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Education Department Staff

PhotoDr Eithne Kennedy

Lecturer in Literacy

 

Qualifications BEd (NUI), MSEd (Fordham), PhD (DCU)
Office E208
Telephone +353 1 884 2072
Email Eithne.Kennedy@spd.dcu.ie

 

 

 

Biographical note

Eithne is a teacher educator at St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra where she specialises in literacy education. She has a broad range of teaching experiences in classrooms in Ireland and the US. She served as a Reading Specialist in a K-12 school in New York City where she completed her Masters Degree in Special Education at Fordham University.

Her Ph.D. thesis, Improving Literacy Achievement in a Disadvantaged Primary School: Empowering Classroom Teachers Through Professional Development, won the International Reading Association's Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award in 2010.

Eithne has presented at a range of national and international conferences including RAI, UKLA, European Reading Conference and IRA.

She is particularly interested in working collaboratively with schools to investigate approaches to literacy instruction that motivate and engage children as readers, writers and thinkers. She has advised on the literacy strand of the Tallaght West Child Development Initiative and was recently commissioned by the National Economic and Social Forum's Child Literacy and Social Inclusion Expert Group to report on policy and implementation issues in relation to literacy. She is a past president of the Reading Association of Ireland and a current executive committee member.

teaching

  • B.Ed Degree programme: specific literacy courses: The teaching of literacy in the early years’ classroom; the teaching of literacy in the senior classes of primary school; third year elective course: When Writers Read.
  • Graduate Diploma in Education: the teaching of literacy in the early years’ classroom; the teaching of literacy in the senior classes of primary school
  • M.Ed/Mteach: coordinator of the special option in literacy; balanced literacy instruction in the primary school/workshop approaches to literacy/literacy in disadvantaged contexts/early intervention; supervision of a range of theses. 
  • Contribution to Doctorate of Education: Teacher Education strand.
  • Former classroom teacher in Ireland and the US and reading specialist in NYC in a Pre-K-12th grade school (14 years classroom teaching experience).  

Research interests

  • Collaborative research with schools to implement research-based balanced literacy frameworks for literacy instruction that motivate and engage children as readers, writers and thinkers
  • Creativity and literacy
  • Early intervention and investigation of effective approaches to improving achievement in literacy in disadvantaged contexts
  • Collaborative professional development, change processes and literacy
  • Literacy policy and implementation issues

Research Projects

Write to Read
Director of the Write to Read project: A St. Patrick’s College Schools/Community Partnership Literacy Project. The Write to Read research initiative involves 8 DEIS schools (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools, DES, 2005) (approx. 1400 children and 120 teachers)  and 5 community groups located in 3 clusters working in collaboration with St. Patrick’s College to address literacy issues within these communities. It will extend to five new schools in 2014 under the Preparing for Life Initiative jointly funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies. It adopts an evidence based, holistic approach and through provision of customised sustained multifaceted professional development it supports schools and communities as they seek to meet the literacy needs of children in ways that build their motivation, engagement, agency, creativity and higher-order thinking skills. Its vision is for a whole school, whole community approach to literacy where expectations will be raised, parents will be empowered and children will be supported and encouraged to develop reading and writing as lifelong habits.

ELINET
European Network of 20 Literacy Organisations awarded a major grant by the European Commission to advance literacy research, policy, practice and implementation across the EU. Grant awarded in January 2014. Irish partners: Gerry Shiel & Eithne Kennedy, St. Patrick’s College, National Adult Literacy Agency, Kathy Hall, University College, Cork.  

National Economic and Social Forum (NESF): Child Literacy and Social  Inclusion Project
NESF is charged by government with identifying best practice in the implementation of child literacy and social inclusion policies, as well as to pinpoint possible barriers to effective implementation of policy. Commissioned paper and presentation to Steering Group.

Evaluation of the Time to Read Pilot Programme with Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) 2010-2011
Time to Read is a joint North-South Literacy Project in Ireland designed to improve children’s confidence in reading and motivation to read through paired reading. Volunteers from the business community read with children during school time. It has been running successfully in Northern Ireland for the past ten years and has recently been extended to the South on a pilot basis. A range of quantitative and qualitative data is being collected and report will be published in summer, 2012.

