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Job Title(s)Senior Lecturer
Phone No.+44 (0) 28 9026 8212 
Internal Phone No.ext. 212 


Literacy Team

Education Studies Team

Short Description

My remit involves the teaching and assessment of Education and Literacy Programmes on the BEd (4-year) primary degree pathway. Specifically, I teach a Foundation Stage module and an Early Years Option class in the latter part of the degree. Fieldwork responsibilities include the supervision of students on school placement in primary and nursery school settings. In addition, I am involved in supervising final-year students in relation to their Capstone (independent) projects and Early Years dissertations. I teach one short course at post-primary level, focusing on the promotion of subject-specific Literacy teaching. Other supervisory roles entail being the Formative Profile Tutor for a selection of 1st-4th year students.

In recent years, I have been responsible for the design, teaching and assessment of the blended module 'Educational Research Methods' at post-graduate level. Prior to this, I taught a Master’s module entitled 'Foundations of Learning in Childhood'. This work was accompanied by dissertation supervision. A selection of the MEd dissertations I have successfully supervised include the following titles:

  • Doherty, A. (2014) Using iPads to Target Boys' Literacy Underachievement in Key Stage Two: A Case Study.
  • King, N. (2010) An Investigation into Effective Activities and Resources for Oral Language Development in the Foundation Stage.
  • McKernan, G. (2012) An Exploratory Case Study of Attitudes Synonymous with the Promotion of Reading for Pleasure.
  • McTaggart, P. (2017) Exploring the Experiences of Children with Dyslexia in a Mainstream Primary School.
  • Neill, O. (2013) A Child’s Place in the World: Discovering How Young Children Find and Construct Their Place in the World.
  • Sherry, C. (2011) An Investigation into the Perceptions of Early Years Professionals on the Current Practice of Assessment-Informed Learning in the Nursery.

Most recently (2017-2019), I have returned from secondment where I fulfilled a Visiting Professorship role, teaching Elementary Literacy in the Education Department at Valparaiso University in Indiana, USA. I am a member of the Literacy Association of Ireland (LAI).

Additionally, I am a member of a number of College-wide committees. These include the following:

  • Curriculum Studies Team
  • Education Studies Team
  • Research Committee

Current Research

Current Research

My research interests mostly fall within the area of early years education and literacy, most particularly, the teaching of reading. I am also interested in comparative approaches to educational systems, especially in relation to the United States of America. This interest is reflected in my doctoral thesis which is entitled 'Teaching Reading in the Early Years: A Comparative Case Study of Policy and Practice in Belfast and Oakwood, California'. My curiosity and interest in how others educate at home and abroad has afforded me much appreciated opportunities to travel and experience these systems (ROI/UK, Uganda & India) for myself. Current research pursuits include a SCoTENS-funded cross-border project entitled 'An Exploration of the Use of Children's Literature in Early Reading Within a Balanced Literacy Framework in the North and South of Ireland' in conjunction with Dublin City University. I am also presently involved in an in-house research project with two colleagues, exploring first year BEd students' experiences of writing reflectively on their college courses and school placements. Other recent publications and presentations as listed below, reflect these areas of interest further.


Clarke, L., Abbott, L., Campbell, M., Cowan, P., Galvin, C., Hall, K., Magennis, G., Purdy, N. (2018) 'Stories from an Ongoing Conversation: SCoTENS as a Forum for Sustaining Cross-Border Cooperation for Teacher Education'. Journal of Cross Border Studies in Ireland. Vol. 13, pp.79-90

Clarke, L. & Magennis, G. (2015) 'Teacher Education Policy in Northern Ireland: Impediments, Initiatives & Influences' in The Teacher Education Group (TEG) Teacher Education in Changing Times. London: Policy Press.

Knipe, D. & Magennis, G. (2018) Arts-Based Approaches to Studying Traveller Children's Educational Experiences. Art Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal. Vol. 3(2), pp.20-47.

Magennis, G. (2018) Desert Island Books. UKLA News, Spring Issue, p.4. London: The United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA).

Magennis, G. (2019) What Are We Good At Anyway? An International Comparison in Carden, C. (ed) (2018) Primary Teaching: Learning and Teaching in Primary School Today. London: SAGE. Chapter 10, pp.167-185.



Co-Presentation of The Big Squeeze: Pressures on Teacher Education Across the UK and the Republic of Ireland (as part of the Teacher Education Group [TEG]) at the British Education Research Association's [BERA] Annual Conference, 13th-15th September 2016 in the University of Leeds.


A Wengerian Value-Creation Framework Analysis of the SCoTENS Project: Reflections on Learning and Boundary-Crossing in Evolving Landscapes of Practice. Presented at the Educational Studies Association of Ireland Annual Conference in University College, Cork, April 20th-22nd, 2017.


Co-presentation of Reimagining SCoTENS Using a Wenger-Trayner Value Creation Framework at the American Educational Research Association's (AERA) Annual Conference entitled 'The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education', 13th-17th April 2018 in New York City.


Ongoing Conversation: SCoTENS as a Forum for Sustaining Cross-Border Cooperation for Teacher Education. Presented at the Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI) Conference 2019 'Education in Times of Change, Choice & Challenge.' St. Angela’s College & Radisson Blu Hotel, Sligo, Republic of Ireland from 11 – 13 April 2019.

Stories From an On-going Conversation: SCoTENS as a Forum for Sustaining Cross-Border Co-operation for Teacher Education. Presented at Valparaiso University, Department of Education, 29th April, 2019. Valparaiso, Indiana, USA.

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