Biography

Carmel O'Sullivan is a Professor in Education in the School of Education in Trinity College Dublin, and the convenor of the Arts Education Research Group (AERG). She is a member of the Expert Advisory Group for Creative Ireland (Pillar One), and involved in several funded research projects in the areas of Social Drama and Autism Spectrum Disorder, early childhood arts education, and an innovative work readiness programme for young adults who face significant barriers to entering the workplace (Career LEAP). Carmel has particular expertise in the areas of creativity and inclusivity in education, working nationally and internationally with students, academics, practitioners and policy makers from the worlds of education, health, business, and community. She organises an international Summer School in Drama and Theatre in Education each year (M.Ed.), and is a founding member of ADEI (the Association for Drama in Education in Ireland). Carmel is a regularly invited speaker at national and international conferences, and has delivered lectures and workshops in academic and professional institutions worldwide. She has organised numerous national and international seminars, workshops and conferences. Carmel is very active in her local community and has continued to work with children and young people on a weekly basis throughout her professional career.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

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Carmel O'Sulivan and Elaine Clotworthy, 'Social Drama'© for Children and Young People with ASD, Waterford Education CentreFeb 12th, 2020Invited Talk, 2020

Carmel O'Sullivan, Career LEAP: 'Speaking the same language', BUSINESS BRUNCH 'SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE', Introducing Business to the Career L.E.A.P. ModelIFSC, DublinFebruary 15th, 2019Oral Presentation, 2019

Carmel O'Sulivan, 'Social Drama'© for Children and Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Drama Rainbow Summer SchoolBeijing, ChinaAugust 10-17, 2019, 1 - 67ppInvited Talk, 2019

Carmel O'Sullivan, Including children and young people with autism in arts events, run and organised by artists and arts organisations , Events for All. Training for artistsPoetry Ireland, 2019Invited Talk, 2019

Carmel O'Sullivan, Catalina Villanueva Vargas, Erika Piazzoli and Marita Kerin, 'Growing through the cracks: Arts in education in institutional margins', Volume 5, Issue 2, Trinity College Dublin, Custodian , 2019, 1 - 187ppBook, 2019

Carmel O'Sullivan, The Benefits of Drama in the Ethical Education Classroom, Ethical Education Teacher Professional NetworkDublin, IrelandMay 11, 2019, Educate TogetherInvited Talk, 2019

Carmel O'Sullivan, The Importance of Outdoor Learning in 21st Century Education, 'Learning without Walls' Annual Conference Clandeboye Estate, Bangor, County DownOctober 4th, 2019, Northern Ireland Forest Schools Association (NIFSA)Invited Talk, 2019

Carmel O'Sulivan, Creative Pedagogy for 21st Century Teaching and Learning , Learning without WallsClandeboye Estate, Co. DownMay 14th, 2018Invited Talk, 2018

Carmel O'Sullivan, Enlivening teaching and learning in higher education , Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 14 December, 2018, RCSI School of Nursing and MidwiferyInvited Talk, 2018

Carmel O'Sullivan, Strategies for staff working with students with ASD in Higher Education , Autism Campus AwarenessSligo IT7th Nov, 2018Invited Talk, 2018

Carmel O'Sullivan, A training day on Social Drama for teachers of children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Education Centre, PortlaoisMarch, 2018, DES (Special Education Support Service)Invited Talk, 2018

Carmel O'Sullivan and Deirdre Rogers, All Heads Together. A ReCreate resource for artists and teachers working in inclusive educational settings with reuse materials, Dublin, Ireland, ReCreate Ireland, 2018, 1 - 65ppBook, 2018

Carmel O'Sullivan, Jennifer Symonds and Jos Akkermans, Career LEAP - Work Readiness Programme, 3rd Youth Employability InitiativeHilton Hotel, Kilmainham, DublinFebruary 9th , 2017, Department of Children and Youth AffairsInvited Talk, 2017

Carmel O'Sullivan and Elaine Clotworthy, 'Social Drama' for Children and Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Drumcondra Education Centre30th Sept, 2017, IATSE (Irish Association of Teachers in Special Education)Invited Talk, 2017

