Examining the Value of Integrated Arts in Teacher Education From a Collaborative Cross-Border Cross-Institutional S-STEP Perspective

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Collaborative LearningCreative CompetenceIntegrated ArtsPreservice Teacher EducationS-STEP
In light of the increased focus on curriculum interdisciplinarity, this collaborative cross-border and cross-institutional research investigates and evaluates the opportunities of integrated arts (cross-curricular learning within the arts alone) in preservice teacher education. Specifically, this self-study in teacher education practices examines integrated arts practice and programme components in two higher education institutes in terms of illuminating the possibilities and pitfalls of these practices. Key methods entailed thematic analysis of transcribed online meetings and related course materials using Gibbs Reflective cycle and Brookfield’s four lenses of critical reflection. Findings culminated in four key themes from two self-study cases. Two emergent themes concern the value of IA and best methods. Another theme emerged describing and reconciling the conceptual, pedagogical and relational challenges encountered. A further impactful theme illuminated how integrated arts lent itself to reflection on, and development of, one’s arts teacher education practice, permitting conceptual, theoretical and methodological reciprocity between the discrete arts disciplines. Subsequently, this yielded skills exchange and innovative co-planning opportunities that altered our perspectives and practices for the betterment of our students.

Context of the Study: On the Threshold of Educational Change and Development

Initial Teacher Education Review

In November 2020, the Irish Teaching Council launched the revised standards for programmes of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in "Céim: Standards for Initial Teacher Education" in Ireland. All new primary school preservice teacher education (PTE) programmes must be in alignment with Céim and existing ITE programmes are to be realigned with Céim from September 2022 for first-year student teachers. In Céim, they explain that “a reflective professional is able to draw on an integrated knowledge base to improve practice through inquiry” (The Teaching Council, 2020, p. 6). The Teaching Council adopted three pillars titled “innovation, integration, and improvement” to underpin ITE. It requires that programmes be “designed in a demonstrably integrated way…facilitate this through collaborative and cross-disciplinary team processes” (The Teaching Council (TTC), 2020, p. 12). It asks that “assessment processes and procedures will be coherent and shall be integrated using a variety of assessment modes” (TTC, 2020, p. 15). Creativity and reflective practice are two of seven named core elements demanded of all ITE/PTE programmes in the Céim document so that student teachers foster a creative mindset as reflective practitioners, innovators, and researchers

Primary School Curriculum Review

The Irish National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is also reviewing and redeveloping the primary curriculum. Creativity, cross-curricular integration, and collaboration permeate the proposed curriculum framework in a myriad of ways. 'Being Creative' is one of seven identified competencies that will play a significant and central part in children’s learning, and will be embedded across all curriculum areas. 'Being a digital learner' is a second competency that will seek to “support children to become curious, creative, confident and critical users of digital technology” (NCCA, 2020, p. 8). Meaningful assessment is described as “collaborative” and integral to high-quality teaching and learning (NCCA, 2020, p.6).

While it does not make a specific reference to performance-based or arts-based assessment, it advises that teachers “use different ways to document salient pieces of assessment information gathered across the continuum, including notes, photographs, videos, and more narrative approaches such as learning stories” (NCCA, 2020, p. 24). While not specifically mentioning integrated arts (IA), the primary (elementary) school Arts Education curriculum will now support learning in film, digital media, and dance in addition to visual arts, music, and drama. The framework footnotes that “learning outcomes would support integrated learning experiences in stages 1-2 [4-9 years]”. It also appreciates “while disciplines within Arts Education have a common creative process and share transferable skills, each has its own knowledge, concepts and skills” (NCCA, 2020, p. 11).

Connected learning is at the core of the well-established Northern Ireland Primary Curriculum (NICCEA, 2007). Subjects within the curriculum are drawn together with one overarching aim, and pupils’ experiences are mapped through cross-curricular core skills and ‘thinking skills and personal capabilities’. 'Being creative', for example, was established as one of five cross-curricular thinking skills. The arts (art and design, music and drama) are conjoined as one of seven areas of learning. Statements related to integration are scant and inconsistent in the subject documentation. For example, the music requirements stress that ‘children’s response to music may also take place within the context of dance or drama’ but reciprocal statements do not appear in the requirements for art or drama. These contexts motivated us to pause at the threshold and seize an opportunity through self-study of teacher education practices (S-STEP) to examine the value, application, and challenges of IA in PTE.