Tallaght West Children’s Development Initiative (TWCDI) (2007-2008)
Advised on the literacy strand of this initiative and supervised the development of the literacy manual for the Doodle Den after-school programme for children in Senior Infants (TWCDI is a strategic 10-year outcomes focused programme (jointly funded by Atlantic Philantrophies and the Office of the Minister for Children) aimed at improving children’s academic performance in literacy; school attendance rates; creating more positive and safer school environments; promoting greater parental involvement and providing services to support families). The Doodle Den has been evaluated by Queen’s University Belfast and found to have positive effects on children’s literacy development as well as on the other aims.   

Professional Associations and Networks

(2011-2014). Invited to serve on the Research committee of the Literacy Research Association, US.

(2012-2014): Invited panelist for the International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation Award

(2012-). Member of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) Expert Advisory Group for literacy curriculum renewal in Ireland

Reading Association of Ireland: Member of the Executive Committee of the Reading Association of Ireland. Currently chair of the sub-committee for the Reading Association of Ireland Biennial Award for an Outstanding Dissertation on Literacy which was inaugurated in 2005. Past president of the Reading Association (2005)

Projects

Write To Read Literacy Project (Director)

Awards

(2010). Winner of the International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation Award presented by Dr Kathy Au, President of the International Reading Association at the Reading Research Conference, April 26th, 2010 during the annual conference Reading in Many Languages in Chicago, USA.

(2011). Winner of the Tatler Woman of the Year Public Life Award, in recognition of the contribution of the Write to Read project to life in disadvantaged communities.

publications

Books

Kennedy, E. (2014). Raising literacy achievement in high-poverty schools: An evidence-based approach. (Research in Education Series). New York, NY: Routledge.

Kennedy, E., & Hickey, T. (Eds.) (2005). Learning to read and reading to learn. Dublin: Reading Association of Ireland. Retrievable from www.reading.ie

Book Chapters

Kennedy, E., & Shiel G. (2013). Closing the gap through professional development. In K. Hall, T. Cremin, B. Comber, & L. Moll, (Eds.), International Handbook of Research in Children's Literacy, Learning and Culture. W. Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Kennedy, E. (2012). Creating positive literacy learning environments in Early Childhood: Engaging classrooms, creating lifelong readers, writers and thinkers. In J. Marsh & J. Larson (Eds.), Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy (2nd ed.). London: Sage.

Kennedy, E. (2007). Literacy in designated disadvantaged schools. In P. Downes & A.L. Gilligan (Eds.), Beyond educational disadvantage. Dublin: IPA.

Journals

Kennedy, E. (2013). Literacy policy in Ireland. Special themed issue of the European Journal of Education: Literacy- Is Europe Fit for the Future , 48 (4), pp. 511-527. Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Kennedy, E., & Shiel, G. (2010). Formation continuée sur site en partenariat: comment renforcer le sentiment d’efficacité et d’identité des enseignants en même temps que les compétences en littéracie des élèves. Caractères, 38, 26-41.

Kennedy, E. (2010). Narrowing the achievement gap: Motivation, engagement and self-efficacy matter. Journal of Education, 190(3).

Kennedy, E. (2010). Improving literacy achievement in a high-poverty school: Empowering classroom teachers through professional development. Reading Research Quarterly, 45(4), pp. 384-387. DOI: 10.1598/RRQ.45.4.1

Kennedy E., & Shiel, G. (2010). Raising literacy levels with collaborative on-site professional development in an urban disadvantaged school. The Reading Teacher, 63(5), 372–383. doi:10.1598/RT.63.5.3

Conference Publications

Kennedy, E. (2010). Lessons from a school where literacy thrives: Transforming outcomes through a research-based approach to underachievement. In T. Concannon-Gibney, A. Kelly & K. Willoughby (Eds.), Literacy in the 21st Century: Perspectives, Challenges and Transformations. Dublin: Reading Association of Ireland.

Kennedy, E. (2007). Building schools where literacy thrives. In G. Shiel & B. Dwyer (Eds.), Literacy at the crossroads: Moving forward, looking back (Papers from the 30th annual conference of the RAI.). Dublin: Reading Association of Ireland.

Published Reports

Kennedy, E., Dunphy, E., Dwyer, B., Hayes, G., McPhillips, T., Marsh, J., O’Connor, M., & Shiel, G. (2012). Literacy in Early Childhood and Primary Education (Children aged 3-8 Years) (Commissioned research report, National Council of Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)).
Retrievable from www.ncca.ie

Kennedy, E. (2009). Literacy in disadvantaged schools: Policy and implementation issues: (Commissioned paper: National Economic and Social Forum: Research report no.39: Child Literacy and Social Inclusion: Policy and Implementation Issues).