Carmel O'Sullivan and Elaine Clotworthy, 'Social Drama' for Children and Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Waterford Education CentreOct 21st, 2017, IATSE (Irish Association of Teachers in Special Education)Invited Talk, 2017

Shane Bergin Marita Kerin, Carmel O'Sullivan, Kathleen Fitzpatrick and Diarmaid O'Donovan , 'Cross curricular teaching and learning through the arts', (Teaching Council of Ireland research webinar series, http://www.teachingcouncil.ie/en/Research/Research-Webinars/), 2017, -Digital research resource production, 2017

Carmel O'Sullivan and Deirdre Rodgers, Reuse Materials in Inclusive Art Classrooms and Settings, 21st-23rd May 2017, 2017, Russborough, Co Wicklow, CPD training organised by TCD, ReCreate and RussboroughMeetings /Conferences Organised, 2017

Carmel O'Sullivan, Elaine Clotworthy and Sarah Clarke, Social Drama for Children and Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Special Education Support Service (DES)Portlaoise Education Centre23rd March, 2017, 1-66ppInvited Talk, 2017

Carmel O'Sullivan, A master class in understanding creativity and imagination and how to harness their power in early childhood education settings, Where the Imaginative Things AreMarino Institute of Education4th November, 2017, Dublin City Childcare CommitteeInvited Talk, 2017

Carmel O'Sullivan, Lesley Conroy, Fiona Condon and Elaine Clotworthy, 'The Greenwood Forest - drama programme for children with ASD', Culture Night, Sept 22nd, Russborough, Co Wicklow, 2017, -Theatre Production, 2017

Carmel O'Sullivan, Exploring Quality in Chinese Early Childhood Education Through Drama , Dublin29th November, 2017, Irish Chinese Cultural Society (ICCS)Invited Talk, 2017

Carmel O'Sullivan, Heads UP, Creativity through Reuse and Repurposing of Surplus Materials, Constellations Series (2016-17)Trinity Long Room HubDec 16th, 2016, Creative Arts Practice Research ThemeInvited Talk, 2016

Carmel O'Sullivan, A longitudinal study of the impact of O'Sullivan's 'Social Drama' Model with Children and Young People with Autism in Ireland. VSAInternational, The Kennedy Centre, Washington. Online magazine, April edition 2016. Available at: https://vsainternational.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/a-longitudinal-study-of-the-impact-of-osullivans-social-drama-model-with-children-and-young-people-with-autism-in-ireland/, 2016Journal Article, 2016

Carmel O'Sullivan, 'Social Drama' as an artistic engagement for children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Medical Humanities research themeTrinity Long Room Hub18 May, 2016Invited Talk, 2016

Carmel O'Sullivan, Social Drama for Children and Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Special Education Support ServicePortlaoise Education CentreJanuary 29th, 2016Invited Talk, 2016

Carmel O'Sullivan, Social Drama and Young People with ASDPortlaois Education Centre15 April, 2015, DES (Department of Education and Skills)Invited Talk, 2015

Carmel O'Sullivan and Noirin Hayes, Artful Dodgers: An arts education research project in early education settings, Space Invaders: An Early Years Arts Seminar & Festival for Children, Families, Artists and the Early Years SectorFarmleigh Estate, Dublin9th & 10th May 2015, edited by Julie Clarke, Fingal County Council , 2015Conference Paper, 2015

Carmel O'Sullivan, 'Social Drama' in the Education of Children and Young People with Autism Spectrum DisorderIT Sligo23 - 24 February, 2015, HSE (Health Services Executive)Invited Talk, 2015

Elaine Clotworthy and Carmel O'Sullivan, Drama to increase levels of concentration in children with ADHD, InTouch, Issue 156, November, 2015, p51-52Journal Article, 2015

Lawlor, Michelle and O'Sullivan, Carmel, Recognising the Montessori Degree? A comparison between the Montessori curriculum and the primary school curriculum and approaches to initial teacher education in Ireland, InTouch, March, 2014, p36 - 37Journal Article, 2014

