Conversations from the Classroom Podcasts
Conversations from the Classroom is a space of encounter for people interested in Catholic education. It features engaging conversations with prominent figures from Irish education and beyond. Topics include: the management and governance of education; LGBTQ+ perspectives in Catholic Education; the Politics of Irish Education and ongoing developments in the professional practice of the educator. The series is an academically rigorous, but accessible resource. Created & produced by Dr David Kennedy. Music written and played by Dr David Kennedy & recorded at Crossroad Recording Studio, Kilkenny.
Dr David Kennedy (BA, MA, Ph.D., SFHEA), Assistant Professor of Religious Education, joined the School of Human Development, Institute of Education, Dublin City University in 2019. David is also connected to the Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education, Institute of Education, Dublin City University as a teaching and research associate. He is a member of the Network for Researchers in Catholic Education; Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education (GRACE); Association of University Lecturers in Religious Education; the Irish Theological Association; and the European Society for Catholic Theology.
From 2013-2015, he was a member of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick where he worked as a researcher and departmental assistant teaching in systematic, biblical and sacramental theology. From 2015-2019, David worked as a researcher for national bodies in Catholic education, namely: the Catholic Schools Partnership (CSP - now known as the Catholic Education Partnership [CEP]); the Association of Trustees of Catholic Schools (ATCS - now know as the Association of Patrons and Trustees of Catholic Schools [APTCS]); the Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA); and the Irish Episcopal Conference (IECON). From 2016-2019, David was a lecturer and research supervisor on the Professional Masters in Education (Primary) programme and the Certificate in Catholic Religious Studies programme at Hibernia College. From 2016-2019, he also lectured (part-time) on the Bachelor of Religious Education (Post-Primary/BrelED). From 2015-2019, he was appointed as lead coordinator and resource writer for Catholic School Week. In 2018, David worked as a theological researcher; catechetical resource writer; and national coordinator for Catholic schools (primary/post-primary) for the World Meeting of Families 2018 and the papal visit of Pope Francis to Ireland.
In 2020, David was appointed as Programme Chair of the Certificate in Catholic Religious Studies (Part-time) programme and the Certificate in Catholic Religious Studies Supplementary. He currently lectures and supervises research across a number of programmes at the Institute of Education, Dublin City University, namely; Bachelor of Education (Primary) programme; Master of Education programme; the Certificate in Religious Studies (Full-Time) programme; the Certificate in Religious Studies (Part-Time) programme; the Certificate in Catholic Religious Studies Supplementary programme; and the MA in Chaplaincy Studies and Pastoral Work. Modules include: Scripture, Faith and Diversity; Religious Education and the Child; Religious Education in a Plural Age; Introduction to Theology; and Cultural Diversity and Religious Pluralism. In 2021, David received the DCU President's Award for Excellence in Teaching (Distinctive Approaches to Teaching) in recognition of his successful, effective and innovative teaching and learning practices. In recognition of the demonstrable impact and influence that David's professional teaching practice has on colleagues both nationally and internationally as well as his effective approaches to the support of high quality student learning, David achieved the status of Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Authority in accordance with the UK Professional Standards for Teaching and Learning Support in Higher Education. His Ph.D. research, Encounters with Truth: the Hermeneutical Task of Religious Education in the Republic of Ireland (2021), offers an account of the hermeneutical task of religious education that is both theologically and philosophically informed with the view to speaking to denominational, multi-denominational, inter-denominational and non-denominational educational contexts.
In this episode, Dr Elaine Mahon discusses her in-class religious education practice as a primary teacher in a Catholic school in relation to the inclusion of all pupils in Catholic Religious Education.
In this episode, Alan Hynes (formally Acting CEO, St Senan's Education Office, and now CEO, Catholic Education Partnership), and Miriam McCabe (Teaching Principal and Management Advisor, Catholic Primary School Management Association) the role of 'partnership' in the education sector in the Republic of Ireland, and particularly in the Catholic sector.
In this episode, Alan Hynes (formally Acting CEO, St Senan's Education Office, and now CEO, Catholic Education Partnership), and Miriam McCabe (Teaching Principal and Management Advisor, Catholic Primary School Management Association) discuss the importance of ethos in Catholic school and its role as part of the interview process in Catholic primary schools.
In this episode, Ian Corbett (former ACE Teacher Fellow, INTO Intern, and now Primary Languages Advisor PDST) is joined by Dr Cora O'Farrell (Director of Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education, DCU) to discuss his experience using the Grow In Love programme as an early career teacher in Catholic primary schools.
In this episode, Dr Amalee Meehan (Assistant Professor of Religious Education, DCU) and Dr Thomas Carrol (Primary Teacher and Part-Lecturer of Religious Education, MIC) discuss wellbeing and Christian mindfulness in the context of Catholic Education.
In this episode, Dr Marie Griffin (Chairperson, the Catholic Education Partnership) discusses the establishment of the 'Catholic Education Partnership', the organisation's structure, and why its inception is important for Catholic Education in the Republic of Ireland.
