Early Learning Initiative research

Research is a vital part of the Early Learning Initiative (ELI) at National College of Ireland.

Recognising action research as a powerful tool for change and improvement at local level, ELI uses it as its primary research methodology.  Its collaborative nature gives participants a voice and ensures that ELI's programmes meet the on-going educational needs of parents, professionals and students.  While best national and international practice informs the initial planning stage, action research allows ELI to continuously evaluate and amend its programmes during the implementation stage. This allows theory to emerge from practice and enables ELI's programmes to be effective in meeting their stated long- and short-term goals.

Conferences Hosted

On 23 June 2016, ELI hosted an early-years conference titled ‘Enriching the Home Learning Environment’    

Published Articles in International Journals

Kent, G. and Pitsia, V. (2018) Gender Differences in Cognitive Development and School Readiness: Findings from a Randomised Controlled Trial of Children from Communities of Socio-economic Disadvantage in Ireland. Children's Research Digest, 5 (3). pp. 33-41. ISSN 2009-7298. 

 

Kent, G., Pitsia, V. and Colton, G. (2018) Cognitive development during early childhood: insights from families living in areas of socio-economic disadvantage. Early Child Development and Care. ISSN 1476-8275.

 

Kent, G. and Pitsia, V. (2018) A comparison of the home learning environment of families at risk of socio-economic disadvantage to national norms in Ireland. Irish Educational Studies, 37 (4). pp. 505-521. ISSN 1747-4965.

 

Kent, G., Galvin, E., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Murphy, C. and Barnes-Holmes, D. (2017) Relational Responding: Testing, Training, and Sequencing Effects among Children with Autism and Typically-developing Children. Behavioral Development Bulletin, 22 (1). pp. 94-110. ISSN 1942-0722.

 

McNally, S., Kent, G., Fagan, B. and Bleach, J. (2016) Knowledge Exchange in Early Childhood Research and Practice: Findings from the Early Learning Initiative and the National College of Ireland. An Leanbh Óg: The OMEP Ireland Journal of Early Childhood Studies, 10. pp. 153-161. ISSN 2009-5910. 

 

Kent, G., Bleach, J. and Fagan, B. (2016) The Role of the Parent Child Home Programme in Supporting Better Outcomes in Education and LearningChildren’s Research Digest. 3 (1), pp. 29-35. ISSN 2009-7298.

 

Bleach, J. (2016) Learning networks – enabling change through community action researchEducational Action Research, 24 (1), pp. 21-33. ISSN 1747-5074.

 

Bleach, J. (2015) Improving Numeracy Outcomes for Children through Community Action Research. Educational Action Research 23 (1), pp. 22-35. ISSN 1747-5074.         

 

Bleach, Margaret J. (2014) Developing professionalism through reflective practice and ongoing professional development. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 22 (2), pp. 185-197. ISSN 1350-293X.

 

Bleach, Margaret J. (2013) Improving educational aspirations and outcomes through community action research. Educational Action Research, 21 (2), pp. 253-266. ISSN 1747-5074.

 

Bleach, Margaret J. (2013) Using action research to support quality early years practice. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 21 (3), pp. 370-379. ISSN 1752-1807

Book Chapters

Bleach J. (2017) Community Action Research in Ireland: Improving Educational Outcomes Through Collaboration in the Dublin Docklands. In Rowell L., Bruce C., Shosh J., Riel M. (eds) The Palgrave International Handbook of Action Research (pp. 177-188). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

 

Bleach, J. (2016) Sharing the Learning from Community Action Research. In J. McNiff (Ed.) Values and Virtues in Higher Education Research. Critical Perspectives (pp. 126-140). New York: Routledge.

 

Bleach, J. (2015) Improving Early Numeracy Outcomes, In B. Mooney (Ed) Education Matters Yearbook 2015-2016 Shaping Ireland’s Education Landscape (pp. 73-75). Dublin: Education Matters.

 

Bleach, J. (2014) Supporting Parents. In Reed M. & Walker R. A Critical Companion to Early Childhood (pp. 228-239). London: Sage Publications Ltd. 

