DCU Changemaker Fellows

Jones Irwin

Dr. Jones Irwin


Dr. Jones Irwin is Associate Professor in Philosophy and Education at Institute of Education, Dublin City University and Chair of the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Ethical and Multi-D). He has taught at Drumcondra (previously SPD) since 2001. From 2015-2019, he was seconded as Project Officer with NCCA to develop the first state curriculum in multi-belief and values education (GMGY in Community National Schools). There are now 27 Community National Schools in the Republic of Ireland under ETBI patronage at primary level.

His main research and teaching interests are in Philosophy of Education, Multi-Denominational or Pluralist Education, Ethics and Aesthetics. He has published widely, including monographs on Paulo Freire and Jaques Derrida.  In 2022, he was Visiting Professor to University of Catania, Sicily in their Education faculty. He is currently working on two new books, a co-edited volume with the Slovak philosopher Barbora Badurova entitled Ethical Education Across European Systems: Concepts, Practices, Dilemmas (Peter Lang, Berlin/Geneva) and a monograph entitled The Pursuit of Existentialism. From Sartre and Beauvoir to Contemporary Philosophy. Routledge, London, UK. [in press].


Maeve Corish

Meave Corish

Maeve Corish, MEd, is a former principal of a DCU Changemaker School and an advisor to the DCU CSN team. Maeve is currently Chairperson of SeeBeyond Borders, Ireland, an NGO dedicated to supporting teaching and learning for Cambodian children.

Since her retirement in 2021 Maeve has dedicated her time to working in partnership with Cambodian educators to help bring about systemic change in the Cambodian education system. She is also a member of the Comhlámh working group on Ending Orphanage Volunteerism. Throughout her thirty-nine-year career in primary education Maeve has been a strong advocate for children’s rights constantly seeking authentic ways to enhance the voice of the child in school

She believes in equality based, inclusive schools and in the importance of nurturing our students to be global citizens through the promotion of development education and an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals. Maeve completed a Master’s in human Rights and Citizenship in DCU in 2012, Peer Mediation was the subject of her thesis.


Damien Burke

Dr. Damien Burke

Dr. Damien Burke is an assistant professor in the School of Policy and Practice at DCU Institute of Education. Damien's chief area of responsibility is working alongside the directors of Professional Placement (PP) to coordinate the PP (Primary) programme at the IoE. He also contributes to various reflective-enquiry and PP-specific modules, along with supervising postgraduate students' research projects. Damien has extensive experience of teaching and of school leadership at primary level.

He has also served as a class teacher, an SEN teacher, a teaching principal, and an administrative principal in various schools in Dublin. Damien has previously worked at the Marino Institute of Education, lecturing in teaching studies and mathematics education. His current research interests include innovative school leadership, educational disadvantage, and pre-service teachers' subject-knowledge competency. Damien has participated in many professional collaborations with the NCCA in Ireland; has been involved in Europe-wide Erasmus Plus projects, and he has provided consultancy services to various textbook publishers. Damien holds a Bachelor of Education, Master of Education, Postgraduate Diploma in School Leadership, and a Doctor of Education degree. 




Dr. Siobhán Keenan Fitzgerald

Dr. Siobhán Keenan Fitzgerald, principal of a DCU Changemaker Schools, has been working in the field of education for 32 years.  She has taught in Japan, Switzerland, France, Saudi Arabi and is currently seconded to the NCCA.

Passionate about helping all young people develop their communication and public speaking skills, Siobhán is the Creator of the ‘LET’s Stand’ Oral Language, Public Speaking Programme for young people (aged 5-18).  Siobhán completed her Doctoral Thesis in 2022 with the University of Lincoln, UK, on the topic of ‘Public Speaking in Primary Schools’.

Through enabling students to find and use their own voice, Siobhán’s vision is to empower students from all backgrounds to share their stories, become Changemakers and the best version of themselves.  Siobhán is the recipient of the 2017 IPPN Leadership award and currently works as an Education Officer with NCCA. Siobhán has participated in two TED X talks on the topic of education, student voice and empowerment.


Paul Knox

Paul Knox

Paul Knox is an Assistant Professor in Education and SPHE in the DCU IoE and worked previously as principal of North Bay Educate Together National School in North Dublin.

Since the very beginning of his teaching career, he has been a changemaker at heart bringing an excitement and eagerness for change. Through co-creation, responsiveness, and a sense of fun, he sought to lead better approaches to inclusion and wellbeing with student voice and participation at the core of these activities, in his school.

In his role as a DCU Changemaker Schools Network Fellow, he is excited to engage with the network of schools who lead their own programmes of change with excitement, passion, and an eagerness for real world solutions to meet the needs of their schools and communities.


Ashlin Boylan

Our Teacher Fellow

Aisling Boylan is a primary teacher at Francis Street school, Dublin 8 which is part of the DCU Changemaker Schools Network. She is currently in her second year of an EdD at DCU and her research intends to focus on empathy and school culture

Lisa Clarke

 Lisa Clarke

Lisa is an Assistant Professor of Geography Education in the School of STEM Education, Innovation, and Global Studies. Prior to joining DCU, she worked as a Primary School Teacher for 8 years and has always had a passion for teaching Geography to her students.


Her areas of interest include outdoor learning, enquiry-based learning, and empowering teachers to incorporate children's local environments into their Primary Curriculum delivery. Lisa firmly believes that children learn best when they actively participate in decision-making, lead enquiries, and are entrusted with responsibilities. She eagerly anticipates engaging with the new Primary Curriculum Framework to ensure that teachers are well-equipped to adapt the curriculum to their individual classes and contexts. 

Laura Gormley

Laura Gormley

Dr. Laura Gormley is an assistant professor in the School of Inclusive and Special Education at DCU’s Institute of Education. Laura contributes to several programmes within the School of Inclusive and Special Education in DCU, focusing primarily on empowering postgraduate teachers working with autistic learners, as well as those working with learners with severe to profound general learning difficulties. Within this role, Laura collaborates practically with educators to adapt evidence-informed practices to develop increasingly more accessible and inclusive learning environments for all learners. She is passionate about finding ways to facilitate the autistic voice and learn from the lived experience of autistic children, young people and adults, particularly in the context of education.