• Cahersiveen

Cahersiveen's Dr Emer Ring awarded tender to investigate Irish Special Education System

Updated: Nov 9, 2021


When Professor Emer Ring started out teaching in Foilmore, she recalls how she asked herself how she could make sure every child was reaching their potential in the classroom – and it’s that curiosity that has since led the Mary Immaculate College Dean of Education to carry out extensive work and research on special education in Ireland.

Dr Ring who is the Dean of Education at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) has been awarded a tender to investigate and document the Special Education System in Ireland over the century between 1922 and 2022to investigate one hundred years of special education in Ireland by The National Council for Special Education.

Professor Ring, has also worked extensively in the area of autism and has recently appointed to the Board of Directors of AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity.


In addition to engaging in a rigorous literature review related focused on understanding key influences that shaped special education provision over the last hundred years, Professor Ring will also be inviting key stakeholders who have been involved in policy formation, implementation and evaluation and most importantly those who have experienced the special education system to contribute to the project. The project will involve documenting the introduction of the national school system, the education system in place at the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922, its evolution through the subsequent decades and the parallel development of the special education system from a segregated model of special schooling, to integrated and more recent inclusive models of schooling for children with special educational needs. This will also require contextualising within broader international contexts and trends, which contributed significantly to the consolidation of special education provision in Ireland and the associated role of international human rights instruments and conventions.


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