Who We Are

Global Schoolrooms Directors and Team Members

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Damien Brennan
Finance Manager & Company Secretary

Directors Ribbons

Robert Power (Chairman)

Robert is Managing Director of Emeritus Consulting. He graduated with a law degree from Trinity College Dublin before going on to earn a Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics. Over a career spanning almost three decades, Robert has held a number of key senior positions at Cornmarket Group Financial Services. Robert is Chairman of IMAGE Publications, Director of KBC Bank Ireland plc. And on the management board of Hotel Playa Mazatlan, a major resort in one of Mexico’s premier vacation destinations.

Gwen Brennan

Gwen is Principal of Presentation Secondary School, Warrenmount in Dublin 8. She is a graduate of Mater Dei Institute of Education. Throughout her career she has been a Teacher, Home-School Liaison Officer, Leaving Certificate Applied Co-ordinator and Deputy Principal. Gwen has been Director of TASIS England, a summer school in Surrey and has worked in Teacher Education both in Ireland and Zimbabwe. Gwen is on the Referral Board of iScoil and has worked on sub-committees of the Joint Managerial Body, Religion Teachers Association of Ireland, Amnesty International and CEIST. As Principal, Gwen introduced the “Human Rights School” into Warrenmount, has created a multi-cultural dialogue amongst students, teachers and parents through “One World Week” and has worked with the Digital Hub to create online learning communities.

Tony O’Rourke

Before returning to the classroom in 2006, Tony was Principal of Scoil Eoin, CBS, Athy, for 17 years where he planned and led the amalgamation of this school with the local Mercy Convent school. From 1999 he led an Amalgamation Steering Committee, representative of parents, teachers and Boards of Management of both schools working together to develop policies, liaise with the Department of Education and Science and attend to such details as a name for the school and a new school uniform. Tony is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and has completed post-graduate studies and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership at Maynooth University.

Ivor O’Shea

Ivor is an Actuary. In a 23-year career with Irish Life he was Head of Health Insurance, overseeing Irish Life’s investment in GloHealth and investigating strategic investment opportunities for Irish Life. Up to him leaving Irish Life in 2014 to pursue private investment, research and writing, Ivor was non-Executive Director of GloHealth Financial Services Limited. He has also been Treasurer and Council Member of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland. He is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland.

Roland Tormey

Roland is Coordinator of the Teaching Support Centre / Centre d’appui à l’enseignement (CAPE) at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. His role is to support the quality of teaching on campus through offering in-depth teaching evaluations and coaching to academic staff; providing training workshops for teachers; supporting projects which are aimed at enhancing the quality of education on campus; engaging in research & development projects on learning and teaching in higher education; and networking nationally and internationally with others involved in teaching and learning in higher education. Although some of his work is across all sections he principally works with the School of Engineering (STI). Roland has worked in teacher education at secondary and higher education level (2004-present) and at primary level (1996-2004). He previously worked at the University of Limerick (where he was Head of the Ireland’s largest department of second-level teacher education) and at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. He has also worked in Curriculum Development with the Irish National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in the areas of Intercultural Education and Social and Political Education. He has researched and written on teaching and learning in higher education, on initial teacher education, on educational inequality, on the politics of identity in education and on addressing global development issues in education. In addition to researching in Ireland he has been involved in educational research in Rwanda, Zambia and Uganda. In 2007 his popular book on Gaelic Football (Summertime Blues) was nominated for the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year. Roland has represented the Government of Ireland on the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Steering Committee and Task Force on the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and was co-chair of the UNECE Expert Group on Competences in ESD from 2009 to 2011.

Office Staff

Dr Garret Campbell (CEO)

Garret Campbell studied at UCD where he obtained a Science Degree and subsequently a Doctorate in Environmental Physiology and a Post-graduate Higher Diploma in Education. Teaching and lecturing since 1988, he has also worked in a consultancy capacity with the Office of Public Works, National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Agriculture. He lectures in the School of Education, UCD and works in a private consultancy capacity.