In this episode, Dr Daniel O'Connell (Lecturer in Religious Education, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick) discusses the establishment and potential of Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education (GRACE) which is an international research-based partnership between Mary Immaculate College Limerick, Boston College, United States, the University of Notre Dame Fremantle, Australia, and St Mary’s University in Twickenham, London in partnership with OIEC (International Office of Catholic Education).
This episode is the one of four special episodes dedicated to the relationship between LGBTQ+ matters and the philosophy and theology of Catholic education.
In this episode, Dr Seán Henry (Lecturer in Education, Edge Hill University), Dr Sean Whittle (Visiting Research Fellow, St Mary's University; Director, Network for Researchers in Catholic Education), Dr Cora O'Farrell (Director, Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education DCU), discuss this one day conference sponsored by the Network for Researchers in Catholic Education and hosted by the Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education on This episode is the first of four special episodes dedicated to the relationship between LGBTQ+ matters and the philosophy and theology of Catholic education. The conference was the first of its kind in the Republic of Ireland and established a space for supportive and constructive dialogue that places the human person at the centre with the view to meeting the needs of all pupils in our classrooms.
This episode is the second of four special episodes dedicated to the relationship between LGBTQ+ matters and the philosophy and theology of Catholic education.
In this episode, Dr Seán Henry (Lecturer in Education, Edge Hill University), discusses the foundations of Queer theologies. He offers his perspective on everything from the unique way in which the term 'queer' is engaged with by academics in queer theory to the tensions that exist in queer theologies. This episode is the beginning of a conversation on 'queer theologising', there will be a following episode as part of the general podcast series with Seán on what queer theory and queer theologies have to say to the enterprise of education.
This episode is the third of four special episodes dedicated to the relationship between LGBTQ+ matters and the philosophy and theology of Catholic education.
In this episode, Dr Claire Jenkins (University of Cambridge, Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, Senior Fellow) and Mr George White (Religious Education Teacher, St. Paul's Catholic School, Leicester, UK) offer their perspectives, as transgender-Catholics, on Catholic education and the way in which Catholic schools can meet the needs of students experiencing gender dysphoria whilst still authentically living out their ethos.
This episode is the fourth and final episode of four special episodes dedicated to the relationship between LGBTQ+ matters and the philosophy and theology of Catholic education.
In this episode, Dr Seán Henry (Lecturer in Education, Edge Hill University) and Vivek da Silva (Assistant Professor in Religious Education, Dublin City University), in summation of the special series participate in a thought experiment around the question 'What might it mean to 'Queer' Catholic Education and Schooling?'
In this episode, the renowned Irish poet and theologian, Pádraig Ó Tuama engages in a wide-ranging conversation from the potential of a border poll in Northern Ireland to questions of truth, theology, spirituality, and art. Pádraig's work can be accessed via padraigotuama.com (Click Here) and the On Being Poetry Unbound series, which he hosts.
In this episode, Dr. Bernadette Sweetman (Post-doctoral Researcher at the Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education) discusses the importance of Adult Religious Education and Faith Development and her ongoing research as part of the AREFD Project at the MDCCE.
In this episode, Prof Andrew G. McGrady discusses the contribution of Catholic education to the development of people who are capable of living in and building up society towards the common good. He considers the impact of false dichotomies and the likelihood that some manner of citizen assembly will take place on the role of religion, specifically the Roman Catholic Church, in public healthcare and education.
In this episode, Mr Seamus Mulconry (General Secretary, Catholic Primary School Managerial Association) and Mr John Curtis (General Secretary, Joint Managerial Body) discuss the findings of the Genesis Research Report which explores educational stakeholders, particularly parental, perspectives of Catholic education in the Republic of Ireland. The research was conducted by consult firm 'Genesis' and was commissioned by the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association, the Catholic Education Partnership, and the Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools.
In this episode, Jonathan Tiernan (Education Delegate for the Irish Jesuits and their Network of 5 secondary schools and 3 primary schools), discusses the contents of his recently published book which he co-authored with Dr Sean McGraw (Boston College) titled The Politics of Irish Primary Education: Reform in an Era of Secularisation. Jonathan considers the political landscape of Irish Primary education, on-going debates and the potential for a citizen's assembly on the role of religion (i.e. Catholic Church) in education and healthcare, and what future reform of the primary education sector might look like.
In this episode, Prof John Sullivan, (Emeritus Professor, Liverpool Hope University) discusses a range of hidden treasures from the Catholic tradition men and women who, across the centuries and in diverse contexts, have illuminated how Christians can read and respond to the world. In each case the author demonstrates the enduring relevance of their example and wisdom for the philosophy and practice of Catholic education today. These remarkable and inspirational people, from educators to poets and prophets, including Maximus the Confessor, Hildegard of Bingen, Bonaventure, Edith Stein, Elizabeth Jennings, Paulo Freire, Étienne Gilson, Marshall McLuhan and Walter Ong, left a lasting legacy for Catholic education and educators.