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Transforming Education through Dialogue


The Transforming Education through Dialogue (TED) Project is located in the Curriculum Development Unit, a Directorate of the Faculty of Education. Since it was established in 1998, TED has sought to improve and enhance educational outcomes for children.

TED is a strategic partnership between Mary Immaculate College and schools, agencies and organisations of the Limerick region and beyond. The TED project facilitates a connection between the specific expertise of lecturers and other College staff and the identified needs of schools and voluntary and statutory groups within the local community and at national and international level. Through dialogue and collaboration TED seeks to unlock the enormous potential within learning communities.

TED has created a significant footprint within the College and with schools and statutory and voluntary agencies both at a local level and nationally within the broader education community. TED has developed expertise that facilitates working in partnership with a variety of stakeholders to identify and respond to relevant educational issues in schools and communities.

For further information on the CDU, see www.curriculumdevelopmentunit….

TED Bridging the Gap literacy report
Fiona O’Connor, Dr. Ann Higgins & Mayor Michael Sheahan launching the 'Bridging the Gap' report
TED Bedford Row Family Project: Holding the Suffering report launch Emily Logan
TED staff & Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of IHREC at launch of Bedford Row Family Project Report
TED Coordinator
Dr Ann Higgins
+353 61 204979


Ruth Bourke

BA (UL) & MEd (UL)
Support Worker, Transforming Education through Dialogue (TED)
  • Phone: +353 61 774715
  • Email:
  • Location: JHN122


TED facilitates three school networks: PLUS, Cur le Chéile and OSCAILT. The school networks have always served as a central pivot of TED work and have been the seed bed for development and delivery of TED initiatives and intervention programmes. 

Schools’ concerns with absenteeism and behaviour issues, for example, led to TED seeking funding to conduct action research and to develop and publish resources addressing these issues (see Research, Evaluation & Publications).

Network activities also provide for peer and inter-school support. Furthermore, they enable the sharing of good practice, and the design and delivery of workshops and information seminars. TED also advocates on policy issues. The TED work is enriched and informed by inputs from teachers, parents, pupils and others. This influence extends to undergraduate teacher preparation courses and to the delivery of summer schools.

PLUS (Primary Liaison with University Services) Network

PLUS comprises 14 DEIS band 1 primary schools, 2 DEIS rural primary schools and 2 non-mainstream schools in Limerick City and county. See list here.

Cur le Chéile (CLC) Network

Cur le Chéile is Athlone-based and incorporates 11 primary schools in counties Galway, Longford, Mayo, Sligo, and Westmeath. See list here.


This network comprises representation from the 12 DEIS band 1 primary and 4 DEIS post-primary schools in Limerick city, along with representatives of the Department of Education and Skills (DES). See list here.

Literacy Community of Practice

The Literacy Community of Practice grew out of research conducted by TED in 2013 with education providers servicing the needs of young people aged 12-18 to explore how we could support positive literacy outcomes for this age cohort of students. Membership includes DEIS post primary schools, Youth Reach Centres and a Youth Encounter Project.

TED Initiatives

MIC Children's Choir

The MIC Children’s Choir is a partnership between the Department of Arts Education and Physical Education, Mary Immaculate College and the TED Project. In 2017 and 2018, the choir also received Creative Ireland funding from the Limerick City and County Council Arts Office.

The choir was conceived and set up under the direction of Dr Ailbhe Kenny, Lecturer in Music Education at MIC in 2013 and is supported by TED Project staff.

Each year since 2013, MIC students have been recruited to volunteer as choir leaders in selected primary schools, all of whom are members of the PLUS network in Limerick. Students gain focused professional development in choral leadership during weekly mentoring sessions with the Choral Director at MIC and subsequently deliver a common repertoire in schools. This work builds to large and small-scale performances throughout the school year. The choir's repertoire draws from multiple genres and cultures to broaden musical awareness. All schools involved come together in MIC during the academic year for masterclasses or 'Big Sings' with the Choral Director as well as for performances.

