Centre for Human Rights and Citizenship Education


Rowan Oberman

Rowan ObermanRowan Oberman is Director of the Centre.  She lectures in development, intercultural, human rights and citizenship education (supported by Irish Aid) in the School of STEM, Innovation and Global Studies.  Rowan also coordinates Education for a Just World, a partnership initiative between the Centre and Trócaire. Before joining the Centre, Rowan worked in development and environmental education as well as qualifying as a Barrister and practicing at the Irish Bar. Rowan’s research interests include: climate change education, human rights, children’s rights, education for sustainable development and global citizenship education.


Dr. Ben Mallon

Ben MallonBen Mallon, PhD, is an executive member of the Centre.  His doctoral thesis explored peace-building education programmes across the island of Ireland, with a focus on the perceptions and experiences of young people.  Ben's research interests are centred on the relationship between education and conflict and in particular on how conceptualisations of 'action' and 'responsibility' shape young peoples engagement with citizenship.  Ben has eight years experience as a post primary teacher and also in the creation of resources to support Development Education in Transition Year.   He lectures in development and intercultural education in the IoE.  Ben sits on the editorial board of the journal Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review.


Dr. Maria Barry

Maria BarryMaria Barry, PhD, is an executive member the Centre.  Her doctoral research is a qualitative study focussed on how global citizenship education is negotiated in the classroom.  Maria also lectures in the areas of citizenship and history education in the IoE.  Prior to joining the Centre in 2014, Maria managed Trócaire's development education programme.  She has also practised as a post primary teacher.

Prof. Fionnuala Waldron


Prof. Fionnuala Waldron

Prof. Fionnuala Waldron is Cregan Professor of Education in the DCU Institute of Education, Dublin City University. In 2005,Fionnuala established the Centre for Human Rights and Citizenship Education in St Patrick’s College, in collaboration with Brian Ruane who was then Director of Education in Amnesty (Ireland).  The Centre specialises in research into human rights education, local and global citizenship education and climate change education. It produces educational resources which are research-based and develops and teaches teacher education modules and programmes in its areas of interest, including a Masters of Education in Global Citizenship Education and Human Rights Education. 

Fionnuala began her career in education as a primary teacher (where she taught children from the age for 4 years to 15 years) before joining the staff of St Patrick’s College in 1999 as a teacher educator with a specialism in history and citizenship education. Her teaching and research interests include history education, local studies, human rights education, global citizenship education and climate change education. She has a particular interest in developing democratic research processes with children and in creating research-based participative curricula/programmes and learning resources for primary and lower second level classrooms and for teacher education.  Fionnuala is also a historian and has published on nineteenth century Irish history. 

Fionnuala has a deep interest in the theory, policy and practice of teacher education. In 2000, she co-founded the Irish Association for Social Scientific and Environmental Education (IASSEE), an all-Ireland association of teacher educators in the related fields of history education, geography and science education and environmental education more broadly and led its all-Ireland longitudinal study Becoming a Teacher: Primary Student Teachers as Learners and Teachers of History, Geography and Science: an all-Ireland Study, published in 2009.  In 2012, she initiated CREATE in St Patrick’s College, a research programme in teacher education (Collaborative Research Across Teacher Education), which brings together over twenty research projects across a range of themes. Since 2016, the programme has become part of the CREATE21 Research Centre.

In 2009, Fionnuala was appointed Head of Education in St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, and Dean of Education the following year. She held both posts until August 2016. From 2014, Fionnuala led the education workstream in the incorporation of St Patrick’s College, Mater Dei College and the Church of Ireland College of Education into Dublin City University. For the 2015/2016 academic year, she led the establishment of the  DCU Institute of Education as Interim Executive Dean, which brought together the incorporated entities and the DCU School of Education Studies to create a new faculty for Dublin City University.

Fionnuala has extensive experience in curriculum development in primary/lower-second level and in teacher education. During her term as Dean, she led the design, development and implementation of new programmes in initial teacher education at undergraduate and post-graduate levels which were premised on a social justice perspective and incorporated human rights education, ethical education and global citizenship education as core elements. In 2013, Fionnuala established a doctoral strand in teacher education, as part of the Doctorate in Education, in partnership with John Smith. Fionnuala has collaborated on several curriculum development projects for primary/lower-second level in the areas of history education; climate change education and global citizenship education and has acted as curriculum advisor to a range of agencies. She is an expert in the development of interactive, participative learning activities and resources that target children’s emergent capacities to think critically about the world.  


