School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education header
School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education


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

Academic biography

 Grainne McKenna is an Assistant Professor at Dublin City University, Institute of Education with a specialist teaching interest in early language and emergent literacy, special educational needs and teacher-child relationships. Grainne has worked as a primary school teacher and is a qualified developmental and educational psychologist (Queen’s University, Belfast) with expertise and experience in child-centred assessment and evidence-based interventions for children, families, and educational professionals. Grainne has extensive experience in the broader education sector and has held positions with government and national voluntary organisations in Ireland, the United States, the UK and British Overseas Territories. Grainne is undertaking a Doctorate in Educational Psychology with University College London (UCL) Division of Psychology and Language Sciences.

Grainne has a special interest in early intervention, child poverty, and teacher-child relationships. She has been involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of several evidence-based initiatives to support better outcomes for children and families. Grainne’s research has included investigating the educational needs of children experiencing homelessness (Children’s Rights Alliance, 2018) and the educational experiences of young men experiencing homelessness (Peter McVerry Trust, 2019). In 2022, Grainne was a co-principal investigator (PI) on a literature review to update and enhance Aistear, Ireland’s Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (NCCA, 2022). Grainne was also co-PI alongside Dr Geraldine Scanlon on an Erasmus + funded project: Teaching ADHD Children (TACIt), working collaboratively with universities and centres of further and higher education in Germany, Bulgaria, Portugal, and Austria.

Research interests

Early Childhood Curriculum Child Development Early Language and Family Literacy
Child Poverty and deprivationADHD Inequities in Early Childhood including; child poverty and marginalised communities