Sandra O'Neill

Ms.

Contact Details

Assistant Professor

F339
St Patricks Campus
Drumcondra

T: +353 1 8842361
E: sandra.m.oneill@dcu.ie

Biography

Sandra is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education in DCU's Institute of Education. Prior to her appointment in 2017 she was the National Aistear Coordinator for the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment), managing the ongoing development of the Aistear Síolta Practice Guide and supporting Síolta Aistear mentors located within Childcare Committees, National Voluntary Childcare Organisations and ABC projects across the country.  
In 2008, Sandra was the first Síolta coordinator to be appointed and worked with early years settings and Junior National Schools in Dublin to help them achieve Síolta validation. 
Her research interests include STEM in early childhood education, non-gendered play and children's citizenship and participation. She is currently undertaking doctoral studies in the University of Sheffield 
with a focus on early childhood mathematics, under the supervision of Dr Liz Chesworth and Dr Emma Pearson.

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
2019 'Little changes, big results: the impact of simple changes to early years learning environments'
Sandra O'Neill, Noirin Hayes (2019) 'Little changes, big results: the impact of simple changes to early years learning environments'. International Journal of Early Years Education, 39 (1):64-79 [DOI] [Details]

Other Journals

  Year Publication
2020 'Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom Starts with the Educator – An Exploration of the Use of Digital Tools by EC Undergraduates'
Sandra O'Neill (2020) 'Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom Starts with the Educator – An Exploration of the Use of Digital Tools by EC Undergraduates' Children's Research Digest, 6 (1) :15-17. [Details]
2018 'Technology use in early learning and care - a practice dilemma'
Sandra O'Neill (2018) 'Technology use in early learning and care - a practice dilemma' Childlinks, 2018 (3) :12-17. [Details]
2017 'The National Síolta Aistear Initiative'
Sandra O'Neill, Joanne Roe (2017) 'The National Síolta Aistear Initiative' Education Matters: Ireland's Yearbook of Education, :123-127. [Details]
2016 'Enhancing quality practice to enhance early learning: Strenthening Foundations of Learning'
Noirin Hayes, Sandra O'Neill, Triona Rooney, Emma Byrne-MacNamee (2016) 'Enhancing quality practice to enhance early learning: Strenthening Foundations of Learning' Children's Research Digest, 3 (1) :35-41. [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
2020 30th Annual EECERA Conference (Postponed),
Sandra O'Neill (2020) Exploring Pre-service Educators Perspectives on Technology use in Early Childhood. [Oral Presentation], 30th Annual EECERA Conference (Postponed), Zagreb, Croatia , 07-SEP-20 - 10-SEP-20 [Details]
2019 Providing Nurturing Learning and Care Experiences for the Under 3’s; National Childhood Network,
Sandra O'Neill (2019) Promoting the Rights of the Under 3's in Everyday Practice. [Invited Oral Presentation], Providing Nurturing Learning and Care Experiences for the Under 3’s; National Childhood Network, Athlone, Ireland , 06-APR-19 [Details]
2019 Relationship Matters & What Matters in Early Years Relationships: OMEP Ireland Annual Conference,
Sandra O'Neill (2019) An Exploration of Rights; Supporting Rights of the Under 3's in Everyday Practice. [Invited Oral Presentation], Relationship Matters & What Matters in Early Years Relationships: OMEP Ireland Annual Conference, Cork, Ireland , 09-NOV-19 [Details]
2018 Growing up in the digital environment; Annual conference of the Children’s Research Network,
Sandra O'Neill (2018) Technology in the EC classroom starts with the educator an exploration of the use of digital tools by EC undergrads. [Oral Presentation], Growing up in the digital environment; Annual conference of the Children’s Research Network, Dublin, Ireland , 06-DEC-18 [Details]
2018 Enquiring Minds; Celebrating Creativity and Curiosity In Early Childhood. OMEP Ireland,
Sandra O'Neill, Victoria Monkhouse (2018) Collaborative Community-Based Arts in Early Childhood. [Oral Presentation], Enquiring Minds; Celebrating Creativity and Curiosity In Early Childhood. OMEP Ireland, Cork, Ireland , 28-APR-18 [Details]
2018 Here I am Conference; Kilkenny and Carlow Childcare Committees' Annual Conference,
Sandra O'Neill (2018) Supporting children's emergent interests (Birth- 6 years). [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Here I am Conference; Kilkenny and Carlow Childcare Committees' Annual Conference, Kilkenny, Ireland , 10-NOV-18 [Details]
2017 Quality Inside and Out, Meath CCC,
Sandra O'Neill (2017) The Importance of Documentation & Assessment: 3-6 years. [Invited Oral Presentation], Quality Inside and Out, Meath CCC, Meath, Ireland , 13-DEC-17 [Details]
2017 Right up to 3 Annual Conference,
Sandra O'Neill (2017) Planning and Assessing Using Aistear (Birth-3 years). [Invited Oral Presentation], Right up to 3 Annual Conference, Kilkenny, Ireland , 11-NOV-17 [Details]