Carmel O'Sullivan, 'Social Drama' and Autism Spectrum Disorder, Research seminar and practical workshopIoannina, Greece15 March, 2014, The Municipal and Regional Theatre of Ioannina, 1 - 97ppInvited Talk, 2014

Carmel O'Sullivan, Towards Inclusive Youth Theatre Practice: Strategies to include young people with an autistic spectrum disorder , Managing Disabilities in Youth TheatreDublin City Council Arts Office: The LabMarch 31, 2012, National Association of Youth Drama (NAYD), 1 - 17ppInvited Talk, 2012

Owens, Alice and O'Sullivan, Carmel, Museum visits - maximise value with drama, InTouch, May, 2012, p46 - 47Journal Article, 2012

Carmel O'Sullivan, Lorraine Boran and David Delany, The Role of Drama in Developing Social Attribution Abilities in Children on the Autistic Spectrum, 'Examining theory and practice in inclusive education'Trinity College DublinApril 25, 2012Conference Paper, 2012

Carmel O'Sullivan, Using creative approaches in the social education of children and young people with an autistic spectrum disorder., Middletown Centre for Autism, Armagh, Northern IrelandMay 16, 2012Invited Talk, 2012

Carmel O'Sullivan, Using Applied Drama in Research, Advanced Research Methods - Complementary Art and Science Research Mary Immaculate College, Limerick21 April 2012, 2012Oral Presentation, 2012

O'Sullivan, C. , Using Drama in the Education of Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs, Church of Ireland College of EducationApril, 2011Invited Talk, 2011

O'Sullivan, C. , Educational Drama and Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Middletown Centre for Autism, Armagh, Northern IrelandMay, 2011Invited Talk, 2011

Carmel O'Sullivan, Communicate with Conviction, Commitment and Control, Staff development seminar and workshopDundalk4 March, 2011, Dundalk Institute of TechnologyInvited Talk, 2011

O'Sullivan, C. , Using Drama in Education with Children and Young People with Asperger's Syndrome, Marino Institute of EducationFebruary, 2011, ADEI (Association for Drama in Education in Ireland)Invited Talk, 2011

O'Sullivan, C. , Working with Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Middletown Centre for Autism, Armagh, Northern IrelandMay, 2010Invited Talk, 2010

Delany, D., O'Sullivan, C. and Boran, L., Brain Training in Asperger's Syndrome , Common Themes: Strategies for Managing Co-occurring Conditions. Spectrum Alliance Conference, Red Cow Hotel, Dublin16th October , 2010Invited Talk, 2010

O'Sullivan, C. , Social Skills Education through Drama, Aspire National ConferenceNational College of Ireland, Dublin 1October, 2009, Asperger Syndrome Association of IrelandInvited Talk, 2009

Carmel O'Sullivan, Using and protecting your voice when teaching, Staff development seminar and workshopGalway Mayo Institute of Technology26 February, 2009Invited Talk, 2009

O'Sullivan, C. , Using Drama in the English Classroom, The Russell McKay Memorial LectureTrinity College DublinJuly , 2009, English Matters, European Summer SchoolInvited Talk, 2009

O'Sullivan, C. , Cúrsa Drámaíocht san Oideachas do Pháistí le Riachtanais Speisialta, MuintearasTír an Fhia, Co. na GaillimheOctober, 2008Invited Talk, 2008

O'Sullivan, C. , Communicate with Conviction, Commitment and Control [Opening address], AISHE (All Ireland Society for Higher Education) National ConferenceNational University of Ireland, MaynoothAugust, 2007Invited Talk, 2007

O'Sullivan, C. , An Dramaíocht agus an Ghaeilge. A two-day training course for the national co-ordinators of the Second Level Support Service (Irish), Trinity College DublinSeptember, 2007Invited Talk, 2007

O'Sullivan, C. , Opening address, Engaging Pedagogy Griffith College, DublinSeptember, 2007Invited Talk, 2007

O'Sullivan, C. , Good Buzz Bad Buzz! , Theatre in education presentation, National Conference on JoyridingDublinNovember, 2006Invited Talk, 2006

O'Sullivan, C. , Dorothy Heathcote's Frame Distancing in Drama, PanHellenic Association for Drama in EducationAthens, GreeceDecember, 2005Invited Talk, 2005