Kennedy, E. (2009). Improving literacy in a disadvantaged school: A research-based approach. In Child literacy and social inclusion: Policy and implementation issues (Research Report No. 39, Commissioned by National Economic and Social Forum). Dublin: NESF. Retrievable from www.nesf.ie

Teaching Resources

2013-2014: Write to Read commissioned by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) to develop: Research-to-Practice bulletins, podcasts, and video clips for NCCA website to support the implementation of the new curriculum in literacy:

Writing workshop in a balanced literacy framework (Complete)

Developing vocabulary in a balanced literacy framework (Completed)

Guided reading in a balanced literacy framework:

  • With readers in the early emergent stage of reading development
  • With readers in the upper emergent stage of reading development
  • With readers in the early fluent stage of reading development

Kennedy, E. (with Hartnett, J., Phelan, E., & O'Doherty, P.) (2001). Bookcase Language Programme. Dublin: Carroll Heinemann.

Newsletter/Magazine

Kennedy, E. (2009). Raising literacy achievement through collaborative professional development. In Reading News (A Reading Association of Ireland newsletter), September.

Media

2013: Wicked writing lessons for children: Louise Holden. Irish Times Tuesday, October 22nd

2013: A Way with Words: Feature article on Write to Read: Sunday Business Post, Sunday 15th September     

2012: Radio Documentary: Write to Read by Brian Gallagher (Broadcaster and author)   Dublin, FM 104.

2012: Irish Times Consultant. Literacy Series for Parents: Autumn. 

2012-2014: Judging Panel: Imaginosity Children’s Museum Creative Writing Competition for 3-9 year olds. Imaginosity, Co. Dublin.

Selected Presentations

Kennedy, E.  & Williams, B. (2013, December). Pre-service teacher visions. Symposium: Expanding Pre-service and In-service Teachers’ Visions for Literacy Instruction in the United States and Abroad,  Dallas, US.

Kennedy, E. (2013, December). Discussant: Symposium: Researching the Potential of the Storytelling and Story-acting Approach of Vivian Gussin Paley on Young children’s Learning and Literacy: UK and US perspectives: UK: Cremin, T., Flewitt, R. Faulkner, D. & Kucirkova, N.; US: Kapo, K., Immel, M. & Cooper, P.  Dallas, US.

Kennedy, E. (2013, December). Roundtable. Up-scaling a collaborative professional development intervention to improve literacy outcomes in high-poverty elementary schools: Outcomes for Year One. Dallas, US.

Kennedy, E. & Shiel, G. (2013, September). Assessing writing in Junior Infants to Second Class. Reading Association of Ireland Annual Conference,  September, Marino Institute of Education, Dublin.

Kennedy, E. & Shiel, G. (2013, September).  Writing Development in the Write to Read Intervention. 18th European Reading Association Conference, Jonkoping, Sweden.

Miller, S., Budde-Adams, M., Massey, D., Korkemaki, Riitta- Lisa, Korkeamaki, Riiku, & Kennedy, E. (2013, August). It only looks the same from a distance: How US, Finnish, and Irish schools support struggling readers. 18th European Reading Association Conference, Jonkoping, Sweden.

Kennedy, E. (2013, April). Keynote Address: Raising achievement: An evidence-based approach: Raising Standards in Literacy Conference, St. Mary’s University College Belfast. 

Kennedy, E. (2013, March). Invited panelist: Education and the training of professional Early Years’ educators at Prepare for Life! Raising Awareness for Early Literacy Education Conference (Stiftung Lesen): Fulfilling potential: Using the evidence base to raise achievement, Leipzig, Germany.

Kennedy, E. (2013, March). Teaching writing in the Early Years. Professional development support to NCCA Play and Language Group: Dublin, Tallaght West Education Centre.

Kennedy, E. (2012, September). Invited speaker: A research-based approach to promoting achievement and engagement in the primary years: Literacy for All: European Conference Cyprus Presidency: Launch of the Final report of the European Union High Level Group of Experts on Literacy, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Kennedy, E. (2012, May). Podcast. Literacy in Early Childhood and Primary Education (Children aged 3-8 Years). www.ncca.ie  Commissioned research report, NCCA, Dublin.

Kennedy, E. (2012, May). Invited plenary session: Growing readers and writers: Research-based practices for the Early Years. Barnardos Conference, Kilmainham, Dublin.