MIC Children’s Choir Co-Funders 2017 & 2018
MIC Children’s Choir Co-Funders 2017 & 2018
The initiative received Creative Ireland funds from the Limerick City and County Council Arts Office


Directors: Máiréad Ní Chondúin (2017-2018) and Dr Ailbhe Kenny (2018-2019)

The most recent phase of the MIC Children’s Choir began in September 2017. This choir is comprised of approximately 200 children from 3rd and 4th classes from the five schools named below including:

  • Our Lady of Lourdes National School, Rosbrien, Limerick City
  • Scoil Íosagáin CBS, Sexton Street, Limerick City
  • St. John the Baptist Boys’ School, Downey Street, Limerick City
  • St. John's Girls’ and Infant Boys’ School, Cathedral Place, Limerick City
  • Thomond Primary School, Ballynanty, Limerick City


Directors: Dr Ailbhe Kenny (2015-2016) and Máiréad Ní Chondúin (2016-2017)

In October 2015, all PLUS network schools were once again invited to participate in the choir and a new group of 150 children from third and fourth classes in five schools became involved namely:

  • Corpus Christi National School, Moyross, Limerick City
  • Our Lady of Lourdes National School, Rosbrien, Limerick City
  • St. Anne's Primary School, Rathkeale, County Limerick
  • St. John's Girls and Infant Boys School, Cathedral Place, Limerick City
  • Thomond Primary School, Ballynanty, Limerick City


Directors: Dr Ailbhe Kenny (2013-2014) and Máiréad Ní Chondúin (2014-2015)

In 2013, 140 children from third and fourth classes from four PLUS network schools participated in the choir and subsequently continued their participation the following year when children progressed to fourth and fifth class. The schools involved were:

  • Corpus Christi National School, Moyross, Limerick City
  • Our Lady of Lourdes National School, Rosbrien, Limerick City
  • Our Lady Queen of Peace National School, Janesboro, Limerick City
  • St. Munchin's Girls’ School, Ballynanty (subsequently amalgamated with two other schools to become Thomond Primary School), Limerick City
Mary Immaculate College MIC Children's Choir TED Project
MIC Children's Choir
The MIC Children’s Choir is a partnership between the Department of AEPE and the TED Project

Studio Classroom Art & Research Project

The Studio Classroom Art and Research Project is a collaboration between Anne-Marie Morrin, Lecturer Visual Arts Education, Department of Arts Education and Physical Education, Mary Immaculate College and the TED Project. It is an educational art and research project that commenced in February 2015. This project began by working with three schools in the PLUS network. The Studio Classroom was inspired by the Kids' Own Virtually There initiative. The aim of this project is to connect visual artists, primary school teachers and children through online residencies.

The Studio Classroom involves the use of virtual technology (Adobe Connect and Skype) to connect the artists in their studios with the classroom, thereby engaging teachers and children in exciting, collaborative and innovative arts practice. The project offers a unique opportunity to showcase how teachers, artists and children working collaboratively in a shared space can contribute to a meaningful arts experience in primary schools.

For more information, see


  • Fourth class - Our Lady Queen of Peace National School, Janesboro, Limerick
  • First class - St. Michael's Infant School, Sexton Street, Limerick
  • First class – Thomond Primary School, Ballynanty, Limerick


  • First class - Our Lady Queen of Peace National School, Janesboro, Limerick
  • Fourth class - Scoil Íosagáin CBS, Sexton Street, Limerick
  • 1st class - St Michael's Infant School, Sexton Street, Limerick


  • First class - Our Lady of Lourdes National School, Rosbrien, Limerick
  • Sixth class - Presentation Primary School, Sexton Street, Limerick
  • Sixth class - St. Mary’s National School, Bishop Street, Limerick
Studio Classroom
Studio Classroom
Dr Angela Canny, then Acting Dean of Education at MIC & Gaelle Nseka from Thomond Primary School

League of Legends

The League of Legends is a joint venture between TED and the PLUS network. The PLUS network comprises representatives from fourteen DEIS Band 1 Limerick city and county schools.  The annual League of Legends tournament is a wonderful highlight of the school year for many of the fifth and sixth pupils who participate.

