells für kulturelles Verständnis und Kommunikation' (Intercultural Education in the German Language Classroom: Introducing the AB..... Dublin

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2001

Applications of Language Learning Strategies in the Classroom

Masterson, M. (2001) Applications of Language Learning Strategies in the Classroom. Dublin

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