Kennedy, E. (2012, March). Literacy in Early Childhood and Primary Education (Children aged 3-8 Years) Commissioned research report, National Council of Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). Presentation to NCCA Early Childhood Committee and Primary Language Committees, Marino College, Dublin.

Kennedy, E. (2012, March). Dialogic reading and emergent writing. Professional development support to NCCA Aistear trainers: Athlone.

Kennedy, E. (2012). Podcast. Literacy in Early Childhood and Primary Education (Children aged 3-8 Years). Commissioned research report, NCCA.

Kennedy, E. (2012). Growing readers and writers: Research-based practices for the Early Years. Invited plenary session: Barnardos.

Kennedy, E. (2011, May). Effective Literacy Instruction: What the research has to say. Annual Conference, Professional Development Support Service (PDST), Keadeen Hotel.

Kennedy, E. (2011, September). Raising Achievement: What Matters? The Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South (SCoTENS) 9th annual conference: Promoting Literacy and Numeracy through Teacher Education. Cavan.

Kennedy, E. (2011, November). Envisioning schools where literacy thrives. Keynote address Irish National Teachers Organisation Annual Education Conference, Athlone.

Kennedy, E. (2011, December). Literacy in Early Childhood and Primary Education (Children aged 3-8 Years) Commissioned research report, NCCA. Presentation to NCCA Council, Athlone.

Kennedy, E. (2011, December). Collaborative professional development: Impacts on teachers’ beliefs and practices. International poster session. Literacy Research Association: Jacksonville, Florida U.S.

Kennedy, E. (2011, December). The Write to Read Project: A St. Patrick’s College, Schools/Community Literacy Project. Dublin Region Higher Education AllIance (DRHEA) Widening Strands Symposium. Smurfit Business School, December.

Kennedy, E. (2011). Raising achievement in DEIS School. Workshop. School Completion Programme annual conference. Dublin.

Kennedy, E. (2010, December). Investigating the impact of a collaborative professional development intervention on literacy outcomes in a high-poverty urban elementary school. Paper presented at the 60th Annual National Reading Conference/Literacy Research Association, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.

Kennedy, E. (2009, September). Lessons from a school where literacy thrives: Transforming outcomes through a research-based approach to underachievement. Keynote address at 33rd Annual Reading Association of Ireland Conference, Literacy in the 21st Century: Perspectives, Challenges and Transformations, St. Patrick's College, Dublin.

Kennedy, E. (2009, July). Improving literacy achievement in a disadvantaged primary school: Empowering classroom teachers through professional development. Presented at Literacy Association International Conference, Greenwich, UK.

Kennedy, E. (2009, July). Improving literacy achievement in disadvantaged primary schools through a research-based approach to intervention. Presented at 16th European Reading Conference, Braga, Portugal.

Kennedy, E., Shiel, G., & Marsh J. (2009, July). Closing the literacy achievement gap through collaborative professional development: Policy and practice in Ireland and the UK. Symposium presentation at the United Kingdom Literacy Association International Conference, Greenwich, UK.

Kennedy, E. (2009, February). Literacy in disadvantaged schools: A research-based approach to underachievement in literacy. Invited speaker to the National Economic and Social Forum, Government Buildings, Dublin.

Kennedy, E. (2008, April). Literacy in a disadvantaged school: Empowering classroom teachers through professional development and a research-based approach to literacy instruction. Invited speaker to the Northside Partnership Group, Hilton Hotel, Malahide Road, Dublin.

Kennedy, E. (2007, September). Building schools where literacy thrives. Paper presented at the 30th Annual Reading Association of Ireland Conference, St. Patrick's College, Dublin.

Kennedy, E. (2007, March). Reading literacy in disadvantaged schools. Reading Association of Ireland Spring Seminar, Mary Immaculate College of Education, Limerick.

Kennedy, E. (2007, January). Reading literacy teacher education in Ireland. Presented at IDEC (International Development in Europe Committee), European Committee of the International Reading Association, St. Patrick's College, Dublin.

Kennedy, E. (2003, March). Effective literacy instruction in the infant classroom. Paper presented at Reading Association of Ireland Spring Seminar, Church of Ireland College, Dublin.

Kennedy, E. (2001, July). Language and teacher education in Ireland: Writing. Paper presented at the 12th European Conference on Reading, Dublin City University.


Last Updated: Friday January 17 2014

St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
Phone: 353 1 884 2000 Fax: 353 1 837 6197