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Staff Profiles

Stranmillis University College -

Staff Profile

Dr Irene Teresa Bell

Head of Mathematics, Science and Technology; Chair of BEd(Post-primary) Programme
Dept of Initial Teacher Education
Building: Central Building
Room: 25
Telephone: +44 (0) 28 90 384 388


Background & Qualifications

       Irene Bell has been a member of the Stranmillis University College academic staff since 1996. She is Head of STEM and a Principal lecturer. She holds a BSc honours degree in Mathematics, a MA(Ed) degree and a PGCE from Queens University Belfast and an EdD from Exeter University. She has 11 years experience of teaching mathematics in Post-primary schools and 21 years of teaching within Initial Teacher Education. Formerly Head of Numeracy and Chair of Primary Education she now leads STEM Education at all levels within Stranmillis University College and is Chair of Post-primary Education. Dr Bell is a member of the Computing in Schools special interest network within the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies and a member of the International Association of STEM Leaders (Women in STEM). The author or co-author of several research papers and conference presentations she has been the recipient of a Teaching Award in both 2005 and 2007 and the joint winner with Ian Simons of the 'Blackboard Technology Award' (2013). She is the Chair for Northern Ireland of Computing at Schools and the Regional Academic Lead for Digital SchoolHouse.


BEd Courses / M-Level Courses / Other Teaching :
             My teaching includes courses within the BEd(Primary), BEd(Post-primary - Mathematics Subject Application) and MEd (STEM) programmes.