O'Sullivan, C. , Using Theatre to Empower Homeless Youth. A series of workshops with the Simon Community, Belfast FoyerJanuary, March, May, 2004Invited Talk, 2004

Carmel O'Sullivan, Drama is for everyone - or is it?, Teaching English, Summer , 2004Journal Article, 2004

Arts Education (Drama) Volume 1 in, editor(s)NCCA , Curriculum Guidelines for Teachers of Students with Moderate General Learning Disabilities, Dublin, The Stationery Office, 2003, [Carmel O'Sullivan, Margaret Leahy, Mary Howard and Mary Corr]Book Chapter, 2003

Kehoe, E. and O' Sullivan, C., Taste the Forbidden Fruit. Drama in Education as a Teaching and Learning Methodology to Increase Comprehension in Reading, DramaTimes, 3, (1), 2003, p1 - 9Journal Article, 2003

Arts Education (Drama) Volume 3 in, editor(s)NCCA , Curriculum Guidelines for Teachers of Students with Severe and Profound General Learning Disabilities, Dublin, The Stationery Office, 2003, [Carmel O'Sullivan, Margaret Leahy, Mary Howard and Mary Corr]Book Chapter, 2003

Arts Education (Drama) Volume 2 in, editor(s)NCCA , Curriculum Guidelines for Teachers of Students with Mild General Learning Disabilities, Dublin, The Stationery Office, 2003, [Carmel O'Sullivan, Margaret Leahy, Mary Howard and Mary Corr]Book Chapter, 2003

O'Sullivan, C., The Shadow: Using Drama in Education in the Exploration of Poetry, DramaTimes, 2, (3), 2002, p6 - 9Journal Article, 2002

Prejudice in Practice in, editor(s)Mary Gannon , Changing Perspectives. Cultural Values, Diversity and Equality in Ireland and the Wider World. A Resource for Civic, Social and Political Education, CDVEC Curriculum Development Unit, 2002, pp40 - 44, [O'Sullivan, C.]Book Chapter, 2002

Leahy, M. and O'Sullivan, C., Review of Playing betwixt and between. IDEA 2001DramaTimes, 2, (2), 2001Review, 2001

Sullivan, C., Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences and a Constructive Alternative, DramaTimes, 2, (1), 2001Review, 2001

O'Sullivan, C. , Drama and Conflict Resolution, Centre for Drama in Education, Mostar, Bosnia HerzegovinaOctober, 2001Invited Talk, 2001

O' Sullivan, C., Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences and a Constructive Alternative, DramaTimes, 2, (1), 2001, p1 - 5Journal Article, 2001

Clarke, S. and O'Sullivan, C., Sleeping Beauty. Using Drama with young children, DramaTimes, 2, (3), 2001, p14 - 18Journal Article, 2001

O' Sullivan, C., Review of Hamlet and the Baker's Son. My Life in Theatre and PoliticsYouth Drama Ireland, (4), 2001, p29Review, 2001

O'Sullivan, C. , Drama and literacy with second language learners, Women's College, Dubai, United Arab EmiratesMarch, 2001Invited Talk, 2001

O'Sullivan, C., Doing Drama - Why Bother?, Astir, Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland, 22, (5), 2000, p16 - 17Journal Article, 2000

O'Sullivan, C., Doing Drama - Why Bother?, InTouch, Irish National Teachers' Organisation, (10), 1999, p20 - 21Journal Article, 1999

O' Sullivan, C., Development of Truth in Performance, The AESDaily (Theatre Festival Newspaper, Canada), (2), 1997, p7 - 15Journal Article, 1997

O' Sullivan, C., Review of Theatre of the OppressedLondon Drama Newsletter, 92, 1997Review, 1997

O' Sullivan, C., Is There a Secret of Success?, The AESDaily (Theatre Festival Newspaper, Canada), 1, 1997, p24 - 29Journal Article, 1997

O'Sullivan, C. , The use of drama and theatre in education to explore human rights [Keynote address], GERFEC's International Conference on Education and Human RightsStrasbourg, FranceApril, 1995Invited Talk, 1995