The tournament aims to build partnerships between schools and MIC and to give the pupils an opportunity to have fun, explore what a third-level campus has to offer and to utilise the state of the art MIC Tailteann sports complex.

League of Legends Soccer Tournament
League of Legends Soccer Tournament
Corpus Christi NS soccer players at the TED Project's League of Legends Tournament in 2018

Embracing Diversity, Nurturing Inclusion Project (EDNIP) - Learning for Life

This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and supported by the Department of Justice and Equality.

EDNIP is a partnership initiative, which aims to promote and support migrant integration into school and community life, working across five DEIS band 1 primary schools in Limerick city. This project has been informed by extensive consultations with and feedback from schools engaged with current networks under the TED project, Curriculum Development Unit, in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

The partners include St John’s Girls’ and Infant Boys’ School, St Michael’s Infant School, Scoil Iosagáin CBS, Our Lady of Lourdes National School and Presentation Primary School along with Mary Immaculate College, the Department of Education and Skills, Tusla Education and Welfare Services, Limerick City and County Council, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board and Limerick Education Centre. TED strongly acknowledges the on-going support, advice and expertise received from the MIC Research and Graduate School and the MIC Finance Office throughout the application process and the life span of the EDNIP project. The project employs one full time Project Leader and two part time workers.

EDNIP acknowledges the rapidly changing cultural diversity in schools and communities in Limerick city and the important and strategic role schools can play in responding positively and proactively to same. EDNIP also recognises the current international humanitarian crisis linked to migration and the rise of racism, fear, hostility and terrorism throughout Europe and internationally.

The EDNIP team seek to develop a transferable school-based integration model informed by consultation, effective collaboration and international best practice. Throughout the 23 month project cycle, begun in August 2017, EDNIP will provide hands-on and dedicated support to the five participating schools. Supports will include a range of in school and after school supports for children, their families and school staff, based on needs identified through research and informed by best practice.

EDNIP acknowledges the important role of the school in promoting inclusion and integration of children, parents/ carers and the wider community. Schools are one of the first public institutions with which many newly arrived families have contact and are thus key public spaces in which integration can be fostered. School staff play an important role with regard to building awareness and understanding of cultural diversity, integration and anti-racism concepts among children and EDNIP aims to support school staff to incorporate these concepts throughout the primary school curriculum, and to build on the valuable work already being done by schools.

EDNIP Partners
EDNIP Partners
Embracing Diversity, Nurturing Inclusion Project (EDNIP) - Learning for Life

Community Engagement

TED Project staff support a variety of groups and initiatives locally and nationally.

School Completion Programme

TED staff represent MIC on the Local Management Committees of STEPS School Completion Programme (Rosbrien, Limerick) and SMILE School Completion Programme (St Munchin’s and Moyross, Limerick).

School Boards of Management

TED staff represent MIC on the Boards of Management of St. Augustine’s Youth Encounter Project and St Canice’s Special School.

Moyross Stakeholders Group

TED staff provide facilitation support to the Moyross Stakeholder Group, and are members of the evaluation and education sub groups.

Children and Young Person’s Services Committee (CYPSC) Research Sub-group

TED staff represent MIC on the research subgroup of the Children and Young Person’s Services Committee (CYPSC), Limerick. More information here.

Quality Development of Out of School Services (QDOSS)

TED is a member of a national organisation, QDOSS (Quality Development of Out of School Services) which advocates for the sector. Stakeholders are drawn from the Out-of-School sector, which aims to promote positive educational outcomes for children and young people, particularly those experiencing educational and social disadvantage.

QDOSS recognises that the Out-of-School Services sector holds the potential to play a key role in overcoming both educational and social disadvantage – helping children and young people's personal and social development, their motivation and confidence to learn, preventing early school leaving and anti-social behaviour.

  • About
  • Staff
  • Research, Evaluation & Publications
  • Networks
  • TED Initiatives
  • Community Engagement