Aims and Objectives

Inspired by other self-studies (Baroud & Dharamshi, 2020; Berry, 2020; Hohensee & Lewi, 2019) and informed by Long (2017) and Loughran (2014), this cross-institutional research aimed to ascertain the value of IA from a teacher educator continuing professional development (CPD) perspective. Specifically, this collaborative S-STEP research examined arts education practices and programme components in two HEIs in terms of illuminating the possibilities and pitfalls of IA practices. HEI #1 examined an IA programme component entailing music and visual arts over a decade (2010 - 2020), while HEI #2 examined recently initiated IA (Music and Visual Arts) from 2020 to 2021. Research questions inquired:

  1. What are our lived experiences of IA in PTE?
  2. What are the most effective methods for facilitating IA?
  3. How did we resolve issues we encountered in IA?
  4. How have we professionally developed as a consequence of IA?

The shared purpose was to reframe, re-imagine, and integrate new learnings into PTE Arts Education in light of the context outlined. We opted for collaborative self-study so we could focus on our personal and professional experiences as opposed to action research that identified and addressed a specific problem within the PTE context. While we could have self-evaluated IA in our discrete PTE settings, we preferred to benefit from the constructive feedback that critical friendship affords as well as fostering community and connection with teacher art educators from a not too dissimilar PTE context.

Review of the Literature

Cross-Curricular Learning

Cross-curricular learning (CCL) has been promoted over the ages by the likes of Plato, Comenius, Rousseau, Froebel, Pestalozzi, Steiner, Dewey, Montessori, and Isaacs with regard to obtaining a fuller understanding. CCL has been adopted in diverse educational contexts for many years (Barnes, 2011; Kerry, 2015; Moore, 2009). It achieves a more holistic, comprehensive, and appealing learning experience for all learners (Bloomfield & Child, 2000; Hartle et al., 2015). Diverse learners of all ages and stages learn more effectively through CCL than through more singular and linear approaches (Burnaford et al., 2007). CCL has been used instead of more conventional mainstream education methodologies which have failed to meet the developmental needs of diverse learners (Anderson, 2014). It challenges students with regard to higher-order thinking through creative outputs and the application of acquired concepts and themes. Notwithstanding the recognised benefits of arts integration, it does not always fare well because it is often diluted, book-ended, or reduced to a methodology for learning only (Barnes, 2011).

Various taxonomies of CCL have been presented in relation to their degree of interdisciplinarity. Fogarty’s continuum of curriculum integration (1991) examined integrated learning within and across disciplines and learners. Of these ten types outlined, five types concern the integration of two or more disciplines (Figure 1). Barnes’s taxonomy includes hierarchical, multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, opportunistic, and double-focused approaches (Barnes, 2011). Hierarchical integration develops aims in one discipline by utilising another. Multidisciplinary integration uses a theme to progress learning in more than one discipline and each discipline is progressed separately with some connections. Interdisciplinary approaches encourage subject fusion and prefer a more flexible teaching style. However, this can cause learning dilution and unintentional confusion (Barnes & Shirley, 2005, 2007). Bresler (1995) calls this inequality subservient arts integration and advocates for a more co-equal and mutually respectful arrangement. A double-focus approach ensures discrete time for subject teaching as well as integration echoing Fogarty’s concept of shared integration. Barnes notes that all CCL can and ought to incorporate opportunistic integration, whereby learner voice and choice are accommodated. He also introduces the concept of a “performance of understanding” (PoU) that can assess learners’ depth of learning through debate, exhibition, written reflection or performance.