 

Reports

Early Learning Initiative  (2020) "ELI Annual Report 2019-2020"  Dublin: National College of Ireland

 

Early Learning Initiative  (2019) "ELI Annual Report 2018-2019"  Dublin: National College of Ireland

 

Early Years Conference 2018 - The Constitutional Role of Parents as the Primary Educators of their Children - Conference Report Catriona Flood 

 

Talk2MeMore: Pilot Study Report - O’Leary, T., Kent, G., Traynor, A., & Bleach, J. (2018) Talk2MeMore: Pilot Study Report. Dublin: Early Learning Initiative National College of Ireland

 

Brighter Futures Initiative - Research Report (2017) "Building Hope for Brighter Futures" Print Depot, Dublin. ISBN 9780905957364 (Written by children and young people aged 4-25 years old)

 

Early Learning Initiative  (2018) "ELI Annual Report 2017-2018"  Dublin: National College of Ireland

 

Early Learning Initiative. (2017) "ELI Annual Report 2016-2017". Dublin: National College of Ireland

 

Early Learning Initiative. (2016) "ELI Annual Report 2015-2016". Dublin: National College of Ireland

 

Early Learning Initiative. (2015) "ELI Annual Report 2014-2015". Dublin: National College of Ireland

 

Early Learning Initiative. (2014) "ELI Annual Report 2013-2014". Dublin: National College of Ireland     

 

Share, M., Kerrins, L., & Greene, S. (2011) "Early Years Professionalism: An Evaluation of the Early Learning Initiative's Professional Development Programme in Community Childcare Centres in the Dublin Docklands". Dublin: National College of Ireland. ISBN 9780905957166

 

Share, M., Doyle, E., Callahan, A., Greene, S., Wachtler, M. & Boyd, E. (2011) "Baseline Evaluation of the Dublin Docklands Parent Child Home Programme".
Dublin: National College of Ireland. ISBN: 9780905957326

 

Share, M. & McCarthy, S. (2011) "Baseline Evaluation of the Early Learning Initiative’s Stretch to Learn Programme in Primary Schools in the Dublin Docklands". Dublin: National College of Ireland. ISBN: 9780905957340

 

Share, M., McCarthy, S., Greene, S. (2011) "Baseline Evaluation of the Early Learning Initiative: Final Report". Dublin: National College of Ireland

Books

Bleach, Margaret, J. (2010) 'Parental Involvement in Primary Education in Ireland'. Liffey Press, Dublin. ISBN 9781905785797

Conference Papers

Kent, Gráinne and Pitsia, Vasiliki (2018) Gender Differences in Cognitive Development and School Readiness. In: Children’s Research Network’s 7th Annual Conference - "Growing Up in the Digital Environment", 6th December 2018, Chartered Accountants House, Dublin.

 

Pitsia, Vasiliki and Kent, Gráinne (2018) Variations in perception of five-year-old children's school readiness among parents and teachers. In: ICERI2018, the 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, 12th-14th November 2018, Seville, Spain.

 

Pitsia, Vasiliki, Kent, Gráinne and Colton, Gary (2018) Insights into the school readiness behaviours of 21st century learners living in areas designated as socio-economically disadvantaged. In: 48th Annual Conference of the Psychological Society of Ireland, 8th-10th November 2018, Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford.

 

Kent, Gráinne, Pitsia, Vasiliki and Colton, Gary (2018) Accounting for differences in cognitive development at four years of age; a preliminary investigation. In: Developmental Section Annual Conference 2018, 12th-14th September 2018, Crowne Plaza, Liverpool City Centre, UK. 

 

O'Leary, Tess, Hurley, Oisin, Kirwan, Suzanne, Kent, Gráinne and Bleach, Josephine (2018) Exploring early childhood language exposure in Irish homes. In: Early Childhood Irelands Research and Practice Seminar 2018, 13th-14th April 2018, Croke Park, Dublin.

 

Kent, Gráinne and Pitsia, Vasiliki (2017) How do the home learning environment experiences in Ireland vary across diverse backgrounds? In: Psychological Society of Ireland Conference, 8th-11th November 2017, Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Limerick. 

 

Pitsia, Vasiliki and Kent, Gráinne (2017) Which factors can predict students' problem solving skills? The case of nine-year olds in Ireland. In: Growing Up in Ireland Research Conference, 7th November 2017, Croke Park, Dublin.

