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Professor Dympna Devine


Dympna Devine

Full Professor
School of Education
01 716 7986
University College Dublin, School of Education, Roebuck Castle Belfield Dublin 4


Dympna is Full Professor of Education, where she is Director of the PhD in Children and Youth Studies. She is a founding member of the UCD Childhood and Human Development Research Centre in the Geary Institute. Her specialist field is sociology, with an interest in the social study of childhoods/children's rights and identities, equalities and social justice across home and school. She is a nominee of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs to the National Children's Advisory Council, and an elected member of UCD Governing Authority (2019 - 2025). She was Head of the School of Education from 2014-2019. Dympna's work is informed by a critical social justice perspective and a commitment to education as a key site in the (re)production of children's social and learner identities. She has secured €4.6 million in research funding in her core research areas. She is PI of the first national longitudinal cohort study of primary schooling in Ireland, funded by the NCCA, working with Co-PI Assistant Professor Jennifer Symonds and Co-Investigator Assistant Professor Seaneen Sloan. She is also PI of a longitudinal study of children's lives in primary schools in Sierra Leone: the UCD Safe Learning Study, funded by Concern Worldwide (working with Co-PI Professor Ciaran Sugrue and Co-Investigators Assistant Professor Jennifer Symonds and Assistant Professor Seaneen Sloan). Dympna is internationally recognised for her work in the areas of children's voice and citizenship, and migrant children's identities and experiences across home, school and community. A Fulbright scholar in Social Sciences (2013 - 2014) she engaged in transnational research in the area of migrant children in New York Schools. Her book 'Immigration and Schooling in the Republic of Ireland provides a comprehensive overview of theory, policy and practice in this area. Dympna is co-editor (with Wendy Luttrell, CUNY) of a special inter-disciplinary issue on 'Children and 'value': education in neo-liberal times' published in the journal Children&Society. Other book publications include 'New Managerialism in Education: Commercialisation, Care and Gender (Palgrave) co-authored with Kathleen Lynch and Bernie Grummell. Dympna's doctoral supervision covers areas related to her core research interests in equality and social justice in education and includes migrant/minority ethnic children's everyday lives in key sites of family, school and community (from early years through to secondary schools); faith schooling and children's religious/ethnic identities; children's voice, rights and citizenship; children's learner identities and the intersection between family/home and schooling on children's rights and well-being. She has also worked with PhD students on play in early year settings, children's classed identities in primary school, adult bullying in schools, whole school evaluation in secondary schools, and parental voice and participation in schooling. She has a strong record of mentoring PhD students and been successful in the award of eight (PhD and Post-Doctoral) scholarships through the Irish Research Council and the Dept of Children and Youth Affairs. She also supports her PhD graduates through lead authored publications. Dympna has been the recipient of a Marie Curie Fellowship to NOSEB, the internationally renowned Norwegian Centre for Child Research. She has just completed two European funded projects on Roma/Traveller Children and Youth; and supporting equality in teaching and learning in DEIS primary schools. An additional current project - funded by the Norwegian Research Council focuses on an inter-generational exploration of knowledge, identity and education in coastal communities in five countries. Other European based initiatives include as partner in an EU funded Children's Rights Academic Network (CREAN) and a member of the management committee of the EU COST A19 Action 'Children's Welfare'. She has been invited expert reviewer for the European Social Fund, the Dutch Programme Council for Educational Research and the Croation Scientific Foundation. She has also published in the areas of Gender and Education, School Leadership and international comparative studies of Educational Effectiveness and Teacher pedagogies. A former General Editor of 'Irish Educational Studies' (Routledge/Taylor and Francis) Dympna is invited member of the editorial boards of leading journals in her field including British Journal of Sociology of Education ; Children & Society; Race, Ethnicity and Education; and the journal Childhood. She is reviewer for over 28 international Journals related to her field and has been invited external examiner for PhD theses with a migrant/childhood focus in Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Ireland and the UK. She has also been invited as external examiner to international master and PhD programmes including the M.Phil in Childhood Studies at the Norwegian Centre for Child Research [NOSEB] .


  • Fulbright Scholar Social Sciences
    City University of New York, Urban Education, New York, USA1 Jan 2014 - 1 Aug 2014
  • Marie Curie Research Fellow
    Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norwegian Centre for Child Research, Trondheim, Norway1 Jan 2007 - 1 Aug 2007


  • BEd
    St Patrick's College of Education Drumcondra
  • MEd
    University College Dublin
  • PhD
    University College Dublin


  • English
    Can read, write, speak and understand
  • French
    Can read, write, speak and understand
  • Irish
    Can read, write, speak and understand