Damien Brennan (Finance Manager and Company Secretary)

Damien combines extensive experience in the private sector with qualifications in Accountancy and Supply Chain Management. He has worked in a variety of roles from Management Accountant to Sales Manager. He is currently a Director at Fusion Technologies and Interactive Classroom Solutions.

Emma completed an MSc International Politics in Trinity College Dublin in 2013 and has completed a one year internship with Global Schoolroom from September 2013 – 14. Since then she has been appointed as Programme Manager and now works part time for Global Schoolroom.

Management Comitee

The Management Team

Siobhan Brennan

Ann Dempsey

Stephanie Egan

Mary Killen

Clare McCarthy

Mary Mc Mahon

Willie O’Brien

In-Country Management Team

Clare McCarthy

Siobhan Brennan

Angela Griffin

Stephanie Egan

Sinead Nolan

Mentoring Team

Mary Killen

Siobhan Connolly

Mid Term Review Team

Ann Dempsey

Willie O’Brien

Annette Mc Carthy

Mary Kenny

Carmel Hughes

Carmelita Kelly

Advisory Panel

The Advisory Panel Concept

The Global Schoolroom “expert panel” is a specially constituted working group which meets from time to time to evaluate the Global Schoolroom Programme.

Expert panels are usually made up of independent specialists recognised in the fields covered by the evaluated programme in the evaluation process, usually as a mechanism for synthesising information from a range of sources, drawing on a range of viewpoints, in order to arrive at overall conclusions.

Such panels are a means of assessing a programme and its effects in the context of both the available information on the programme, and the considerable experience and knowledge of the panel members.

The expert panel is an evaluation tool in so far as there is a standard and reproducible procedure for forming it, bringing it together and leading it to produce its conclusions. Inspiration for the tool was based on university juries in the field of Research and Development programme evaluation.

The experts themselves are chosen to represent a number of perspectives, in a balanced and impartial way. These experts are independent specialists, recognised in a domain of the evaluated programme. They are asked to examine all the data and analyses made during the evaluation and then to highlight consensus on the conclusions that the evaluation must draw – particularly on the answers to give to evaluative questions. The panel does not fully explain its judgement references or its trade-off between criteria, but the credibility of the evaluation is guaranteed by the fact that the conclusions result from consensus between people who are renowned specialists and represent the different “schools of expertise”.

The expert panel may be used to formulate an independent, authoritative judgement, which is particularly useful in a partnership context, especially if there are differences in the partners’ views.

How the expert panel will operate

The expert panel will be made up of people who understand the needs of teacher education in the developing world and who share a deep academic and professional interest in this area. The panel will engage in a process which shares educational experience between practitioners from both the developed and developing world.

This panel will:

  • Meet once a year probably for three days (most likely in late summer or March)
  • Review the most recent annual internal and external evaluations of the programme
  • Further evaluate the work being carried out and review course materials, strategies, methodologies and any internal and external reports
  • Share the latest relevant international best practice and, where possible, make proposals as to how such practices can best be adopted by the Global Schoolroom programme
  • From time to time visit Global Schoolroom training hubs in India
  • The panel will also be afforded the opportunity to engage in academic research.

 

Composition of the expert panel

It is the intention that the expert panel be composed of five academics drawn from India, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States – so representing the views of current and potential Global Schoolroom partners.

Expenses
The expert panel will be engaged initially for one year on a pro-bono basis with all vouched travel and other related expenses paid by Global Schoolroom.

