The focus of my work is on improving learning and teaching in higher education science and engineering.
I coordinate the Teaching Support Centre, which offers a range of services to EPFL lecturers and professors including (a) teaching evaluation and coaching, (b) pedagogical workshops, (c) research and development support and (d) teacher support activities.
I teach a course on the Social and Behavioural Sciences of Learning across the EPFL Master programmes, as well as a number of courses on teaching science and engineering in higher education. I have also developed (with Cécile Hardebolle) a massive open on-line course to aid students making the transition from second-level to university, called Apprendre à étudier.
My research and development work focuses on (a) scalable innovations in science and engineering teaching and learning and (b) social and human dimensions of engineering education
I started my academic research with a PhD in industrial sociology at Trinity College Dublin. However, volunteering and working in refugee education during the conflicts in Rwanda and Bosnia in the mid-1990s led me to switch focus and so I began to work in education and teacher education.
I worked in primary and post-primary teacher education in Limerick, Ireland for fifteen years, teaching sociology, history, philosophy and psychology of education while researching identity and inequality issues in education.
At the same time I also worked on the development of curricular materials for the Irish National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, including the award-winning Intercultural Education Guidelines for both primary and second-level schools. I was also centrally involved in developing the senior second-level social science syllabus, Politics and Society. At this time I also represented the Government of Ireland on the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Steering Committee and Task Force on the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and was co-chair of the UNECE Expert Group on Competences in ESD from 2009 to 2011.
My work on intercultural education led me to recognise the role of emotion and emotional regulation in education. This led to work (with Roisin Corcoran) on emotion in teacher education which has been identified by the journal Teaching and Teacher Education as among the key contributions in the field.
Since 2011 I have worked in Engineering and Science education at EPFL.
|Doctorate||Sociology||Trinity College Dublin||1992-1999|
|Post Graduate Certificate||Environmental and Development Education||London South Bank University||1999-2000|
|Bachelor of Social Science||Sociology, Social Administration||University College Dublin||1989-1992|