Research Expertise

    • Title
      • Career LEAP (Local Employment Action Partnership) - Phase 3
    • Summary
      • The research underpinning the Career LEAP integrated model of service delivery highlights key findings in the area of youth services and education (O'Sullivan, Symonds & Akkermans, 2018). Career LEAP has achieved over 90% success rate to date working with local young people (17-25 years old) in helping them secure sustained employment and/or access to formal education and apprenticeships. This phase of the research project will examine the impact of the Career LEAP model with those who are long term unemployed (26-50 year olds). This older age group is being investigated based on a desire to understand the cycle connected to the role of parents and family members in inclusive labour activation strategies.
    • Funding Agency
      • City of Dublin Education and Training Board, North East Inner City Taoiseach's Taskforce (NEIC)
    • Date From
      • Jan 2019
    • Date To
      • Dec 2020

     

    • Title
      • Level Up: Enhancing socially disadvantaged young people's career, college and work readiness through a school-based training programme
    • Summary
      • Level Up is a school based psychosocial skills training programme for 16 - 18-year olds who are preparing for the school-to-work (STW) transition. The programme design is informed by the occupational and social developmental psychology of career and achievement motivation, identity development, work-readiness and resilience. On the programme, young people enhance their competencies through social cognitive learning, active learning, drama and stress inoculation. Level Up is the senior school companion to the training programme Career Leap for young adults.
    • Funding Agency
      • University College Dublin
    • Date From
      • April 2017
    • Date To
      • Sept 2019

     

    • Title
      • Mapping of Whole Child Development Pedagogies and Models in Western Europe and North America
    • Summary
      • This study involves a mapping of pedagogical and assessment initiatives, actors, and change in support of whole child development in 8 Western European countries and in North America. A whole child development (WCD) approach aims to promote multiple interconnected aspects of human growth including cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and talent development. This study covers middle childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood, and aims to identify the nature and the scope of current efforts to achieve WCD in schools and other settings, such as youth clubs, service learning community-based projects, outdoor education, and internships for young people. The domains of WCD include physical and emotional health and safety; resilience; artistic and creative development; spiritual development; positive youth development; engagement and connectedness; academic challenge and learning; career and college readiness. This study is being led by the American Institutes for Research (AIR).
    • Funding Agency
      • The Porticus Foundation
    • Date From
      • February 2017
    • Date To
      • August 2017

     

    • Title
      • 'All Heads Together': Working through the visual arts to protect our environment
    • Summary
      • This research and development project, commissioned by ReCreate and funded by the EPA, will respond to the data from an earlier study ('Heads UP') by developing and evaluating a set of best practice guidelines and a detailed practice manual, concentrating on artistic processes not templates in visual arts education. 
In addition, a series of specialist CPD training modules for artists, teachers, early years educators, and special needs assistants working in inclusive educational settings with reuse materials will be developed, trialed and evaluated. ReCreate is a social enterprise which makes art materials and educational supplies available to all sectors of society for creative reuse, through salvaging clean reuseable materials from business which would otherwise be sent to landfill.
    • Funding Agency
      • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • Date From
      • Jan 2017
    • Date To
      • June 2018

     

    • Title
      • Career LEAP (Local Employment Action Partnership) - Phase 2
    • Summary
      • Following the successful completion of a pilot study (2015-2016) which highlighted key findings in the area of youth services and education, and resulted in the development of comprehensive training manuals for participants and trainers in the area of work readiness, in this main study we aim to take the learning from the pilot project and evaluate the impact of the Career LEAP programme on young adult (18-24 year-old) unemployed job seekers, their parents/partners/friends, and mentors in local businesses, and assess the impact of a substantial 'train the trainers' education component.
    • Funding Agency
      • CDETB (City of Dublin Education and Training Board)
    • Date From
      • May 2017
    • Date To
      • April 2018

     

