Academic Collaborator: Stranmillis University College


With PSTT support, Stranmillis has developed a series of curriculum development and teacher education projects. These include: Digital Storytelling in Enquiry-based Science, Playful Approaches to Science, Playful Technology, Playful Chemistry, Emergent Science in the Early Years, and Microteaching in Teacher Education. These projects employ coteaching to develop practice in the classroom and to enhance teacher agency and autonomy. Stranmillis have also founded the Stranmillis Student Teachers’ College, which enables student teachers to develop the dispositions to become Primary Science Leaders, and highly reflective practitioners at the very start of their careers.


  • More than 10 research papers/ chapters published on the subjects of co-teaching, play and science, and the development of science leaders in ITE
  • Schools involved in projects have adopted more playful and innovative approaches to teaching and learning in science
  • Programme of effective co-teaching established
  • The Student Teachers’ College has resulted in teachers starting their careers as effective leaders of science in their school


Key areas:

  • Development of the effective and reflective practice of in-service and pre-service teachers
  • Co-teaching as pedagogy for teacher education
  • Playful approaches to science education


McCullagh. J. & Doherty, A. (2017) Innovative approaches within ITE to develop emergent science leaders, Journal of Emergent Science, 12, pp.55-63

Doherty, A. & McCullagh, J. (2017) ‘Playful Approaches to Science and Technology in the Early Years’, in G. Walsh, D. McMillan & C. McGuinness, Playful Teaching and Learning. London: Sage Publications

Murphy, C., McCullagh, J. and Doherty, A. (2014) Piloting a model for coteaching in preservice teacher education school placements based on Vygotsky's zone of proximal development. AERA proceedings, available at:

Murphy, C., McCullagh, J.F., & Doherty, A. (2014) 'Developing reflective practice', in Susan Rodrigues(Ed.) Handbook for Teacher Educators. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers


Contact details:

Dr John McCullagh

Dr Andrea Doherty