Integrating Development Education into Student Teacher Practice

Background to the Id Est project

The aim of this project is to integrate Development Education into UCC’s Professional Master of Education, with a view to building the capacity of student teachers to integrate Development Education into their classrooms and the capacity of lecturers to integrate DE across teaching and learning activities.

The principal investigator on the project is Stephen O'Brien, while the researcher on the project is Gertrude Cotter (click on researcher names to access their reserach profiles).

The project is supported by the UBUNTU Teacher Education for Sustainable Development Network. This network is in turn funded by the Development Education and Civil Society Section of Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland.


Project timeline and objectives

The objectives of the project are:

  • To integrate Development Education into the Core Module “Inclusive and Multicultural Education”;
  • To invite expertise and build staff capacity to integrate development education into core modules;
  • To support student teachers to carry out a Development Education project as part of their portfolios and research theses;
  • To influence and support student teachers’ capacities to deliver Development Education in the classroom, through innovative, including digital, teaching and learning methodologies;
  • To develop sustainable local and international partnerships with a view to enhancing mutual cooperation and research capacity;
  • To establish this project as a significant, sustainable, research project in the interest of ITE development. 

Project Term: October 2014 - June 2015

Planned Publication:  July 2015


Research methods

This project will engage PME students in Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education (ESDGC) through the integration of key concepts into core programme modules. In addition the Id Est project will run two research seminars for staff and students across all subject and foundational disciplines.

Students with a particular interest in ESDGC will participate in a research project aimed at integrating ESDGC more deeply into the student experience.  Students will be offered two specialized seminars and will be supported closely to use ESDGC frameworks in their portfolios and in their final master thesis. 

Gertrude Cotter will document the experience of students and incorporate the findings into her PhD thesis.

A base-line assessment of students skills, knowledge and level of engagement with ESDGC will be followed at different stages with individual semi-structured interviews, surveys, self-assessment and focus groups. 

The work of the project will be assessed in relation to impact of and satisfaction with process, practices, outcomes, ethics and methodology.  In particular the research will focus on the level of engagement by student teachers with ESDGC and their ability and willingness to use the knowledge, skills, values and behaviours they have learned about, in their current and future classrooms.

The findings will be collated and an analysis of findings will be published with a view to contributing towards pedagogical knowledge.

Public engagement

As part of this project the School of Education will have a series of talks and research seminars which will be open to students and staff across the university. 

Details will be announced shortly.

School of Education

Scoil an Oideachais

Leeholme, O' Donovan's Road, Cork, Ireland