    • Title
      • Exploring the generalisability of the 'Social Drama' model
    • Summary
      • This study aims to address a key criticism in the literature on disability and autism studies which report that while many social skills interventions for children and young adults have been created and implemented, there are concerns surrounding the generalisability of these skills to other environments. Research has shown that it is difficult for people with ASD to generalise skills from one environment to another and that for positive life outcomes and employability, generalisability of social skills is crucial. Data from phases 1-3 of the longitudinal drama and autism social skills study suggest a positive correlation between attending the programme and participants' social skills development. Using a quasi-ethnographic research approach, this study aims to examine the generalisability of the social skills developed in O'Sullivan's Social Drama model to environments outside of the drama classroom.
    • Funding Agency
      • Dormant Accounts Fund (Measure 7 - support for young people with disabilities)
    • Date From
      • 2016
    • Date To
      • 2018

     

    • Title
      • 'Heads Up': Achieving creative and social inclusion through reuse materials
    • Summary
      • 'Heads-Up' is designed to facilitate new avenues of communication, inclusion and collaboration through the arts using surplus materials from manufacturing industries. It aims to encourage a deeper understanding of social and educational inclusion where children and young people with different learning abilities are working creatively side by side to demonstrate that there is no 'right' way to work artistically. Using an 'artist in residence' model, 18 schools and community based inclusive educational settings throughout Ireland will explore the potential of introducing teachers, facilitators, participants and their parents to reuse materials. The workshops will be facilitated by artists using clean, high quality materials from ReCreate that have been salvaged from business. As part of their mission to create a greener environment, ReCreate have commissioned this study to explore the impact of creative reuse of materials in socially inclusive settings.
    • Funding Agency
      • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Date From
      • 2016
    • Date To
      • 2017

     

    • Title
      • 'The Drummer and the Goalkeeper'
    • Summary
      • Consultant to a feature length movie written and directed by Nick Kelly. 'The Drummer and the Goalkeeper' is the story of an unlikely friendship between a 25-year-old rock'n'roll party loving young man with bipolar disorder who revels in rejecting society's rules, and a 17-year-old goalkeeper who suffers from Asperger Syndrome and yearns to fit in.
    • Funding Agency
      • The Irish Film Board (Catalyst Scheme)
    • Date From
      • 2016
    • Date To
      • 2016

     

    • Title
      • Career LEAP (Local Employment Action Partnership)
    • Summary
      • This pilot study is a collaborative partnership between community youth organisations, over 20 members of the Business in the Community (BITC) business network operating in the docklands area, and research partners. Adapting the DIEAC framework, it aims to design, implement and evaluate a unique 'work readiness' programme to reduce barriers to training and employment for hard to reach 18-24 year olds in the north inner city. Using a collaborative approach, this study will draw from research, participants' individual needs, and the expertise of large businesses to create and evaluate an innovative model of 'work readiness'.
    • Funding Agency
      • CDETB; Dept of Children and Youth Affairs; participating businesses
    • Date From
      • Dec 2015
    • Date To
      • Feb 2017

     

    • Title
      • Artful Dodgers (Phase 3): Working in partnership with parents
    • Summary
      • This study aims to explore the impact of a mentoring programme with parents of the young children who participated in earlier phases of the Artful Dodger's research programme. It involves working with parents to introduce them to new and creative forms of engagement in arts practices. It aims to examine the efficacy of an artistic model of continuous professional development in enhancing parents' knowledge of the arts, and increase their active participation and engagement through the arts with their early years children in their home settings.
    • Funding Agency
      • Arts Office, Fingal County Council and Arts Education Research Group (AERG), TCD
    • Date From
      • 2015
    • Date To
      • 2017

     

    • Title
      • 'Social Drama©'
    • Summary
      • To disseminate the results from a longitudinal research study examining the impact of a new drama based approach to developing social skills called 'Social Drama©', developed in the School of Education in association with Aspire.
    • Funding Agency
      • ASPIRE (Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland) and Arts Education Research Group (TCD)
    • Date From
      • 2015
    • Date To
      • 2017

     