 

Wheatley, Emma, Conroy, Mairéad and Kent, Gráinne (2016) Building capacity and promoting numeracy awareness - Dublin Docklands and East Inner City Early Numeracy Project. In: 26th EECERA Conference 2016, 31st August - 1st September 2016, Dublin City University, Dublin.

 

Kent, Gráinne and Anene, A. (2016) The Development and Impact of the Parent Child Home Programme in Ireland. In: Early Learning Initiatives Home Learning Environment Conference, 23rd June 2016, National College of Ireland, Dublin. 

 

Bleach, Josephine (2016) Nurturing Community Action Research. In: 4th Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA) Conference, 16th-18th June 2016, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee.

 

Byrne, Marion, Kent, Gráinne and Conroy, Mairéad (2016) Engaging families through play. In: Early Childhood Ireland Research and Practice Seminar, 15th April 2016, Croke Park, Dublin.

 

Kent, Gráinne (2015) The Role of the Parent Child Home Programme in Supporting Better Outcomes in Education and Learning. In: Annual Children's Research Network in Ireland and Northern Ireland Conference, 10th December 2015, Dublin.

 

Bleach, Josephine (2015) Review of DEIS: Poverty and Social Inclusion in Education: A community-based approach to addressing educational disadvantage. In: INTO Educational Disadvantage Conference, 2nd December 2015, St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra, Dublin.

 

Kent, Gráinne, Bleach, Josephine and Fagan, Beth (2015) The Role of the Parent Child Home Programme in Supporting Better Outcomes in Education and Learning. In: Annual Children's Research Network in Ireland and Northern Ireland Conference, 10th December 2015, Dublin. 

 

Kent, Gráinne, Bleach, Josephine and Fagan, Beth (2015) Supporting Parents through the Parent Child Home Programme. In: UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre Conference, 11th June 2015, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway.

 

McNally, Sinéad, Kent, Gráinne, Fagan, Beth and Bleach, Josephine (2015) 'Knowledge Exchange in Early Childhood Research and Practice: Findings from the Early Learning Initiative and the National College of Ireland'. In: OMEP Ireland AGM and Annual Research Conference, 25th April 2015 University College Cork, Cork.

 

Kent, Gráinne, Bleach, Josephine and Fagan, Beth (2015) Parent Child Home Programme. In: Early Childhood Ireland Research Conference, 18th April 2015, Croke Park, Dublin.

 

Bleach, Josephine, Kinsella, William and Lalor, Terri (2015) Assessing Children's Early Mathematics Skills and Concepts. In: British Early Childhood Education Research Association Conference (BECERA), 17th-18th February 2015, mac Birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, UK.

 

Bleach, Josephine, Moore, Michelle and Ward, Moira (2014) Mathematics for children aged 3 years and under. In: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)'s Maths Conference, 24th November 2014 Dublin Castle Conference Centre, Dublin, Ireland.

 

Bleach, Josephine, Shinnick, Mark and Rourke, Aisling (2014) Mathematics for children aged 3-4 years. In: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)'s Maths Conference, 24th November 2014 Dublin Castle Conference Centre, Dublin, Ireland.

 

Bleach, Josephine (2013) From 18 months to 18 years - Supporting access to third level education. In: Higher Education Authority 2013 Conference: How Equal? Conference on Access to Higher Education in Ireland, 7th November 2013 Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8.

 

Bleach, Josephine (2012) Community Action Research - improving practice and learning through collaboration. In: CARN/IPDC Conference 2012, 23rd-25th November 2012 Ashford International Hotel, Kent, England.

 

Bleach, Josephine (2012) National Early Years Access Initiative: Dublin Docklands Early Numeracy Project. In: European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) 22nd Annual Conference, 29th-31st August 2012 Oporto, Portugal.

 

Bleach, Josephine (2012) Community Action Research: Providing Evidence of Value and Virtue. In: Second International Conference on Value and Virtue in Practice-Based Research Theme: Articulating our Values and Virtues, 11th-12th July 2012 York St John University, UK.

 

Bleach, Josephine (2012) Using community action research to improve early mathematical outcomes. In: British Early Childhood Education Research Association Conference (BECERA), 15th-16th February 2012 Birmingham.

 

Fagan, Beth (2012) Generating knowledge through the Parent Child Home Programme (PCHP). In: British Early Childhood Education Research Association Conference (BECERA), 15th-16th February 2012 Birmingham.

