A Mary Immaculate College student scooped a major prize at this year’s Psychological Society of Ireland All-Ireland Student Congress.
Cora Howe from Lattin Cullen in Co. Tipperary, a final year student on the Bachelor of Education and Psychology programme at MIC Limerick, was awarded a Highly Commended award for her research.
“Having the opportunity to showcase my research at a national level through this conference was a refreshing way to complete the cycle of research. For me, choosing a research topic that bridged the fields of education and psychology was also important to denote how the two degrees have complimented each other over the past four years,” she said.
Cora’s final year dissertation, ‘Alienating Assessment: The Effects of a Label of Special Educational Needs and Vicarious Contact on Writing Assessment’, explored assessment for students with special education needs and examined if adding a label of special educational needs onto a child’s writing would change the way teachers assess that writing.
In her research, Cora also questioned how the media affects teachers’ intrinsic attitudes towards children with special educational needs.
Cora’s research is particularly timely during the current Covid-19 crisis as it questions if assessment is ethical for all students.
She said, “I wanted to use my research to add to the field of inclusive education where I saw a gap in exploring assessment practices for students with special educational needs. As assessment is given more prevalence in schools, I think it is important to start a conversation about how ethical these assessment practices are.”
Congratulating Cora on her achievements, Dr Claire Griffin, coordinator of the Bachelor of Education and Psychology programme at MIC, said, “The standard of submissions this year was, as always, extremely high and it is fantastic that the quality of Cora’s research was recognised at national level. Such awards are testament to the ability, hard work, dedication and diligence of our students and supervisors at MIC.”
Cora also found studying from home to be quite the adjustment but remaining positive was key to getting through her final semester.
She said, “Overall, this wasn’t the end to college that I expected but I think that there are also a lot of positives that we can take from the experience.”