Why Global Schoolroom set up an expert panel

We want to ensure:

  • That our programme is carefully calibrated to the needs of participating teachers – these teachers face enough challenges as it is and deserve only the most positive experience from their association with Global Schoolroom
  • Participating teachers benefit from a programme founded on the highest international standards and best practice worldwide – in return for the time and effort they invest, teachers deserve a learning experience which respects their professionalism and commitment
  • Our programme is constantly reviewed in light of the latest educational research and experience and improvements in practice – all programmes of this kind must be continually challenged and enhanced if they are to remain relevant and worthwhile
  • The Global Schoolroom Diploma in Teacher Education, and all other educational programmes which may follow, stand up to international scrutiny – so that participating teachers, institutional partners and those who provide financial or other support can be certain that their involvement with Global Schoolroom will generate the best possible return

Given the current pupil:teacher ratio of approximately 50:1 for our Indian teachers and the fact that most teachers are responsible for 3-4 class groups, we estimate that over an average career of 25 years, these graduates will affect the lives of close to half a million children. This makes it all the more important that our work is of the highest quality.

We want to ensure:

  • That our programme is carefully calibrated to the needs of participating teachers – these teachers face enough challenges as it is and deserve only the most positive experience from their association with Global Schoolroom
  • that participating teachers benefit from a programme founded on the highest international standards and best practice worldwide – in return for the time and effort they invest, teachers deserve a learning experience which respects their professionalism and commitment
  • that our programme is constantly reviewed in light of the latest educational research and experience and improvements in practice – all programmes of this kind must be continually challenged and enhanced if they are to remain relevant and worthwhile
  • that the Global Schoolroom Diploma in Teacher Education, and all other educational programmes which may follow, stand up to international scrutiny – so that participating teachers, institutional partners and those who provide financial or other support can be certain that their involvement with Global Schoolroom will generate the best possible return

All of this is particularly relevant right now as we build firm foundations for the next stage of our development. 2010 saw the final face-to-face sessions of the programme which has been based in the north eastern Indian learning hubs at Silchar, Umkiang, Namdong, Shillong and Umswai.
2011 also saw the opening of 11 new learning hubs in northeast India with an expectation that over 300 teachers will graduate in 2014. Meanwhile as the first 3 year cycle draws to a close in northeast India next June, graduation ceremonies will take place with over 100 teachers receiving their diplomas. Professor Bairbre Redmond, Deputy Registrar of UCD, will present the parchments in all five learning hubs.
Given the current pupil:teacher ratio of approximately 50:1 and the fact that most teachers are responsible for 3-4 class groups, we estimate that over an average career of 25 years, these graduates will affect the lives of close to half a million children. This makes it all the more important that our work is of the highest quality.
One of our core goals is to ensure the sustainability of our programme and ultimately see it adopted and facilitated by teachers living in their own communities. 2011 will see five Global Schoolroom graduates from India travel to Ireland for a month to receive additional training and support from Global Schoolroom and University College Dublin (UCD). They will then join with the teachers from Ireland and the UK as part of the Global Schoolroom tutor team.

In India we have had numerous requests to expand our programme. These requests have come both from our educational partners and from individual teachers in regions adjoining those where we currently operates.
Currently the Global Schoolroom Diploma in Teacher Education is accredited by UCD at a level 7 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System Diploma, however we are well advanced in achieving local professional accreditation (working towards B.Ed status). In addition a module enhancement review is being carried out in conjunction with the School of Education at UCD. An external examiner and a board of studies will also be appointed.
In 2009 Comhlamh, the Irish Volunteering and Development Workers Organisation, carried out an audit on Global Schoolroom and confirmed that our operations and procedures are of a high standard. However a solid foundation for our future expansion in mind we:

  • have recently appointed a CEO, Volunteer Manager and a Finance and Office Manager as part of the establishment of a more permanent management and administration team
  • are expanding our Board of Directors to harness additional skills
  • are establishing working groups made up of alumni and practitioners with specialist expertise to work on a regular basis as part of a voluntary management team charged with responsibility for driving ahead with specific areas of the programme.
  • are setting up a panel of experts with international reputation to ensure that all curricula and methodologies measure up to best international practice.
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