School of Human Development

Dr
Cora
O'Farrell

Primary Department
Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education
Role
Director
Phone number:
01 700
9154
Campus
St Patrick's Campus
Room Number
SPC D114

Academic biography

Cora is the Director of the Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education (MDCCE) at DCU. She manages the Centre's operations and is engaged in its development.  A core aspect of her role is to ensure that the distinctive focus on Catholic education and Catholic theology formerly provided by the incorporating colleges (St Patrick's College of Education and the Mater Dei Institute), is maintained  within DCU. 

Cora has oversight of the teaching and learning of students preparing to teach in Catholic education contexts. She chairs the Certificate in Religious Studies programme which qualifies teachers to teach RE in Catholic schools. She coordinates a team of teaching and research associates who are affiliated with the MDCCE.

As Director, she is responsible for initiating and facilitating research projects of importance to Catholic education nationally and internationally. She ensures that the findings of research projects associated with the Centre are disseminated widely to ensure the highest level of impact.

Outreach and engagement with key stakeholders in Catholic education are key dimensions of the role as Director of MDCCE and Cora engages with a range of bodies within the sector. This is achieved by hosting conferences, gatherings and offering services such as continuing professional development opportunities. In addition, Cora also serves on a number of committees both inside and outside DCU. 


Cora is also a member of the School of Human Development in the IOE. She teaches Religious Education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her research interests include Religious Education, Children’s and Family Spirituality and Contemplative Pedagogies. Cora has a passion for Montessori inspired forms of Religious Education. She is a Godly Play Trainer and a founding member of Godly Play Ireland. She is also a Deep Talk practitioner. 




Research interests

Children's Spirituality
The voice of the child in relation to spiritual education 
Continuing professional development for teachers 
Deep Talk