Steering Committee

Dr. Ashling Bourke is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at the Institute of Education. Her research interests include Child Abuse and Children's Rights, Children's Wellbeing, Family Relationships, Sexual Health and Sex Education. She teaches modules on Child Development, Educational Psychology, Adolescence, Lifespan Psychology, and Social Psychology. Ashling completed her BA (hons) in Psychology at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2003 and a Masters in Forensic Psychology at University College Cork in 2004. Following this she worked in support and advocacy roles with vulnerable populations, including children and young people,and homeless populations


Dr Audrey BryanAudrey Bryan lectures in sociology and citizenship education on the humanities and education programmes in the School of Human Development. Audrey has a particular interest in the educational experiences of children and young people in local and global contexts. Audrey is a member of the editorial board of the journal Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review.


Thérèse Farrell is a Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the Institute of Education, St. Patrick’s Campus.  She lectures on a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and inservice programmes.  Prior to her appointment in 2012, Thérèse worked as a primary teacher and as a tutor for Aistear, The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (NCCA, 2009). Her MEd specialised in early childhood education and her research focused on children’s perspectives of play.   Thérèse has a range of research interests including curriculum and pedagogy, children’s citizenship, agency and policy analysis.


Anne-Marie KavannaghAnne Marie Kavanagh lectures in ethical education, ERB (Education about Religions and Beliefs), humanrights and citizenship education. Her research interestsinclude intercultural education, critical multicultural education, curriculum ethics, critical thinking, ERB, school patronage models and school ethos, human rights education, global citizenship education, racism, anti-racism and Social, Personal and Health Education.

Awarded the Michael Jordan Fellowship in Education (2009-2012) by St. Patrick's College, Anne Marie completed her PhD research on emerging models of intercultural education in Irish primary schools. Prior to this she was a mainstream multi-grade school teacher in Rathgar National School, Dublin 6


Malgosia MacHowska-Kosciak

Malgosia MacHowska-Kosciak joined The Centre as a postdoctoral researcher and project officer for the CHRCE project, Strengthening the practice of intercultural education in primary schools (SPIEPS).  This project was funded by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration and seeks to promote and support the positive integration of migrants within Irish primary schools, through effective intercultural education for all children, which engages the wider school community, contributes to an alternative narrative on migration and fosters global citizenship.


Gabriela Martinez Sainz


Gabriela Martinez-Sainz is an AdAstra Assistant Professor in Education in UCD.  She joined the Centre as a postdoctoral researcher and is now a steering committee member.  She holds a PhD in Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Research from the University of Cambridge where she conducted research on human rights education, reflective practice and professional knowledge.  Gabriela is a member of the National System of Researchers in Mexico, certified by the Council of Science and Technology. She has been affiliated with the Center for Governance and Human Rights of the University of Cambridge, the Center for Socio-legal Studies of the University of Oxford -where she collaborated in the UNESCO-funded project “Countering Online Hate Speech”- and the Centre for Analysis and Planning in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

Seline Keating


Seline Keating lectures in Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) in DCU Institute of Education. Prior to this position, she taught for ten years in a variety of school types and settings and her Ph.D research explored child development in the context of mass media.  In addition to teaching on BEd and PME modules and supervising students, Seline collaborates with the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre (ABC) designing and delivering CPD courses for teachers.  


Catherine Maunsell

Catherine Maunsell is Senior Lecturer in Education: Psychology and Human Development and is College Director of Quality Promotion and Assurance. Catherine maintains an active researchprofile in the broad field of education and social inclusion on themes including widening access to lifelong learning and prison education. She has particular research interests in the rights of children and young people and those most marginalised, in relation to their engagement with societal institutions including the education and justice systems and in relationships, sexuality and sexual rights from a developmental perspective.  She is a member of the CHRCE Steering Committee since its establishment in 2004; participated in the Advisory Groups of the CHRCE/Trocaire partnership and the CHRCE/IHRC partnership and has contributed to a number of CHRCE publications. She has also been a joint module co-ordinator, lecturer and thesis supervisor on the MEd. Human Rights and Citizenship Education.

Niamh McGuirk is an Assistant Professor in Ethical and Intercultural Education in the Institute of Education, DCU. Previously, Niamh taught as a primary school teacher (in denominational and multidenominational contexts) and has also worked as a lecturer on the Master in Education Studies (Intercultural Education) in Marino Institute of Education, Trinity College Dublin. Niamh’s research interests include anti-racism education, critical multiculturalism, Education about Religions and Beliefs, school ethos, and citizenship.