    • Title
      • Youth Theatre: Context, Research and Practice
    • Summary
      • The Arts Education Research Group (AERG) in the School of Education, Trinity College, and the National Association for Youth Drama (NAYD) have established a research partnership to explore youth theatre practice in Ireland. NAYD supports the development of youth theatre in Ireland and works in partnership with local authorities, youth services, theatres, arts centres, organisations and individuals. NAYD is committed to conducting research that investigates youth theatre practice and explores its impact on the artistic, social and personal development of the young person. In order to develop youth theatre research in an academically rigorous manner, the aim of this study is to conduct an exhaustive literature review to establish the current situation in terms of youth theatre practice and research. There appears to be an absence of peer reviewed published research specific to this sector. In phase 1 of the study, the School of Education and NAYD aim to examine the existing, relevant literature in this field and lay the groundwork for future research.
    • Funding Agency
      • Irish Research Council
    • Date From
      • May 2015
    • Date To
      • May 2017

     

    • Title
      • Sub-types in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Summary
      • The data from an ongoing large-scale longitudinal research project involving the use of educational drama in the social skills education and development of children and young people with an ASD, support compelling evidence for the existence of 12 sub-types across the high functioning end of the autism spectrum. This study aims to examine the implications of this data in terms of extending existing knowledge on how to communicate, interact with and support children and young people who represent different sub-types on the autism spectrum. The development and exploration of these new sub-types holds considerable potential for changes in policy, practice and future research in the field.
    • Funding Agency
      • ASPIRE (Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland); National Lottery
    • Date From
      • 2013
    • Date To
      • 2017

     

    • Title
      • Artful Dodgers (Phase 2): A co-mentoring programme for early years educators working in partnership with two artists
    • Summary
      • Project Aims: . To deliver a co-mentoring programme between the early years educators in two community crèches and two artists, where the focus is on 'artistic practice'. . To examine whether Artful Dodgers as a model that includes 'the experiential' in Phase One and 'co-mentoring' in Phase Two, can sustain arts practices in early years settings. . To examine the efficacy of an artistic model of continuous professional development in enhancing early years educators' knowledge of the arts, and in their abilities to initiate a change in their practice and increase engagement with the arts in their childcare settings.
    • Funding Agency
      • Arts Office Fingal County Council and the Arts Education Research Group (TCD)
    • Date From
      • 2014
    • Date To
      • 2015

     

    • Title
      • Artful Dodgers (Phase 1): an early years music and visual arts programme for children aged 3-5 years
    • Summary
      • . To explore the impact of an artist in residence model that works through two arts forms with the children and Early Years Educators in two community childcare services. 'An artist in residence model' will be adopted where two artists will be located in early childhood care services, delivering integrated music and visual arts workshops to children aged between 3-5 years. The study aims to examine the impact of the arts on the development of early literacy and numeracy practices. Through observing the artists in residence, it is intended that the Early Years Educators will develop a strong foundation in music and the visual arts and be equipped with the skills to embed these arts practices in their services once the arts programme is finished.
    • Funding Agency
      • Arts Office Fingal County Council and Fingal County Childcare Committee
    • Date From
      • 2013
    • Date To
      • 2014

     

    • Title
      • The Wonder Project - An early years arts education programme for Traveller mothers and their children
    • Summary
      • Fingal County Council Arts Office, Fingal Traveller Organisation, community artists and the School of Education Arts Education Research Group, aim to pilot a unique Early Years Arts programme for Traveller children and their mothers living in North County Dublin. The programme will introduce young children (5 months to 3.5 years) and their mothers to a quality arts experience, primarily through the media of Music and Visual Arts. Strand One will be developed as an 'Artist Residency Model for Arts Development and Parental Involvement', and will involve the use of the DIEAC Framework in its design, implementation and evaluation. The study aims to examines the role of the arts in engaging mothers with their young children, and encourages them to practice the arts in their home, so that their children become regularly exposed to arts experiences.
    • Funding Agency
      • Fingal County Council Childcare Committee
    • Date From
      • 2012
    • Date To
      • 2013

     

