Education Team

Dr Eemer Eivers, Education Team Lead

Eemer is Director of the team evaluating Dublin City University’s Futures initiative, and an independent research consultant. Her interests include programme evaluation, early school leaving, and structural aspects of education systems (she insists the latter is much more interesting than it sounds!). She has worked in educational research for over 25 years, and has contributed to significant policy changes affecting children’s lives in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Malta.

Scamp arrived in our house shortly before I was born and lived long enough to see me off to college. Free spirit, escape artist, brilliant footballer, hearing so sharp she could hear a sweet being unwrapped in the next county, robber of meat from the local shop. Infamously escaped our locked house to have a wander round the altar during mass. And of course, me, the mortified youngest, was sent up to catch her. Forgiven, but not forgotten.

Dr Mira Dobutowitsch

Dave Lordan

Dr Rita Melia

Dr Suzanne O’Keeffe

Melatu Uche Okorie

Melatu Uche Okorie

Melatu was born in Enugu, Nigeria and has been living in Ireland since 2006. She has an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies including, Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber & Faber) and The Art of the Glimpse: 100 Irish short stories (Head of Zeus). Her debut collection, This Hostel Life, was published in May, 2018.

Dr Mira Dobutowitsch

Mira Dobutowitsch has a background in psychology and education. She completed her PhD in 2019. This Irish Research Council funded project was a mixed-methods investigation of associations between children’s screen time use and wellbeing, and parents’ strategies for navigating their children’s engagement with digital devices. Mira has worked as an independent researcher, consultant, and data analyst on a number of projects.

Dr Suzanne O’Keeffe

Suzanne lectures in sociology of education and social, personal and health education (SPHE) in the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education at Maynooth University. Suzanne has 10 years teaching experience in a primary school classroom. Her research interests include children and childhood, education, gender and masculinities.

This is me at 4 years of age visiting my grand-aunt in Limerick city. I think I was told to “mind” the toddler on the chair and smile for the photo!

Dave Lordan

Dave is an Irish poet inspired by our various oral, singer-songwriter, and rebel poetry traditions and by resistance to empire, capital, and human domestication. His books have won many awards and nominations and he has been a key figure in radicalising multimedia literature in Ireland over the past two decades. He is a renowned youth educator and works on numerous youth creativity projects, and he often writes of his eventful childhood and from the perspective of the marginalised, undisciplinable child. Listen here to his latest soundscaped story, “Ravelations” (about when Travellers and Labourers in a small Irish town united with New Age Travellers to defy the Gardaí and hold a massive rave together). Click here to watch his powerful meditation on the suicide epidemic, “My Mother Speaks To Me of Suicide.” 

The photo shows me at age 16 in late summer of 1991, at a friend’s “free gaff” party, after which we were all grounded for 1000 years.

Dr Rita Melia

Dr Rita Melia is a lecturer in early childhood education and care at Atlantic Technological University Galway and Mayo campuses. Rita has worked in Early Childhood Education and Care, in practice, research and policy for over thirty years. As an owner /manager of a creche and preschool and as the Reggio Children International representative for Ireland, Rita has been influenced by Loris Malaguzzi theory of the Hundred Languages. Rita was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to Harvard Graduate School of Education under the sponsorship of Professor Howard Gardner (Multiple Intelligences) and Professor Benjamin Mardell (The Pedagogy of Play). As a practitioner, educator and researcher Rita believes in the importance of supporting and enhancing young children’s 21st century skills, of curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, communication through the arts as a right not merely a need. Rita has a variety of national and international experiences which have resulted in her developing relationships and networks which support her in her many areas of interest in Early Childhood Education and Care. Rita`s PhD research is titled

‘My self-image and your interactions’: The influence of the preschool educator’s image of the child as a learner on children’s wellbeing and involvement (nuigalway.ie)

Mol an Óige agus tiocfaidh sí (praise the young and they will flourish).