School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education


Primary Department
School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education
Academic Staff
Phone number:
01 700
St Patrick's Campus
Room Number

Academic biography

Gillian is an Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education and Chair of Postgraduate Studies by Research at DCU Institute of Education. She is also a Fellow of Advance HE, (FHEA) in the UK.  She was a Primary Teacher in Ireland for many years before first undertaking an MSc in Child Development & Education (University of Oxford). She was then awarded the Elfrida Talbot Scholarship to undertake a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education at University of Oxford, focusing on language development and Early Childhood Education.  She has continued to work in this area, both as a lecturer (DCU & Oxford Brookes University, UK) and a researcher.  Her current research projects in the area of Early Childhood Education have allowed her to collaborate with industry, the early childhood sector and international research partners.  She was recently invited to join the review panel for the International Journal of Early Years Education and is a regular reviewer for the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Gillian was shortlisted for both the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the President's Award for Engagement in 2021.  She is DCU's representative on the National Academic Integrity Network and, along with Dr Fiona O Riordan, TEU, has just secured SATLE Funding (National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) for a project which is investigating Awareness of Academic Integrity across all DCU stakeholders.    
She supervises and welcomes PhD/EdD students in the areas of Early Childhood Education, Language Development, Oral language Interventions, Narrative Development, Play, Evaluation Research and Emerging Literacy. 

Research interests

Oral language Intervention
Emerging Literacy
Narrative Development
Pretend Play Early Years
Partnership in the Early Years
Enabling Parents in the Early Years
Evaluation research
Professional Development in the Early Years
Early Years Pedagogy 

Chair of Postgraduate Studies by Research (PhD/Masters by Research)

In addition to the PhD Supervisees listed, I am supervising David Henson in his EdD at Oxford Brookes University, UK.