Caitríona Ní Cassaithe, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in History Education at the Institute of Education, Dublin City University, Ireland. She completed her B.Ed. and PG Dip. Ed. in St. Patrick’s College, Dublin and spent fifteen years as a primary teacher in Dublin's inner city. Caitríona’s doctoral research explored children’s epistemic “bottlenecks” about history and she designed learning trajectories to challenge these. She has a wide range of research interests which include: the learning and teaching of history at primary and post-primary level, museum, heritage and place-based education, digital technologies in teaching history (particularly Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality), the teaching of controversial/contested issues in primary history and disciplinary literacy. 


Caitriona is co-leading the Irish COVID-19 Oral History Project - https://covid19oralhistory.ie/ and is a founding member of www.pastfwd.weebly.com and a co-editor of Public History Weekly: https://public-history-weekly.degruyter.com/9-2021-1/climate-of-crisis/ Caitriona is also a member of the Irish Association of Professional Historians and is on the steering committee of HEIRNET. 


Susan PikeSusan Pike is a Lecturer in Geography Education in the School of STEM, Innovation and Global Studies leading Geography Education. Susan teaches and supervises research in Geography, Environmental and Citizenship Education and as well as Outdoor Learning at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Susan holds a Master of Arts (Education) in Geographical and Environmental Education and her doctoral thesis was an in-depth investigation into children's experiences and participation in their local environments. Susan was the lead author of EcoDetectives (2011), a resource for schools for the Department of the Environment and Local Government and recently completed Learning Primary Geography: Ideas and Inspiration fromClassrooms (2016) which draws on many example of geographical and environmental education in schools. Susan is an active member of Environmental Education Ireland and the Geographical Association. Susan frequently presents conferences such as the Festival of Outdoor Learning, the BurrenBeo Place Based Learning Symposium as well as Geography Education conferences. Susan is a writer and reviewer for the journal International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education.


Aisling Twohill


Dr Aisling Twohill is a member of the Centre and Assistant Professor in DCU's IoE.  Her research interests are centred on mathematics education and empowering teachers to support children in achieving their potential through rich and challenging child-centred, problem-based teaching.  Aisling has twelve years’ experience as a primary school teacher and has recently contributed to the theory underpinning the forthcoming (2021) Primary School Mathematics Curriculum. Aisling has worked with a number of community organisations, most recently holding the positions of chair with Voluntary Service International (VSI) and director with Midlands Science

Joe UsherJoe Usher is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Education, DCU and is a member of the CHRCE Steering Committee. He lectures in Social, Environmental and Scientific Education with a particular focus on Primary Geography Education, teaching and supervising research at both undergraduate (B.Ed) and postgraduate levels (PMEP). He has particular research interests in the rights of children and young people in participating in local decision-making and planning processes through Geography Education. Other research interests include problem-oriented issues-based geography education, educational policy analysis, intercultural education, critical thinking, citizenship education and outdoor learning.



Prof. David Selby

Dr. David SelbyDavid Selby is Founding Director of Sustainability Frontiers, a non-governmental academic organisation working in partnership with the Centre for Human Rights and Citizenship Education. His research and writing interests cover the broad areas of global, sustainability and child-friendly education but his current preoccupations largely lie in the areas of climate change education, disaster risk reduction education and transformative environmental education. David has been involved in educational change, curriculum and pedagogical reform, teacher education, and school-based and systemwide research and development initiatives in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Australasia/the Pacific, and the Caribbean. His allegiance is to participatory pedagogies and research methodologies. For further details go to: http://www.sustainabilityfrontiers.org/index.php?page=david-selby To learn more about Sustainability Frontiers visit: http://www.sustainabilityfrontiers.org/

 Dr. Fumiyo Kagawa

Dr. Fumiyo KagawaFumiyo Kagawa is Research Director of Sustainability Frontiers. Fumiyo’s expertise includes disaster risk reduction education, climate change education, child-friendly education, sustainability education, peacebuilding education,  global education and educational development in decentralised and local governance contexts. Fumiyo has engaged in a number of pedagogical and educational change research and innovation initiatives in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Caribbean. Fumiyo’s research interest includes developing forward-looking theory and practice for resilience building education that considers the runaway nature of climate change and addresses various social and environmental challenges. Fumiyo is committed to developing and practicing participatory and non-exploitative research methodologies that are congruent with the principles of social justice, equity, and human rights. For more information, go to: http://www.sustainabilityfrontiers.org/index.php?page=fumiyo-kagawa]. 




Dr. Bernie Collins

Dr. Elizabeth Dunphy

Dr. Bernadette Dwyer

Dr. Eithne Kennedy

Dr. Therese McPhillips

Dr. Cliona Murphy

Dr. Paula Murphy

Dr. Maurice O' Reilly

Dr. Mairín Wilson



Catherine Kelly

Ciarán Doherty

Paula Galvin

Beth Hickey