Dr Maeve O'Brien BEd, MEd (Boston), MA in Ed (UCD), PhD (Equality Studies UCD) is Professor in Sociology and Human Development at the Institute of Education, St Patrick's Campus, DCU. With many years experience as a teacher and Home/School/Liaison Co ordinator in Dublin's Inner City, Maeve moved to full time research and then to teacher education and Human Development. She co ordinated the HD programme on the BA for several years. She teaches at undergraduate level on the BA in Human Development and the BEd programmes. Her post graduate teaching has spanned the MA, BEd and Ed D programmes focusing primarily on inequalities of class and gender in Education and their impact on care and relationships. She is a former Head of the School of Human Development.
Maeve has published on issues pertaining to (in)equalities in education- educational transitions and social class, gender and schooling support work, caring relationality and professional praxis, and the significance and challenges of care and wellbeing in educational contexts today. Her work on developing a Human Development Conceptual Framework for the 2nd level wellbeing curriculum (NCCA) with Dr A O Shea is now under some revision and new developments.
Maeve is a former co editor of the international education journal Irish Educational Studies. For the past two years she has lead an ESAI (Educational Studies Association Ireland) SIG across 3rd level institutions with a focus on developing a critical community of praxis in ITE.
Research interestsMy research interests over the decades have focused on social inequalities of class and gender and their impact on young people's experiences of education. More recently some of my research has shifted to a broader Human Development interdisciplinary approach and to exploring inequalities and with a special interest in affective/emotional and relational issues that can compromise or foster well-being. This movement arose from my teaching in human development, past experiences in community building, and the growing theoretical feminist scholarship on the significance of affect and caring.
Some of my current projects are briefly described below:
Caring, Relationality and Well-being are key areas of interest in relation to students, teachers and teacher educators wellbeing. There are a number of strands to this research which are ongoing and have been presented/published in various fora-
getting clear on a conceptual framework for wellbeing in schools a project undertaken with colleague Dr Andrew O Shea (NCCA 2008, 2017)
Dialogic methods with BEd students to explore professional identity and caring (ECER 2016, ECER 2017, ECER 2018)
Teacher educators' caring and professional identities (2015)Gender, care and early education work (international project )
Creativity and Student Teachers' Developing Understandings of its Significance
This is an ongoing project to explore old and new paradigms of creativity and how young teachers understand creativity as an aspect of their professional (ECER 2015, 2016). This year we continue to develop a theoretical basis for exploring creativity in education.
Possibilities for Transformative Education and ITE
With members of School of Human Development we convened and facilitated a symposium to celebrate Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Based on the findings with almost 70 participants we will create a new process for ESAI in 2019 called Possibilities for Hope in the PUCA (O'Brien M, O Shea , Gibson, D, O Farrell, C and King P.)