paulconnolly.net

RESEARCH
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Overview

My research interests revolve around three key themes:

Diversity and inclusion in early childhood.

I have a particular interest in exploring the ways in which factors such as race/ethnicity, gender and social class articulate and impact upon young children's social worlds. My work has been particularly influenced by the theoretical insights provided by Pierre Bourdieu. Much of my research in this area has been qualitative and ethnographic in particular. However, I have been increasingly interested in the use of quantitative methods and large-scale surveys to examine broader variations and patterns in relation to young children's attitudes and identities.

Evaluation of educational programmes and interventions.

I am particularly interested in evaluating the effectiveness of educational programmes and interventions, especially through the use of randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Within this I am keen to develop approaches to undertaking RCTs that are open and inclusive and where researchers work in partnership with practitioners and service providers. One specific interest of mine is to develop approaches to evaluation that are children's rights-based and where, among other things, children's participation is actively encouraged in the design, delivery and evaluation of children's services.

Quantitative methods and statistics in education.

One of my main interests is contributing to the development of research capacity in relation to the use of quantitative methods in education. Beyond this, I am also interested in the use of multivariate statistical techniques in the analysis of data from large-scale surveys and RCTs. I have a particular interest in the use of multilevel modelling in relation to both types of data and am just beginning to explore the potential application of Bayesian methods to the analysis of RCTs.

Current Research Projects

The Effectiveness of School-Based Socio-Emotional Learning Programmes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

FUNDER: Public Heath Agency (Northern Ireland)
TIMESCALE: April 2015 - March 2016
RESEARCH TEAM: Connolly, P. (Principal Investigator), Miller, S.

Una - The Global Learning Initiative on Children and Ethnic Diversity (Phase IV).

FUNDER: National Institute for Health Research
TIMESCALE: January 2015 - December 2017
RESEARCH TEAM: Connolly, P. (Principal Investigator).
Visit Una Website

Improving Children's Lives (Phase III).

FUNDER: The Atlantic Philanthropies
TIMESCALE: January 2015 - December 2017
RESEARCH TEAM: Connolly, P. (Principal Investigator).
Visit Improving Children's Lives Website

The Impact of Shared Education in Northern Ireland.

FUNDER: The Atlantic Philanthropies
TIMESCALE: January 2015 - December 2017
RESEARCH TEAM: Hughes, J. (Principal Investigator), Connolly, P. and Donnelly, C.

The Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Nurture Groups.

FUNDER: Department of Education
TIMESCALE: October 2014 - December 2015
RESEARCH TEAM: Sloan, S. (Principal Investigator), Connolly, P., Gildea, A., Winter, K. and Jordan, J.

Best Practice in Grouping Students by Attainment.

FUNDER: Education Endowment Foundation
TIMESCALE: June 2014 - January 2018
RESEARCH TEAM: Francis, B. (Principal Investigator), Archer, L., Connolly, P., Hodgen, J., Sloan, S., Travers, M., Pepper, D., Taylor, R. and Barlow, J.
Visit Project Website

A longitudinal study of the effects of schools on young people's health and wellbeing (WiSe Study).

FUNDER: Medical Research Council (part of the wider renewal grant for the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health, led by Prof. Frank Kee
TIMESCALE: August 2013 - July 2016
RESEARCH TEAM: Connolly, P. (Principal Investigator), Kee, F., Dunne, L. and Lloyd, K.

A randomised controlled trial evaluation of the 'Letterbox Club' book-gifting programme for children in foster care.

FUNDER: Fostering Network (Northern Ireland)
TIMESCALE: October 2012 - December 2015
RESEARCH TEAM: Winter, K. (Principal Investigator), Connolly, P. and Mooney, J.

A cluster randomised controlled trial evaluation and cost-effectiveness analysis of the Roots of Empathy schools-based programme.

FUNDER: National Institute for Health Research
TIMESCALE: September 2011 - December 2015
RESEARCH TEAM: Connolly, P. (Principal Investigator), Miller, S., Kee, F., Gildea, A., Sloan, S., Rafferty, H., Bland, M. and Fenwick, E.
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