DCU Changemaker Network header
DCU Changemaker Schools Network

Welcome to the DCU Changemaker Schools Network


DCU Changemaker School Network (DCU CSN)

Welcome to the DCU CSN resource hub.


The DCU CSN aims to develop a university partnership between DCU and schools from all over the island of Ireland. The schools work as a professional learning community, where they support each other and the learning of their students. As a learning community, the network seeks to operate in an inspiring and practical manner, with many of our approaches being grounded in practice to theory paradigms

Schools in the DCU CSN develop the four pillars of empathy, creativity, leadership, and teamwork. Such development also involves the enhancement of 21st century learning skills.

Our schools are innovative and exciting places to learn. Through a variety of creative and often pioneering approaches, they foster school cultures of and for social justice and inclusion, develop the agency of students and champion children's citizenship. 

One of the most exciting and indeed inspiring features of what schools in the network do, involves the sharing of best practices in terms of teaching and learning. Schools in the DCU CSN network highlight innovative practices both in the network and at conferences/ symposia in DCU and beyond. We have multitudes of examples of the creative development of the learning experience of students. We also support culturally responsive leadership practices.

Schools in the DCU CSN are reflective in their approaches, often engaging in research, supporting the development of both their own teachers and also student teachers and hosting international students and delegates.

Crucially, the network supports  research and learning in the DCU Institute of Education.




Schools and Change

Every school has the potential to change the lives of their students, their staff, and their communities. The DCU CSN is here to help develop that potential.

Within our network the empowerment and agency of students is key, using the identity formation of students as Changemakers. We support our schools, to create cultures in which children's identities as competent learners and citizens are fostered.

We believe that the dispositions which children hold of themselves as learners is pivotal to how they engage with learning, both within and beyond their school. Central to such beliefs is the development of children’s agency and the development of children’s self-perception as changemakers. Our schools are active in promoting rich and enjoyable learning experiences, where change, when necessary, is envisioned as an exciting opportunity. Such change is undertaken with reference to the four pillars of the network, namely creativity, teamwork, leadership, and empathy.  

The creation of school cultures for social justice and inclusion to develop and maintain that possibility is central to our work. These are school cultures which foreground children's citizenship but also are schools wherein inequalities which pertain to class, gender, sexuality, dis/ability, and race are challenged and addressed with the view to creating an inclusive environment for all.

We also consider that children have the right to an education that is not only just and meaningful, but one that empowers and offers the greatest possibilities for them. 

Want to get some insights into inequality in education and how schools can transform lives and societies? Listen to our podcast series

Want to learn about innovative practices in Irish schools? Check out each school's page

What ideas to enhance student voice, agency, and participation? Check out our stories

Want to know what we actually mean by Changemaking? Check out all of our pages

Want to become a DCU Changemaker School? Drop us a line


We also run CPD sessions for our schools that explore ways to foster the agency of students, develop 21st century learning skills and enhance the leadership practices of our school staff.