Social Research | Research Professor
Emer Smyth is a Research Professor and Head of the Social Research Division at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). She is joint research area coordinator for education. Her main research interests centre on education, school to work transitions, gender and comparative methodology.
She has conducted a number of studies on the effects of schooling contexts on student outcomes, including Do Schools Differ? She led the Post-Primary Longitudinal Study (PPLS), which followed a cohort of young people from the first year of second-level education onwards. This study was the first of its kind in the Irish context, and yielded insights into important processes such as the transition to second-level education, the factors influencing examination performance, the impact of ability grouping, and gender and social differentiation in educational outcomes. A book based on this study will be published in August 2016.
Educational inequality has been an important focus of her research, with recent work on a review of the School Completion Programme and on the evaluation of the DEIS programme. Her current research looks at arts and cultural participation among children and young people, spatial variation in child outcomes and the transition into primary school.
Emer Smyth is on the management team of the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) study, and has used GUI data to co-author reports and journal articles on the effects of being in a multi-grade class, children’s out-of-school activities, teaching methods and time allocation in primary schools, teacher take-up of continuous professional development, and job satisfaction and stress among primary principals and teachers.
She has a strong interest in comparative research on education issues, acting as co-ordinator to a FP7-funded comparative project on religion and primary schooling across Europe, Religious Education in a Multicultural Society (REMC). She is currently involved in the education and stratification strand of the UK-based AQMeN network and is on the committee of the European Network on Transitions in Youth.
Tel: +353 1 8632000
Direct Line: +353 1 8632058
Latest Publications: Educational inequality: is ‘free education’ enough?Immigrant student achievement and educational policy in IrelandWorking at a different level? Curriculum differentiation in Irish lower secondary educationEvaluation of PLC programme provisionOut-of-school social activities among immigrant-origin children living in IrelandA study of gender in senior civil service positions in IrelandEducational disadvantage and the DEIS programmeCurriculum choices and school-to-work transitions among upper-secondary school leavers in Scotland and IrelandOff to a good start? Primary school experiences and the transition to second-level educationWorking at a different level? curriculum differentiation in Irish lower secondary education
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Programmes and Projects: Study on the New Leaving Certificate Grading BandsPilot Study of Digital Classroom Observation with Student Teachers in Irish Primary SchoolsEvaluation of the National Youthreach ProgrammeResearch Study on Career Paths in the Civil ServiceChildren’s integration into primary education: insights from the Growing Up in Ireland studyStudy of PLC Programme Provision and Outcomes for Participants in PLC and Leaving Cert Programmes