Figure 1

Integration of Disciplines in Fogarty’s Continuum of Curriculum Integration (1991)

Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_199110_fogarty.pdf

Creative Competency

Creativity has many connotations and interpretations (Carlile & Jordan, 2012; Craft, 2008; Desailly, 2012). It has been constructed as a type of possession, a product, a gift, a process, a type of cognition, an innovation, or an everyday action and attribute (Carlile & Jordan, 2012). Consequently, it can be confusing to determine if, where or how it can be nurtured and what roles and responsibilities a teacher might have in terms of nurturing children’s creative competence. Different arts education paradigms present alternative perspectives from a methodology of non-intervention in permitting children’s innate curiosity and creative capacity to a more directed and structured apprentice-like approach entailing observation, demonstration, and repeated practice. In light of the literature regarding low self-efficacy among teachers to teach the arts (DeVries, 2017; Henley, 2017; Hennessy, 2000, 2017; House et al., 2009), for this study, we focussed on the broader concept of 'creative competence', interpreted as the quality or state of having sufficient knowledge, judgment, skill, or disposition to engage in creativity. Theories on creativity of particular significance to this research comprise the Five-Dimensional Model of Creativity (Lucas, 2016; Lucas et al., 2012) and Habits of Mind (Costa & Kallick, 2009). In these models of creativity, attention is drawn to the importance of nurturing creativity in learning through consciously developing learners’ habits of inquisitiveness, imagination, persistence, self-discipline, and collaboration (Costa & Kallick, 2000, 2009). Figure 2 illustrates alignments between Lucas et al. and Costa and Kallick’s habits of mind.

Figure 2

Aligning Creative Habits of Mind (CHoM) with Habits of Mind (HoM)

Collaborative Learning

Collaborative Learning (CL) is described as learning through which group members actively engage and interact to achieve a common goal (Nokes-Malach et al., 2015). It is seen as beneficial socially, cognitively, and psychologically for both the group and individual group members (Nokes-Malach et al., 2015). Group-level benefits include pooled knowledge, explanation, cross-cueing, error-correction, observational learning, and reduced memory load (Nokes-Malach et al., 2015). For the individual, CL can positively impact self-esteem, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills through increased engagement in projects, gaining complementary knowledge, and negotiating perspectives. However, there is evidence that group-level benefits have adverse impacts on individual-level gains (Nokes-Malach et al., 2015). While some learners achieve beyond their predicted potential through group approaches, others perform worse in group work than working alone due to coordination costs and retrieval disruption. Other identified CL challenges surface from ill-formed groups resulting from their formation, composition, internal competition, exclusion, or “social loafing”, whereby individual group members do not invest the same effort or commitment (Karau & Williams, 1993).

Professional Learning Communities, Continuing Professional Development, and Self-Study

While there is no shared interpretation of what constitutes a professional learning community (PLC), there is agreement that PLCs comprise a group of professionals who critically reflect upon their practice in a sustained, inclusive and collaborative manner with the shared aim of improving one's efficacy (Grennan, 2017; Stoll et al., 2006). While more typical forms of CPD efforts are described as more episodic and removed from practice (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 2009; Kennedy, 2005; Sugrue et al., 2001), CPD within a PLC arrangement is considered to be more practice-focused, prolonged, and participative (Thompson & Wiliam, 2007). They are deemed to be more effective as they “hold real promise for improving the learning of both students and educators, and for encouraging continued innovation and improvement” (Kaagan & Headley, 2010, p. xiii).

Five fundamental components underpin effective PLCs. These include shared norms and values, the de-privatisation of practice and a collective focus on pupils’ learning which are explored through reflective dialogue and collaboration (Kruse et al., 1994). Exchanging stories, challenges, and resolutions from practice is fundamental to establishing and developing interpersonal relationships essential for shared problem-solving and knowledge construction (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1993; Grennan, 2017). Honesty, confidentiality, and collegiality permit the PLC to critique themselves, their professional practice, and the institution in which they work (Kruse et al., 1994). These principles and actions attracted us to adopt a self-study approach that would aid our CPD within our newly-formed PLC. Through critical collaborative inquiry, it was hoped our self-study would reveal alternative perspectives, extend understanding, and help resolve questions about IA through mutual encouragement and self-questioning (Craig & Curtis, 2020; LaBoskey, 2004; Samaras, 2011; Schuck & Russell, 2005; Sharkey, 2018).


The research design centered on a critical friendship between two higher education institutes (HEI)s, North and South of the Irish border (LaBoskey, 2004). Each HEI case comprised one visual art and one music teacher educator, with a shared pedagogical aim of investigating the value and improving the application of IA, albeit from differing temporal perspectives. HEI#1 had been exploring IA between music and visual arts for twelve years, and their research stance focused on reflection and theory-building. HEI#2 looked at the potentiality for IA practices within a designated course, exploring and sharing identities and interrogating our personal philosophies of enabling creativity. Table 1 outlines the key differences between the two cases. These relate to participant group type and size, duration and focus of initiative, and type of assessment. The performance of understanding (PoU) for HEI#1 was a collaborative arts performance entailing music composing, performing, and responding through visual arts.