Scholarship and Research

Recent Publications/Conference Papers
             Bell, I. (2017) The STEM Commandments:
             Bell, I. (2017) Computational Thinking - Foundations for the future. Keynote speaker Education Training Inspectorate ICT Conference.
             Bell, I. (2017) Il Pensiero Computazionale nelle Scuole Primarie nell'Irlanda del Nord, Available at ISSN: 2239-6187
             Bell, I. (2017) The role of Computing At School in Northern Ireland. C2KNI Annual Conference.
             Bell, I. (2016) Informatik an Schulen in Nordirland, Oesterreichische Computer Gesellschaft Journal, (02,41,34-35).
             Bell, I. & McLaughlin, R., (2016) Informatics curriculum in British schools, Paper presented at Oesterreichische computer gesellschaft, Computational Thinking and Coding at Schools, Vienna, April 2016.
             McCullagh, J.F. & Bell, I. (2014) Exploring a theoretical framework for interpreting student teachers' interaction with video. Paper presented at 5th TEAN Annual Conference, Birmingham, May 2014.
             Bell, I. & Simons, I. (2014) Preparing young people for a technology based work place. Paper presented at 5th TEAN Conference, Birmingham, May 2014.
             Bell, I. & Simons, I. (2014) Is coding suitable for all children? Paper presented at the Higher Education Academy STEM Conference on Widening participation. May 2014.
             McCullagh, J. F., Bell, I., Corscadden, F., (2013) How does video analysis support student teachers in the very early stages of their initial teacher education. Teacher Education Advancement Network Journal, Vol 5, No 3 , ISSN 2054-5266.
             Bell, I. and Simons, I. (2013) Teaching coding to pupils in KS2 and KS3. Belfast. Stranmillis University College.
             Simons, I. and Bell, I. (2013) 'Starting them young - Teaching to code'. Paper presented at UCET Conference , Burton on Trent.
             Bell, I.,(2013) Interactive Mathematics, parents and children together. (The IMPaCT project): Using technology to engage parents in their child's learning.
             McCullagh, J., Bell, I., Corscadden, F., (2013) Where do we start?: A evaluation of how video analysis may support student teachers during their initial classroom practice. 4th Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN) conference. May 2013
             Bell, I., Mullan, J., (2012) Using an online learning community within Essential Skills tutor training to develop criticality of thought. 3rd Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN) conference, 'Creating Effective Teachers', at Aston University May 2012
             Gibson, K. S. and Bell, I. (2011). When Technology and Design Education is inhibited by Mathematics. Design and Technology Education: An International Journal. Vol 16.3 pp 28-39.
             Bell, I., Corscadden, F., McCullagh, J. (2011).How can an online video analysis tool enhance the learning experience of student teachers within an initial education institution and host school partnership. 2nd Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN) conference,'The Important Role of Higher Education in Teacher Education', at Manchester University on 20th May 2011.
             Winter K., Connolly P., Bell, I. and Ferguson, J. (2011) An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Letterbox Club in Improving Educational Outcomes among Children Aged 7-11 Years in Foster Care in Northern Ireland, Belfast: Centre for Effective Education, Queen's University Belfast.
             Corscadden, F., Bell, I, McCullagh, J. (2010). Teachers reflective practice via video enquiry: the usefulness of peers, teacher mentors and video as a method to enhance the enculturation and reflection of pre-service teachers. Critical and Reflective Practice in Education Vol. 1, Issue 2,pp 18-31. University College Plymouth St Mark & St John ISSN 2040-4735.
             Bell, I., Corscadden, F., McCullagh, J. (2010). Developing reflective practice skills for ITE students: using teacher mentors, digital video and multimedia tools to enhance critical reflection in the classroom from multiple interpretations. 1st Teacher Education Advancement Network (TEAN) conference "The Importance of Education", at Glasgow Caledonian University on 21st May 2010.
             Bell, I., Gibson, K., (2009) Mathematical knowledge of technology and design student teachers: diagnosis and remediation. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, Vol 40 Issue 8.
             Eaton, P., Bell, I. (2008) Involving pupils in their own learning: What can we learn from the Cognitive Acceleration in Mathematics Education Programme. 'Patoss' Journal of the professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties. Vol 21:2 ISSN 1476-1521
             Bell, I. (2006) Evaluation of the impact of an initial techer education course in Primary Mathematics on a cohort of students. Philosophy of mathematics Education: Vol 19, ISSN 1465-2978.
             Eaton, P., Bell, I., Greenwood, J. & McCullagh, J. (2006). Who is teaching your child? The issue of unqualified subject specialists in Northern Ireland. Cambridge Journal of Education 36(4): 549-564.
             Bell, I. (2006) Evaluation of the Impact of an Initial Teacher Education Course in Primary Mathematics on a Cohort of Students. Staff Student Research Conference, Exeter University 12/05/06.
             Eaton, P.,& Bell, I. (2006) 'It's CAME, We saw, Did it Conquer? - a review of the Cognitive Acceleration in Mathematics Education Pilot Study in Northern Ireland'. International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning.
             Gray, C., Bell, I., Cummins, B., Eaton, P., Greenwood, J. McCullagh, J. & S. Behan. 2006. The Recruitment and Retention of Teachers in Post-Primary Schools in Northern Ireland. A Report Commissioned by The Department of Education (DE)
             Eaton, P. Bell, I. (2005) (Report) Pilot Evaluation of the Cognitive Acceleration in Mathematics Education Project, Belfast Education and Library Board.
Research Interests
             Underachievement in Mathematics - 'IMPaCT Project'
             Developing Numeracy through engineering in conjunction with Greenpower
             Computing in the Primary and KS3 classroom
             Using Technology-Enhanced Learning to develop reflective practice,
             Developing and implementing computer science within KS2and KS3.


       Head of Mathematics, Science and Technology (STEM)
       College Numeracy Co-odinator
       BEd(Primary)Programme Coordinator (2006-2012)
       Chair of BEd(Post-primary) Programme (2012-present)

External Interests / Community Service

       Dr Irene Bell is Chair for Northern Ireland of Computing at Schools (CASNI), with a focus on supporting the profile and implementation of computer science in both primary and post-primary schools.
       External Examiner Newman University (2009 - 2014)
       Awards External Examiner Manchester Metropolitan University (2015 - present).