The as part of the DEIS programme. To gain

The
aims and objectives in undertaking this dissertation is to see if teachers that
are in DEIS schools, schools that are from disadvantaged areas who get
additional support through a plan from the DES, and whether the teaching staff
differ their teaching methods to facilitate these students or if they are
different to how they would teach in a school that is not part of the DEIS
programme. It also will look at different aspects such as the years’ teaching
experience the participants in the study have, their subject areas and whether
these are different from each other with regards to receiving additional
professional development and whether these have an impact on the teaching
methods which they conduct in a school as part of the DEIS programme.

To
gain this information, the use of an observation journal from off-campus
placement from September 2016-April 2017 along with a questionnaire which was
given to one school as part of a case study. These will all be analysed
thoroughly to see if there is any differentiation.

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1.1.1 Background information on DEIS

The DEIS programme was set up by the Department of
Education and Skills in 2005. It was set up for schools which are in disadvantaged
communities. This means they are from either social or economic disadvantage,
or both. The aim of the DEIS programme is to target young students who are at
risk of educational disadvantage. To do this, the DEIS programme makes a
conclusion and recommendations needed for their educational needs. This means
that the students in these areas benefit from the education system. In order to
achieve this, they support the schools and teaching staff and have various
programmes set in place alongside funding. The DES have a system called School
Support Programme (SSP) in which they establish what levels of help is needed
within the schools around Ireland. (Skills, Eductaion.ie, 2017) Over time, the DEIS
programme has been changing frequently since it was set up back in 2005. There
have been many evaluations and reports done over the year to make sure that
this programme works as efficiently as possible, and in 2017 there has been a
new plan set in place for these schools which will help support this. 

1.1.2     Selected
Schools as part of DEIS

When
reviewing the disadvantaged areas which these schools are situated in, there
are many factors to consider when selecting schools which fit the criteria for
the DEIS and SCP programmes. Identifying the schools is handled by Educational
Research Centre (ERC). The identification process involved looked at various
aspects of the area, such as the percentage of people who are unemployed, the
percentage of people who are from the Travelling community, the percentage of
local authority accommodation, the percentage of lone parenthood, the
percentage of large families greater than five or more children and the
percentage of pupils eligible for free books. (Skills, DEIS: Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools, 2005)

The
DEIS programme has many innovations set in place which will help support these
schools and the students which has been changing over time. Some of the
programmes set in place are the introduction of effective literacy and numeracy
practices in schools, they have put measures in place to enhance attendance,
educational progression, retention and attainment and they have also added
additional educational supports.

1.2 Reasoning for this Topic Choice

During my off-campus year I spent seven months working
in both primary and post primary schools which were involved with the SCP as
part of the DEIS programme. Until this year I had been oblivious to the plans
that are implemented by the schools under this plan. As part of the DEIS
programme, schools have implemented various plans to improve and decrease the
risk of educational disadvantage. In order to do this, they have continuous
assessment, the improvement of learning experiences for the students with
additional professional development for the teachers and outcomes and support
for the teaching staff and students.  I
was very interested in the programme which these schools were involved in, and
I also got to experience this first hand whilst on my off-campus placement
different ways in which these schools accommodated different programmes and
teaching methodologies which was used by each teacher.

The areas in which I got to experience being part of
the DEIS programme in schools was by giving extra support in the classroom
under my two subject areas, Mathematics and Gaeilge. I was able to commit my
time for after school homework club every day which lead to having support for
the students whilst they done their homework and by doing this, this achieved
confidence within the students both academically and personally. Another activity
which I was also involved in was breakfast club in the morning, this consisted
of the students arriving to school before classes had started and they were
able to get some breakfast and to start they day on a full stomach. This was
important as it effects children and teenagers’ academic performances. (Neurosci.,
2013)
There were many more of these such as extra activities set in place at lunch
time and after school. Due to this and an interest from off-campus placement,
it has led to this study research.

1.3 Teaching Methodology Definition

There are many ways in which teaching methods can be
defined. This can refer to the different teaching strategies, principles and
teaching styles used by teachers in the classroom. These may vary depending on
a teacher’s subject area, the age of the students, the teacher’s educational
philosophy, classroom demographic and their school’s mission statement. (Teach.com, 2018) The most common or well-known
basic teaching methods used in teaching would be incorporate learning, inquiry
based learning, differentiated instructional learning, graphic organisers and
the use of technology. (Cox, 2017)
Another word which may be used instead of teaching methodologies is ‘pedagogy’.

1.3.1 Pedagogy Definition

The
word pedagogy comes from the Greek word ‘paidag?gía’ which was first recorded between the years
of 1575 and 1585. The word is defined in two ways, the function or work of a teacher
or the art or science of teaching; education; instructional methods. (Dictionary.com, 2017)

1.4 Aim of Dissertation

This study will examine if there is differentiation
used by the teaching staff for the students in these disadvantaged communities
with regards to their teaching methodologies. It will specifically look at the
subject areas of the teachers and the way in which they alternate their
teaching to meet the different needs of the students. This will be pursued by
conducting research in one school which is involved with DEIS and therefor
making this study a case study.

1.5 Limitations

With the undertaking of any study, there were some
limitations which affected the overall result of this dissertation. The most
prominent limitation was the collection of data. This brought limitations such as
scheduling a time for which was suitable for the school, organising
questionnaires to be filled out by school staff, the collection of these and
organising a date which was suitable for this. As well as this, doing the study
as a case study in one school, it instantly made the research biased to one
school and the views of the teaching staff involved within it. Having a small
research section also meant that the accuracy overall would not be definite as
the target market was limited. As each school has a different mission
statement, the teaching methods or training which may have been provided to the
teaching staff may differ with different teaching staff in different schools.
As well as this, the difficulty involved with getting the students involved was
proved difficult. This was because the students are under the age of eighteen,
which meant that consent must be sought from the student’s parents or
guardians, therefor getting a view from the students on what teaching methods
which were practised within the school that are beneficial for them, proved
difficult to be sought.

1.6 Research Question

The research question for this dissertation study is “How do teachers differentiate students in schools
involved in the DEIS Programme, through teaching methodologies”. This
research question will be addressed within this final year project using
questionnaires which will be distributed amongst the teaching staff of one
school involved within the DEIS programme. This will be researched in relation
to the gender of the teacher, years’ teaching experience, their subject areas
and any training in which they may have received as part of teaching within a
DEIS school.

1.7 Chapter Breakdown

Chapter two will consist of the literature review for
this final year dissertation. This is the analysis and evaluation of relevant
studies completed prior to this dissertation. This chapter will consider the
different teaching methodologies from the views of others in their reports,
books or online. The literature review will also look at related studies that
are associated with the DEIS programme and any previous evaluations and plans
which have been done prior to this research. It will also look at previous studies
which have been completed which are similar to this dissertation.

Chapter three will contain the methodologies used to
complete the research within this study. It will outline how the research was
sought, the ethical clearance process and limitations, the process of correctly
choosing the most suitable research questions and how the research will be
collated and analysed.

Chapter four will contain the information on the
school which was used as part of this case study. It will consist a profile of
the survey participants with regards to the number of teaching staff, the
number of students, gender, years teaching experience etc which will support
this dissertation study.

Chapter five there will include the discussion of the
information and data collected from the questionnaire, but also used in
conjunction with the observation journal which was obtained from off-campus
placement. It will contain the analyses of the data and information and the
breaking down of each element from each question which was on the
questionnaire.

Chapter six will conclude the research and analysis of
the overall results which were obtained from the questionnaire and the
observation journal, as well as the information that was found in the
Literature Review from Chapter two.