Table 1

Key Differences Between HEI Cases

The research design (Figure 3) followed a multi-level case study design (Yin, 2018). The primary methods of data collection were taped and transcribed audio conversations based on loose interview schedules, within-case (HEI#1 n=5; HEI#2 n=3), and in the shared collaborative space (n=3), amounting to twenty hours of recorded material over two academic years (2019 and 2020). To elicit conversations, reflective materials were used, incorporating multiple lenses and perspectives such as past and present students’ work, student reflections, and teacher-educator written reflections past and present (Brookfield, 2017).

Figure 3

Research Design Overview


The critical collaborative space was central to helping shift the ‘framework for inquiry’ towards deeper meaning-making to a ‘framework for analysis’ (Hamilton & Pinnegar, 2014). Through three meetings, we sought to question and learn from each other’s ongoing practice-based conversations. Transcriptions were produced and coded using thematic analysis. After each meeting, the coding process utilised different pairings across the group with the aim of bringing new understandings from emerging data. Emerging analysis and ideas were further developed in the following group meetings (Braun & Clarke, 2006; Braun et al., 2016; Clarke & Braun, 2014). The final group meeting was particularly lengthy (five hours) where each case presented a summary analysis, followed by whole-group discussion. From this, we consolidated four cross-case meta-themes addressing the research questions.

Findings and Discussion

Findings culminated in four meta themes concerning the experiences of integrating the arts, of resolving issues that arose, of best methods, and teacher educator CPD (Figure 4).

Figure 4

Emergent Meta-Themes Concerning IA Value, Efficacy, Resolutions, and Professional Development

Value of IA in PTE

Holism and Multi-Modality

Prior to IA, both music and visual arts education lecturers taught in a discipline-specific and more compartmentalised manner. They focussed on teaching knowledge, skills, concepts, and language specific to their arts discipline even though they were cognisant about shared content and experiences concerning creativity, broad curriculum aims, artistic processes, and experiential methodologies. As single-person departments, the teacher educators shouldered sole responsibility for ensuring student teachers developed competence and confidence to teach the respective disciplines. Teaching approaches were limited to the arts mode in question. “IA opened the door to greater holism through multimodal arts practices in teaching and learning” (Frances). “Music infiltrated visual arts education and visual arts threaded music education” (Michael). Through this multimodal IA aesthetic, emerged a more holistic understanding, and appreciation for the similarities and differences between them. Through IA, teacher educators acquired “greater understanding and appreciation for multi-modal and holistic processes, methodologies and performances” (Mary). Table 2 lists examples of both the former stemming from IA.

Creative Habits of Mind (CHoM)

Prior to IA, each teacher educator was aiming to develop creative habits to enable their students to create, compose, critique, and perform visually or musically. Arousing curiosity, developing imagination, persisting with process, and developing craft were integral to their PTE practice. However, IA triggered opportunities to think, plan, teach, and assess more concertedly with CHoM in mind. It shifted thinking about the role of the arts in education in terms of seeing a bigger picture whereby IA develops CHoM skills and dispositions. Collaboration, persistence, discipline, imagination, and inquisitiveness were developed - all essential to life-wide contexts and central to creativity. Table 2 lists examples of CHoM threading resulting from IA.

Table 2

Examples of Holism, Multi-Modality, and Creative Habits of Mind Evidenced From IA Across the Two HEIs

Most Effective Methods

Experiential Learning

Teacher educators observed the value of learning by doing in IA through musical-visual exploration, experimentation, and invention (Table 3). Lived experience is at the root of these disciplines and their particular ways of knowing, learning, and making. A double-focused approach was deemed essential to enable students to develop the requisite skills in each arts mode, in tandem with being able to synchronise these understandings as the IA projects developed. Deliberately synchronous hands-on tasks proved particularly effective in encouraging synchronicity, cross-curricular thinking, and deeper learning and understanding. The social dimension of these practical collaborative activities also proved effective. Evidence in the more longitudinal HEI#1 case study particularly indicated that practical collaborative experiences involving peer-friendship enhanced learning. Self-chosen friendship groups enabled active sharing of knowledge and skills as students co-created and problem-solved in safe contexts. Of added value also was the motivational aspects of group music-visual art making, as they developed IA compositions and prepared for their final performance.

