Do you want to read my thesis?

Since I’m currently waiting on my viva and subsequent corrections, I’m not disseminating it widely, but if you don’t want to wait and don’t mind reading the “beta” version, please get in touch!

Are you looking for the poems from my thesis? They’re over on the poetry page of this website.

Did you read my thesis? Please let me know!

Do you want to know about my thesis? Here’s the abstract:

Today’s teens have seen the writing on the wall, as oceans rise and global superpowers fall. Schoolchildren take to the streets and make crucial pleas, challenging the powers that be. Meanwhile, in Ireland, Junior Cycle Science widens to define, for the first time, Earth and Space Science as a fundamental strand. This study planned to examine if students understand Earth Science / geoscience concepts and if they are interested in the topic. As the study progressed, it was decided to widen it to explicitly include the climate crisis in addition. The methodology was founded from the first in feminism; it’s essential to minimise the power differential between researcher and researched. Therefore, Children’s Research Advisory Groups (CRAGs) were convened with representative teens, who co-designed the research instrument, a survey; they had input on the language, the layout, the length, etc. The survey included questions to assess students’ opinions, and items from concept inventories to explore their conceptual understanding. There were more than 100 respondents, from five separate schools. The sample was skewed towards girls. The results were discussed and analysed with CRAGs, who provided perspective as experts on the experience of studying Science in secondary school. We, these CRAGs and I, found firstly that students are interested in Earth Science, and more interested still in climate change. There’s enthusiasm and engagement, and there’s fear and frustration. They generally found the concepts difficult, with an average of four, of fifteen items, correct. The findings are clear; teenagers fear what they’ll face as the pace of this crisis outstrips the response. They ask to be equipped with knowledge and power. The choice to centre student voice in this research was fundamental; the depth of analysis achieved was made possible by the positioning of the teens at the core, listening to them allowed so much more to be gleaned from the answers. This thesis presents this project’s context, methodological progression, results and discussion, limitations and successes, in an epistolary format that puts more emphasis on the research processes.