 

Bleach, Josephine (2011) Implementing Aistear through a Síolta lens. In: Our Children - Our Future Conference, PLE-Pedagogy, Learning and Education Research Conference, 20th-21st October 2011 IT Sligo.

 

Bleach, Josephine (2011) Developing ECCE practitioners' sense of professionalism through reflective practice and on-going professional development. In: European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) 21st Annual Conference, 14th-17th September 2011, Geneva-Lausanne.

 

Bleach, Josephine and Crowe, Brigina (2011) Discover University - Transitional Skill Development. In: 'Supporting Students in Transition', CSSI 13th Biannual Conference, 15th-16th June 2011 National College of Ireland, Dublin.

 

Bleach, Josephine (2011) Implementing Values through Community Action Research. In: value and Virtue in Practice-Based Research, An International Conference, 1st-2nd June 2011, York St John University, UK.

 

Bleach, Josephine and Crowe, Brigina (2011) Discover University - PBL Inter-disciplinary Project. In: 'Problem Based Learning (PBL) Today and Tomorrow', Facilitate International Conference, 26th-27th May 2011 Trinity College Dublin.

 

Fagan, Beth (2011) A Good Beginning - The Parent Child Home Programme in Dublin. In: Our Children - Our Future Conference, 20th-21st September 2011 IT Sligo.

 

Fagan, Beth (2011) Parent Child Home Programme (PCHP). In: ‘Childhood Unfolding’, World Organisation for Early Childhood Education (OMEP) Ireland Annual Research Conference, 2 April 2011, Cork.

 

Bleach, Margaret, J. (2011) Using action research to support and develop quality practice. In: British Early Childhood Education Research Association Conference (BECERA), 23rd-24th February 2011 Birmingham.


 

 

 

Conferences

Community Action Research: Improving Practice and Learning through Collaboration (CARN/IPDC), Kent - November 2012

 

National Early Years Access Initiative: Dublin Docklands Early Numeracy Project (EECERA), Oporto - August/September 2012

 

Parent Child Home Programme: Dublin Families Involvement (EECERA), Oporto - August/September 2012

 

Community Action Research: Providing Evidence of Value and Virtue (Second International Conference on Value and Virtue in Practice-Based Research), York - July 2012 

 

What knowledge we generate from the research process? (BECERA), Birmingham - Feb 2012

 

Using Community Action Research to Improve Early Mathematical Outcomes (BECERA), Birmingham - Feb 2012

 

A Good Beginning - The Parent Child Home Programme in Dublin (Pedagogy, Learning and Education Research Conference, IT Sligo), Sligo - October 2011

 

Implementing Aistear through a Síolta Lens (Pedagogy, Learning and Education Research Conference, IT Sligo), Sligo - October 2011

 

Developing ECCE practitioners' sense of professionalism through reflective practice and on-going professional development (EECERA), Geneva - September 2011

 

Discover University - Transitional Skills Development (CSSI), Dublin - June 2011

 

Social Collaborative Learning Strategy to Enhance Student Engagement with Mathematics (CSSI), Dublin - June 2011

 

Implementing Values through Community Action Research (Value and Virtue in Practice-Based Research, An International Conference), York - June 2011

 

Discover University PBL Interdisciplinary Project (Facilitate International Conference), Dublin - May 2011

 

Parent Child Home Programme (OMEP), Cork - April 2011

 

Using Action Research to Support and Develop Quality Practice (BECERA), Birmingham - Feb 2011

 

Parental Involvement in their Children's Learning (Clondalkin Partnership Conference), Dublin - November 2008

 

Reconsidering the Basics in Early Childhood Education (EECERA), Norway - September 2008

 

Bringing PCHP to Dublin (PCHP National Conference), New York - May 2008

 

Research Papers

Fagan, B, (2012) The Parent Child Home Programme, Education Matters Yearbook 2012, pp. 36-37

 

Fagan, Beth, 2012, 'The Parent Child Home Programme in Dublin's Docklands', The OMEP Ireland Journal of Early Childhood Studies, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp. 129-136

Kilroy, S, Sharry, J, Flood, C. & Guerin, S. (2011) 'Parenting training in the community: linking process to outcome' Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp. 459–473