Performance of Understanding

IA assessment in the HEI#1 study accommodated summative performances of understanding (PoU) through music and visual arts (Table 3). Performance in the traditional sense is an expected part of the musical process. What distinguishes the IA approach in HEI#1 was “how music performance combined with an innovative performative art dimension” (Mary). These choreographed performances provided new, exciting, and worthwhile experiences for student and teacher-researcher alike, enabling students to demonstrate understanding, as they drew on discrete and cross-curricular skills and knowledge. Diverse performances and possibilities emerged over the decade of the various IA iterations including shadow puppetry, overhead projector (OHP), and ‘Crankie’ responses. (A crankie is a nineteenth-century storytelling device that uses a long, illustrated moving panorama attached to two spools to tell a story and that can be accompanied by playing music). “While shadow puppetry and OHP explored the pace of actual movement, scale, and silhouette to portray the elements of music, the Crankie illustrated conceptual understanding regarding implied movement and portrayal of musical elements through painted and printed colour and tone, and pattern and rhythm” (Michael). All responses explored synchronicity and choreography so that the music and visual modes were concurrent.

Opportunities for Reflection

Taking time for teacher-educator reflection, and moreover encouraging student reflection was a strong feature of both studies in a collaborative and individual sense (Table 3). For teacher educators, this involved “an iterative process of personal reflecting and articulating identities and philosophies within the arts [through talking and writing]” (Frances) in tandem with collaborative discussion and interrogation of our assumptions about arts in ITE. In HEI#2, this was illustrated by a pedagogical shift whereby music “loosened the reins” (Frances) and adopted an incremental, reflective, and self-oriented pedagogy inspired by visual art. This further impacted the model of assessment which now focused on student learning through the creative process, rather than the assessment of musical practical skills. Both studies had student-teacher reflection at the heart of the creative work. This encouraged students to think deeply about their projects and to build in experiences of individual and collaborative reflection on the creative process involved in each course. Experiences such as conjoined arts group reflections and discussion, and student writing about their personal learning journeys through both courses were important aspects of professional learning through IA.

Table 3

Most Effective Methods for IA

Issues and Resolutions

Preliminary and Responsive Co-planning, Co-organisation, and Communication

As with any initiative, there emerged a number of issues from the pragmatic to the pedagogical. Pragmatic issues and resolutions necessitated timetabling negotiation, additional rehearsal room booking, art room reorganisation and equipping for self-directed learning, and “making multiple musical instrument box-sets available for group composing and rehearsing” (Mary). Pedagogical changes stemming from IA required a re- and co-design of teaching and learning experiences and related assessment, grade descriptors, and mark sheets. It necessitated increased shared email communication with student participants. Table 4 lists more examples of related actions in tabular format.

Teaching Relevant Theory on Collaborative Creativity

Issues stemming from a small number of ill-formed groups that impeded group communication, collaboration and creativity were resolved by teaching relevant theory on collaborative creativity to students. “Book-ending theory regarding collaborative creative group work” (Michael) and including individual summative meta-cognitive written reflection equipped students with knowledge and strategies. Recursive theoretical understanding ensured their collaboration continued to be inclusive, positive, and productive and the latter reflections afforded them to express and be acknowledged for individual effort. Table 4 tabulises other actions taken.

Table 4

Resolutions to Issues That Arose from IA in PTAE

Teacher Educator CPD

Conceptual, Theoretical and Methodological Reciprocity

Having engaged in a collaborative reflective process, as well as multiple analytical coding processes, all teacher researchers noted a shift in professional understanding of their individual arts practice. The data showed three sub-processes that helped us achieve this. Firstly, developing an integrated conceptual lexicon concerning the arts elements as tabulated in table 5. Secondly, shared ideation through exploring and developing specific IA arts practices past and present in each HEI. Thirdly, mapping, applying, and developing theory which would point to further IA approaches. Comparative approaches in arts education in the island of Ireland are emerging (for an example see O’Flynn et al., 2022), and the self-study framework further enabled us to assess the possibilities of IA within our respective policy and curriculum frameworks (DENI, 2016; NCCA, 2020; NICCEA, 2007). These curricula suggest the notion of some IA activity, but their outworking in practice is left to teachers and to teacher educators to decipher.

