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School of Human Development


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School of Human Development
Academic Staff
Phone number:
01 700
St Patrick's Campus
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Academic biography


Dr. Geraldine Scanlon is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology of Education in the School of Human Development and is the former Chair of Research Ethics Committee in DCU. She teaches and co-ordinates the research content on the Professional Masters of Education (Post-Primary), contributes to the MSc & Grad Dip Guidance Counselling and the undergraduate Physical Education Science and Math’s initial teacher training programmes. Her areas of expertise have enabled her to collaborate professionally at both national and international levels. Her research interests have been concerned with strategies to support the inclusion of Children with Special Educational and Additional  Needs in mainstream education and the implications for teachers and schools in facilitating those needs in light of Inclusion. A key feature of her research has been “Transitions” for this group of pupils moving from Primary to Post Primary school, funded by the National Council for Special Education and Further and Higher Education and for adults with disabilities moving from Education and Training to Employment funded by the National Disability Authority.  Her more recent work has focused on a Human Rights Agenda approach which assumes that all individuals are entitled to have access to education especially those from marginalised groups. The core element of her work is embedded in facilitating the voice of children and vulnerable populations through research and innovation. Central to this work is the notion of active citizenship and social inclusion for all groups of students. These principals are reflected in her recent work the PASTE project funded by the Irish Research Council which explored the notion of Supported Transition for young people with intellectual disabilities leaving special schools  to enable them to have the same choice and access to FE/HE as their peers and the HOMEWORKS  project funded by the Children Rights Alliance  which examined the impact of being homeless on children's ability to access and participate in education. Both projects are actively informing policy change in Ireland.  Her expertise in Inclusive education and human rights led to her appointment as an international advisor to support UNICEF Bulgaria  in their project Together for  Kindergartens to develop an inclusive framework and a teacher education programme to prepare kindergarten teachers for inclusive practice.  The programme was  rolled out nationally by the Ministry of Education in 2019.   She has published several peer reviewed papers, book chapters and reports. Her most recent book publication Transitions for students with Special Educational Needs: Implication’s for Inclusion Practice and Policy was published by Peter Lang.  


Research interests


Human Rights based approaches to Inclusion; Children with Additional Needs in primary and post primary settings: Promoting Inclusionary Practices for teachers in Mainstream Primary and Post Primary Schools: Transition (s) from primary to post primary in mainstream and special school settings:   Access and progression routes for students with Additional Needs to Further Education, training and employment.   Developing Positive Behaviour Support Systems in Schools for the Inclusion of pupils with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties