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Dr. Mary Masterson

Biography

Dr Mary Masterson is a Lecturer in Education at the School of Education, University of Limerick, Ireland. She is working primarily in the field of initial and continuing teacher education, policy, and practice. She designs and contributes to a number of education studies modules to undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Limerick (e.g., History, Policy & Contemporary Issues; Curriculum & Policy Studies; Responding to Diversity). She supervises postgraduate students on research projects mainly in the areas of teacher well-being, inclusive education & global citizenship education. She supervises a number of research students and works with student teachers on school placement.

She is the Director of the Professional Master of Education (Languages) programme, a teacher education programme for language teachers (Irish, French, German, Spanish, English as a second language). It is possible for to combine a language with another subject (e.g. Business, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Science, Technology). She is a national ambassador for the eTwinning European Schools Partnerships programme in Ireland.

She obtained her PhD from the University of Kassel, Germany (magna cum laude), her Masters from the University College Dublin, her teacher qualification and undergraduate degree (German, History) from University College Galway, Ireland (now known as National University of Ireland, Galway). She has also qualifications in Gaeilge (CTG - Ceard Teastas Gaeilge, written & oral); Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL); Communication Studies (CCS); European Drivers License in Information & Communication Technology, ECDL - international digital literacy qualification). She is multilingual
(English, Gaeilge, German, French). She has a number of qualifications in language studies, linguistics & literature studies from Cologne University, Germany, Bochum University, Germany, Goethe Institute, Germany, Kassel University, Germany.

Before becoming a lecturer in Education, she was a employed as a post-primary teacher of German, History and Information and Communication Technology. She held a post of responsibility and was responsible for the placement of foreign language assistants within the school. She mentored student teachers in the school. She has taught English as a Second Language in Ireland and internationally. For many years, she has been an examiner with the State Examinations Commission (SEC) in Ireland. She has been active in her Subject Associations and was a regional leader for the German Teachers' Association (GDI). She has led European Awareness Raising Initiatives and has implemented into the curriculum European exchange programmes.

She has been an external examiner for teacher education programmes at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her role as a national ambassador for the eTwinning schools partnership programme focuses on delivering professional development workshops on blended learning and promotes cross-cultural exchanges and projects. She has a long professional association with the Faculty of Humanities, Foreign Language Research & Intercultural Communication. University of Kassel, Germany where she has been an invited guest speaker on several occasions, and has collaborated with peers on international research projects.


Research Interests

Dr Mary Masterson's research ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2483-4440;
https://www.drmarymasterson.com/

She has conducted a number of empirical qualitative studies with a focus on diversity in Irish schools in collaboration with her 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). Her research interest lies in the areas of 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 internationally and has attracted citations and the invitations to join international research networks demonstrates a growing interest in her work.

Her research interest in Linguistic & Cultural Diversity connects with Ireland's Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017-2026 (Languages Connect) which seeks to enhance the quality of teaching and learning and ensuring a supply of skilled teachers and educators of foreign languages in schools and in the higher education sector. 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).

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 Teaching & Learning in Online Environments.

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, I have collaborated on a number of international intercultural online projects with a research team at Kassel University, Germany and have recently joined the international research network 'ANGEL' (Academic Network on Global Education and Learning) in order to make links with other researchers working in the area.


Teaching Interests

Dr Mary Masterson contributes to a number of modules to undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Limerick: History, Policy and Contemporary Issues in Education; Curriculum & Policy Studies; Responding to Diversity. She supervises postgraduate students on research projects mainly in the area of teacher well-being.

Her teaching philosophy is based on developing students' critical thinking skills and independence of mind (Biesta, 2019). She prioritises the development of student teachers' capacity for critical reflection. I encourage students to question their taken for granted assumptions and beliefs about teaching and learning (OECD, 2020).

She has designed, co-ordinated and delivered a variety of teacher education programmers in the School of Education. She has led accreditation of the languages programmes for the School of Education. She has also engaged with external examiners for the languages teacher education programmes.

Professional Activities

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
  • 1992 - Scholarship for undergraduate studies, Bochum, Germany

Publications

Conference Publications

2016

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

2012

DAAD Alumni Conference
Masterson, M.
(2012) DAAD Alumni Conference
University of Kassel, Germany

2011

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

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

2010

Association for Language Awareness
Masterson, M
(2010) Association for Language Awareness
Univeristy of Kassel, Germany

2009

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

2009

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

2009

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

2009

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

2008

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