Dr Johanna Fitzgerald
Department of Educational Psychology, Inclusive & Special Education.
B.A., HDE (UCC) MA Inclusion& Disability Studies (IOE, London) EdD (UCL IOE).
Lecture in Inclusive and Special Education.
Office: JHN210 Tel: 00353 (0)61 204517.
Johanna Fitzgerald joined Mary Immaculate College in January 2011. She worked as a post-primary teacher and SENCO for a number of years, both in Ireland and the UK before taking a position with the SESS as an Assistant National Coordinator. Her areas of interest and teaching include literacy support, individualised education planning, special education policy, transition and special education leadership and coordination at both primary and post- primary levels. She recently completed her doctorate, which explored the leadership and SENCO role in post-primary schools in Ireland. Johanna is chairperson of the Limerick SENCO Forum, a professional learning network for post-primary SENCOs in the region and is an SEN advisor to the Joint Managerial Body, which is the main decision-making and negotiating body for the management authorities of voluntary secondary schools in Ireland.
- B.Ed Bachelor of Education
- PME Professional Master of Education
- M.Ed Master of Education in Special Educational Needs
- PGDSEN Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs
- DEC PSY Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology
Current Research Interests
- The role of Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) in Post-primary Schools
- Leadership and management in inclusive special education
- Professional learning networks as sustainable models of professional learning.
Articles (Peer Reviewed):
Fitzgerald, J. and Radford, J. (2017) ‘The SENCO Role in Post-primary Schools in Ireland; Victims or agents of change?’ European Journal of Special Needs Education, 32(3), pp452-466).
Higgins, E., Fitzgerald, J. and Howard, S. (2015). ‘Literacy Lift-Off: an experimental evaluation of a reading recovery programme on literacy skills and reading self- concept’. Educational Psychology in Practice: theory, research and practice in educational psychology, 31(3), 247-264.
Daly, P., Ring, E., Egan, M., Fitzgerald, J., Griffin, C. P., Long, S. et al. (2016) ‘An Evaluation of Education Provision for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Ireland: NCSE Research Report No. 21.. Trim: Co. Meath: NCSE. Access at: http://ncse.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/5_NCSE-Education-Provision-ASD-Students-No21.pdf
Fitzgerald, J. (2017) ‘Leadership in Inclusive Special Education: A Qualitative Exploration of the SENCO Role in Post-primary Schools in Ireland’. Unpublished EdD Thesis. UCL Institute of Education London.
Recent Conference Presentations
Fitzgerald, J. (2017) ‘Leadership in Inclusive Special Education: A Qualitative Exploration of the SENCO Role in Post-Primary Schools in Ireland’. Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Annual Conference and Expo, Boston, USA.
Fitzgerald, J. (2016) ‘Special Educational Needs Coordinators in Post- Primary Schools in Ireland: Victims or agents of change?’ Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Annual Conference and Expo, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Fitzgerald, J. and Prendergast, T. (2016) ‘From Policy to Practice: What does a school-wide approach to inclusive education look like?’ JMB Education Conference 2016: Special Educational Needs – Understanding Policy, Updating Practice, Unlocking Potential. Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin.
Daly, P. and Fitzgerald, J. (2016) ‘Special Educational Needs as a Vehicle for Social Justice’. Supporting the critical role of education in achieving social justice: Kerry Interagency Committee on Education Inclusion Conference, Tralee.
Fitzgerald, J., O’Sullivan, S. (presenting authors), Daly, P., Ring, E., Egan, M., Griffin, C., Long, S., McCarthy, E., Moloney, M., O’Brien, T., O’Byrne, A., Ryan, M. and Wall, E. with Madden, R. Research Associate (2015) ‘Teaching and Learning for High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Ireland: A National Evaluation of Provision’. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Chicago.
Fitzgerald, J. (2015) ‘Special Educational Needs Coordinators in Post-primary Schools in Ireland: An Exploration of the Role’. UCL IOE Doctoral School Summer Conference, London.
Fitzgerald, J. (2015) ‘Special Educational Needs Coordinators in Post-primary Schools in Ireland: An Exploration of the Role’. British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, Belfast.
