Dublin City University, one of Ireland’s youngest universities, founded in 1985, is a place of learning, with a unique focus of setting out to develop high quality, high value learning within the wider setting of Ireland's economic and social needs. It ensures that students gain direct experience of industry and other workplaces, and it offers the very latest technology and facilities to ensure that all are equipped to become leaders in their chosen fields.

CASTeL – the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Teaching & Learning – is a multidisciplinary research team involving scientists, mathematicians and educationalists from Dublin City University (DCU) and St Patrick's College, Drumcondra (SPD). The expertise of the members encompasses the science disciplines and mathematics, in addition to education. CASTeL’s research has the aim of improving the learning of science and mathematics at all levels of the educational system. In addition to this research focus, CASTeL supports science and mathematics promotion activities in partnership with local and national organisations and specialised training and consultancy services for science and mathematics education are also available. CASTeL research is focussed on both ‘the classroom and the lab’ – on enhancing the impact of the full spectrum of teaching, learning and assessment activities in mathematics and science. This means that CASTeL’s research encompasses the teachers and the students, curricula and assessment, and the education and assessment systems. CASTeL draws also on research world-wide in cognitive science and related areas to inform the design and implementation of our research projects. The centre’s current research activities are in the following areas:

  • Activity-based learning, including inquiry and problem based learning.
  • Teacher Education Strategies and Structures
  • Assessment in Science and Mathematics
  • Technology and E-learning in Science and Mathematics
  • Cognitive Science and related Disciplines

Role in Project: DCU will coordinate ESTABLISH (WP9), as well as leading WP5, which is devoted to the pre-service of teachers, a key activity in implementing IBSE in a realistic and useful manner, and WP1, which will involve coordination of the selection process for the IBSE units. DCU will also coordinate the external evaluation part of the project, sourcing suitable candidates to undertake this activity to ensure that the outcomes of the project are effective and informative for both the scientific research community and the wider public in general. DCU will also make significant contributions to all other work packages, where staff members have specific expertise.