Blog

  Year Publication
2020 Choosing suitable apps for pre-school children (Early Childhood Ireland Scéalta blog).
Sandra O'Neill (2020) Choosing suitable apps for pre-school children (Early Childhood Ireland Scéalta blog). Blog [Details]
2020 Technology in early years settings (Early Childhood Ireland Scéalta blog).
Sandra O'Neill (2020) Technology in early years settings (Early Childhood Ireland Scéalta blog). Blog [Details]
2019 Why is maths talk so important? (OMEP Blog Post).
Sandra O'Neill (2019) Why is maths talk so important? (OMEP Blog Post). Blog [Details]

Podcast

  Year Publication
2020 Sweet Pea Podcast, STEM in Early Childhood Education.
Sandra O'Neill (2020) Sweet Pea Podcast, STEM in Early Childhood Education. Podcast [Details]
2019 Sweet Pea Podcast, Technology in Early Childhood.
Sandra O'Neill (2019) Sweet Pea Podcast, Technology in Early Childhood. Podcast [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2020 IOE Staff Research Travel Awards Scheme DCU, Institute of Education

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
OMEP Ireland Member 28-OCT-18 /
Early Childhood STEM Network Founder 01-JUL-19 /
Play Therapy Ireland Certified Practitioner 25-OCT-09 / 25-OCT-13
Children's Research Network Ireland and Northern Ireland Member 18-OCT-18 /

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
Teaching and Learning Working Group Representative School of Language Literacy and Early Childhood Education 2020 / Ongoing
Programme Board Masters of Education (ECE) Board Member 2019 / Ongoing
Faculty Ethics Review Panel Ethics Adviser, School of Language Literacy and Early Childhood Education 2019 / Ongoing
Programme Board Bachelor of Early Childhood Education Board Member 2018 / Ongoing
EC Artist in Residence Initiative (Dublin City Arts Office and Northside Partnership) Steering Commitee Member 2017 / Ongoing

Employment

  Employer Position From / To
NCCA National Aistear Coordinator 01-SEP-16 / 30-OCT-17
Sophia Housing Association Nurturing Centre Manager/ Play Therapist 30-JUN-07 / 31-AUG-09
NCCA Project Worker - Aistear Síolta Practice Guide 01-SEP-15 / 01-JUN-16
Preparing for Life Síolta Coordinator / Quality Mentor 01-SEP-08 / 01-JUN-15

Research Interests

Research interests include STEM in early childhood, emergent and inquiry-based approaches to early learning, technology as a teaching and learning methodology, mathematics in early childhood education and children's citizenship and participation. 

Research Projects

  Title Funder From - To Role Award
Leading and Mentoring for Professional Practice National Forum for Teaching and Learning 01-DEC-19 - 01-JUN-21 Co-PI
Building E-Portfolio Confidence and Competence National Forum for Teaching and Learning 01-DEC-19 - 30-JUN-21 Co-PI
Strengthening Foundations of Learning Atlantic Philanthropies 02-SEP-13 - 31-JUL-15 Quality Mentor

Modules Coordinated

  Term (ID)) Title Link Subject
2020 Early Mathematics Learning EC302Early Mathematics Learning
2020 Technology in Learning EC305Technology in Learning
2020 Professional Practice 4 EC408Professional Practice 4
2020 Partnership in Early Childhood Education EC401Partnership in Early Childhood Education
2020 Transitions and Change in Early Childhood EC404Transitions and Change in Early Childhood
2020 Dissertation 2 and Research Tutorials EC407Dissertation 2 and Research Tutorials
2020 Children's Participation in ECE EC307Children's Participation in ECE