As preservice teacher educators, and given the prevailing themes of interdisciplinarity and connectedness in our respective primary curricula, what was valuable from the project was the dispositional shift to openness and awareness. The project initiated a consideration of how these processes could be made visible to student teachers as they engage with any integrated or interdisciplinary practice. In PTE there are course structures and spaces which lend to collaborative learning, where IA can be modeled and trialed with peer learning communities in advance of professional engagement. As it is widely documented that student and practising teachers have varied levels of confidence and self-efficacy in arts teaching, “IA in PTE affords opportunities to explore safe spaces where these problems are managed and negotiated” (Frances). In creating these collaborative spaces, this further leads to the deprivatisation of practice where skills are distributed and shared across the groups. (Kruse et al., 1994). Table 6 lists examples of this symbiotic professional exchange.

Table 5

Understanding Musical Concepts Through Visual Elements

Re-evaluation of the PTE Role

The themes of role and identity resonated throughout the data. For HEI#2 this involved a discursive, temporal shift from ‘endpoints’ to ‘the now’. Data showed discussions moving away from a preoccupation with skills acquisition and competence, to current, student-led practical exploration, and their reflection and adaptation. For HEI#1, the data reflected the tensions of “being both creative facilitator and assessor to the students” (Mary), and of being collaborator and critical friend to each other’s practice. The first represents a process and a role that needs to be made visible to students, and practised through collaborative, cross-disciplinary learning which is mindful of the CHoM to sustain students’ career-long CPD. The second perhaps represents one of the pitfalls or dilemmas of IA and opens up space for further reconsideration of the hows and whys of assessing IA practice.

Table 6

Continuing Professional Development From IA

Conclusions and Implications

This paper provides what we determine are useful insights into the beneficial experiences and enhanced perspectives of teacher educators who explored IA in their PTE arts education practice. Whilst recognising the limitations of self and case study research in terms of their generalisability, the emergent themes have been highly valuable to the teacher-educator researchers involved and have implications for PTE. From a so-what perspective, our collaborative inquiry found that IA was highly valuable for student-teacher, teacher-educator, and PTE programme development and satisfied the new requirements of Céim (TTC, 2020), the Draft Primary Curriculum Framework (NCCA, 2020), the Learning Leaders strategy (DENI, 2016) and the Northern Ireland Curriculum (NICCEA, 2007). While interdisciplinarity in PTE arts education poses some challenges, our study found that collaborative pre-emptive and reactive thinking anticipated, scaffolded, and resolved any pragmatic, programme, pedagogical, and interpersonal group-related challenges. Adopting a double-focused approach ensured that appropriate time was dedicated to discrete arts teaching in addition to IA. Bookending IA with formative theory on collaborative creativity and CCL and a summative evaluation of process and performance enabled students to self-manage and self-evaluate more effectively regarding collaborative creativity. Weaving meta-cognitive written reflection permitted them to self-examine their classroom practices in relation to the arts, creativity, and CCL. Concluding IA with an integrated arts-based PoU was an effective assessment of understanding that integrated celebration, validation, and evaluation in a social, memorable, and impactful way. From a self-study researcher perspective, IA lent itself to reflection on and development of one’s PTE practice. It promoted conceptual, theoretical, and methodological reciprocity from one arts discipline to another. IA necessitated skills exchange and development between teacher educators. It fostered co-planning opportunities and provoked innovative thinking and problem-solving. It aligned our practices and programmes more closely with recent curriculum and teacher education expectations around interdisciplinarity and collaborative learning. The key implication from this study is that while IA in PTE is very worthwhile, and is effective particularly when it is double-focused, process and performance orientated, reflective, collaborative and infused with related theory. Not implementing all of the former may result in a more shallow or tokenistic interconnected learning journey that supplants the discrete teaching of the arts discipline involved.


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Michael Flannery

Dublin City University

Mary Nugent

Marino Institute of Education

Frances Burgess

St Mary's University College Belfast

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