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School of Human Development


Primary Department
School of Human Development
Academic Staff
Phone number:
01 700
St Patrick's Campus
Room Number
SPC M 104

Academic biography

As Associate Professor in Philosophy and Education in the School of Human Development at the Institute of Education, I co-ordinate the Ethical and Multi-Denominational Education specialism on the EdD and am Chair of the Professional Diploma in Education. As a Philosopher, I  have over 25 years of experience of teaching at third level institutions in both Ireland and UK. My original undergraduate and postgraduate work in Philosophy was at University College, Dublin and my PhD at University of Warwick, England, on the philosophy of the Algerian-French thinker Jacques Derrida, which was later published as a book by both Ashgate and Routledge. There followed Lectureships at both University of Warwick and also at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick (then part of the University of Limerick).  More recently,  I have held a Visiting Professor position at the Faculty of Education,  University of Catania, Sicily, Italy, 2022-23, and for 2023/24 am Visiting Fellow in Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Hertfordshire, England. I am also Subject Leader at DCU for Philosophy on the Open  Education programme.

My work in education is rooted in a strong and collaborative commitment to making theory and practice connect in education, and, from 2015-2019, I was seconded as Project Officer on the first state curriculum in values and multi-belief  education for primary schools in Ireland (there are currently 28 such Community National Schools). In 2023/24, this will connect to new work with the CHANGEMAKER programme at DCU and its network of schools in Ireland (with a particular connection to the multi-denominational and pluralist sector of schools).

I have co-supervised with colleagues at the Institute over ten doctoral students to graduation in recent years in areas of education, philosophy and pluralism, and currently have six doctoral students working in related areas. My colleagues and I  welcome new proposals of doctoral work on  topics of contemporary interest, and we are particularly interested in working with people actively engaged in educational change and progressive critique of current theories and practices.   

Collaborative work is focused on the Disciplines of Education and my own most specific interests and expertise are in Philosophy of Education, Ethics, Aesthetics (Philosophy and Literature) and Existential Philosophy. I have published monographs on  Jacques Derrida's Deconstruction, Slavoj Žižek’s Psychoanalysis and several  texts on Paulo Freire's educational philosophy, including most recently a 2022 co-edited text on Freire's relation to the Italian context of education and politics. Forthcoming work relates to Existential Philosophy and edited books on Ethical Education  and the contemporary crisis of Greek democracy and the Greek university, respectively. 

Research interests

Philosophy of Education
Values Education inc. Comparative Beliefs and Religious Education
Curriculum - Theory and Practice
Multi-Denominational and Pluralist Schools and Ethoi
State Role in School Values (national/international)
Theory in Early Years Education (Steiner/Froebel)
19th and 20th Century European Philosophy
1960s and Post-'68 French Theory and Influence on Leftist Politics
Existential Thought
Participatory Action Research
Aesthetics/Poetics/Fiction (Literature and Philosophy)
Emergent Approaches to Introducing Philosophy