Dr. Brendan Tangney is a Professor in Computer Science & Statistics and a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. He holds an M.Sc. from the University of Dublin (Trinity College Dublin) and a Ph.D. from the University of Bolton. His research focuses on the overlapping areas of technology & learning, educational reform, teacher professional development and equality of access. He is co-director of Trinity Access 21 and was principal investigator on the Bridge21 project - which is now part of TA21. He has held visiting positions in the Universities of Sydney and Kyoto. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Computers & Education and the Journal for STEM Education Research. He chairs the Ministerial Advisory Board on the Implementation of the Digital Strategy in Schools and is co-chair of the 2020 Constructonism Conference. At college level he is a former Warden of Trinity Hall and former Junior Dean.
Teaching adheres to the view expressed by the poet Gibran who said that the wise teacher “does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” To this end the Socratic observation “that asking questions is teaching” is a guiding principle as is Aristotle’s maxim that “for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them”. Or to put it another way teaching & learning is not so much about direct instruction, or the delivery of content, but rather is concerned with creating active and collaborative learning environments in which learners are scaffolded, prompted and supported in taking ownership of their own learning.
The research focus then moved to how technology (in particular mobile technology) could be used to support the teaching and learning process. Over the years, a number of graphical software educational tools, based on a social constructivist pedagogy, have been developed and evaluated in the areas such as mathematics, academic writing, music composition and animation.
This work on tools has lead on to an interest in the learning context in which such tools are used. A model for team based, collaborative, project based, technology mediated learning has been developed which encapsulates in a pragmatic fashion many of the attributes of 21st Century Teaching & Learning. Since 2007, under the banner of Bridge2College and subsequently Bridge21, this model has been used in a social outreach programme with over 15,000 students and for professional development with almost 2,000 teachers in both informal professional development workshops (in school or TCD) and accredited programmes - including Trinity’s PME and a specially designed PostgraduateCertificate in 21st Century Teaching and Learning.
Current Ph.D. students: Kevin Sullivan (the Bridge21 Transition Year Programme); Michelle O'Kelly (Bridge21 and Assessment of 21st Century Learning); Grace Lawlor (Bridge21 and Coding for Girls); Dermot Walsh (Teachers’ beliefs and a design based approach to CPD); Nina Bresnihan (an intergenerational approach to teaching coding).
Recent Ph.D. students include: Claire Conneely (Bridge21 – a case study in transformation in second level schools); Lorraine Fisher (using the Bridge21 model for teacher CPD in CS); Sharon Kearney (Bridge21 and new literacies); John Lawlor (Bridge21 – A Model for Team Based, Technology, Mediated Learning in an Out of School Context), Aibhín Bray (Collaborative, Contextual, and Technology-Mediated Mathematics Learning Activities: Design Heuristics and Effects on Student Engagement).
For a fuller list of publications see here - TCD Profile Page.
Contact Information: School of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland Tel: +353-1-896-1223. Email tangney at tcd.ie