Daly, P., Ring, E., Egan, M., Fitzgerald, J., Griffin, C.P, Long, S., McCarthy, E., Moloney, M., O’Brien, T., O’Byrne, A., Ryan, M. and O’Sullivan, S. (2015) ‘Educational Provision for Children with Autism in Irish Schools: A National Evaluation’. Symposium presentation ‘Educational Effectiveness and Improvement’. British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, Belfast.
Recent Educational In-Services and Workshops
Fitzgerald, J. (2017) ‘Making Learning Accessible for Students with Special Educational Needs. Whole staff in-service Coláiste Íde, Dingle, Kerry.
Fitzgerald, J. (2017) ‘Inclusive Education in Ard Scoil Mhuire: Exploring Co-teaching as an Additional Model of Provision’. Whole staff in-service Ard Scoil Mhuire, Limerick.
Fitzgerald, J. and Daly, P (2017) ‘Supporting Students with ASD and Challenging Behaviour: The Role of the SNA in Post-primary Schools’. Full day CPD for SNA’s, Kerry ETB.
Fitzgerald, J. (2017) ‘Implications of the New Model of Resource Allocation for post-primary schools: Provision Mapping as a Response’. Workshop facilitated at Limerick SENCO Forum.
Fitzgerald, J. (2016) ‘Collaborative Responses to Inclusive Teaching and Learning’. Whole staff in-service St. Munchin’s College, Limerick.
Fitzgerald, J. (2016) ‘Developing the Role of Special Educational Needs Coordinators in Post- primary Schools: Implications for School Leaders’. Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools (AMCSS), Limerick.
Fitzgerald, J. (2016) ‘Responding to Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties at the Poat-primary Level’. Workshop facilitated at Limerick SENCO Forum.
Fitzgerald, J. (2016) ‘Literacy Development in Older Struggling Readers’. Workshop facilitated at MIC Literacy Community of Practice for teachers in DEIS post-primary and schools and alternative provision.
Fitzgerald, J. (2015) ‘Making Learning Accessible: Effective Instruction for Adult Learners’. Whole staff in-service Limerick College of Further Education, Limerick.
Fitzgerald, J. (2015) ‘The Nuts and Bolts of Individual Education Planning’. Workshop facilitated at Limerick SENCO Forum.
Council/ Committee Roles
- SEN advisor to the Joint Managerial Body (JMB) 2015-
- Member of Developing Schools Enriching Learning (DSEL) Steering Committee, Kerry ETB 2017-
- Transforming Education Through Dialogue (TED) Committee, Mary Immaculate College 2013-
O’Keeffe, A. (current DEC PSY student). Research topic: Impact of Peer Supervision on Teachers’ Self-Efficacy.
Mannion, N. (M.Ed in SEN 2017) What is the impact of explicit teaching of wellbeing on students’ behaviour in a special school setting?
Delahunty, T. (M.Ed. in SEN 2016) How have the Quality and Qualifications of Ireland (QQI) Programmes Impacted on the Educational Experiences of Senior Students with Mild General Learning Disabilities in Irish Special Schools?
Daly, L. (MA in Educational Psychology 2016) Teachers’ Perspectives of Their Role and the Role of Educational Psychology in Supporting Student Mental and Emotional Well-Being: An Exploratory Study.
Higgins, E. (MA in Educational Psychology 2014) An Examination of the Impact of a Whole Class Literacy Intervention Programme ‘Literacy Lift-Off’ in an Irish Primary Classroom.
Sheehy, M. (M.Ed in SEN 2015) Learning Pals: A study of Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) to support the development of mathematical skills in a multi-class rural Irish school.
McNamara, S. (M.Ed in SEN 2014) What impact does an inclusive mathematics comprehension intervention have upon the levels of attainment in problem-solving with children of all abilities in second and third class in a rural mainstream primary school?
O’Connor, M. (M.Ed in SEN 2012) An Investigation into how a positive Approach to Mathematics will Change the Attitudes of Children with Special Educational Needs and Their Parents Towards Maths in a Typical Rural Irish Primary School.