    • Title
      • The DIEAC Framework (Design, Implement and Evaluate Arts in Context)
    • Summary
      • In response to the diversity and significance of collaborative arts practices in a range of social and community contexts, the School of Education in partnership with Create (National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts in Social and Community Contexts) and the Arts Council, propose to research and develop the DIEAC framework (conceived by Carmel O'Sullivan and Sarah Tuck). This framework is proposed on the basis of providing an adaptive and flexible tool for designing, implementing and evaluating arts in context (DIEAC). Existing guidelines and models mainly cater either for project planning or retrospective evaluation. This forward-looking framework is predicated on the basis of providing a holistic approach to artists working in social and community contexts. The DIEAC framework will utilise the Arts Council's Artist in the Community Scheme, managed by Create, as the source material for the research enquiry.
    • Funding Agency
      • Create, The Arts Council and the Arts Education Research Group (TCD)
    • Date From
      • 2012
    • Date To
      • 2015

     

    • Title
      • Social skills education through drama for children and young people on the autism spectrum
    • Summary
      • Asperger Syndrome (AS) is a pervasive developmental disorder, which most researchers feel falls at the higher-functioning end of the Autistic Spectrum. Individuals with AS can experience significant difficulties with social interaction and communication, flexible thinking, and imaginative play. People with the syndrome are often characterised by an impairment in social interaction as well as stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests, and activities. There is no known treatment that has any effect on the basic impairments underlying Asperger Syndrome, but challenges can be diminished by appropriate management and education. The prime motivation for this research project came from the realisation that although it is widely recognised that young people with Asperger Syndrome lack the ability to empathise with other people, there is little research on how to help them develop this ability, as most literature in the field focuses on the outcome rather than the process: on methods to enable children achieve social skills by imitating the 'correct' (acceptable) behaviours, rather than helping them decode the images they see and understand the meanings below the surface. This project aims to investigate whether the sustained use of an integrated creative arts approach with specific focus on the use of drama in education will lead to a more successful social, personal, emotional and cognitive education of young people with AS. It aims to bring about a greater understanding of what it means to live with AS and the implications on one's life.
    • Funding Agency
      • ASPIRE (Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland); National Lottery funding
    • Date From
      • 2009
    • Date To
      • 2012

     

    • Title
      • Integrated Executive Function (IEF) Training
    • Summary
      • This study is investigating the effects of a novel form of brain training with children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is a collaborative study between researchers in Trinity College, DCU and ASPIRE, and is the first of its kind to take place in Ireland.
    • Funding Agency
      • ASPIRE (Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland)
    • Date From
      • 2009
    • Date To
      • 2012

     

    • Title
      • 'Corduroy' - a short film based on a young adult with high functioning autism
    • Summary
      • Consultant to a short film based on the life of a young adult with high functioning autism (written and directed by Hugh O'Connor). 'Corduroy' was selected for competition at the 60th Berlin Film Festival (2010) and at the Dublin Film Festival (2010).
    • Funding Agency
      • Irish Film Board
    • Date From
      • 2009
    • Date To
      • 2010

     

    • Title
      • Raising student and public awareness of Ireland's roles and responsibilities towards developing countries
    • Summary
      • Collaboration between the Schools of Economics and Education
    • Funding Agency
      • Dept. of Foreign Affairs/Irish Aid joint funded project
    • Date From
      • 2008
    • Date To
      • 2011

     

    • Title
      • Global Development through Education: Enhancing Teacher Education and Educational Research through International Co-operation
    • Summary
      • 13 collaborating HE institutions in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Uganda and Lesotho
    • Funding Agency
      • The Programme of Strategic Cooperation between Irish Aid and Higher Education Institutions
    • Date From
      • 2007
    • Date To
      • 2011

     

    • Title
      • Asperger Syndrome: A Practical Guide for Parents, Young People, Teachers and Other Professionals
    • Summary
      • This project was set up to research and create an educational DVD which has been distributed to every school in Ireland, and also to parents, professionals and other carers of young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) nationally and internationally. It features interviews with key personnel working in multidisciplinary teams to support children and young people with an ASD. Special features include video footage of the Drama in Education social skills education programme.
    • Funding Agency
      • Department of Education and Science, ASPIRE, School of Education (TCD) and AVMS (TCD)
    • Date From
      • 2007
    • Date To
      • 2009

     

    • Title
      • 'Good Buzz - Bad Buzz'
    • Summary
      • This theatre in education performance was researched and devised to launch the Task Force Report on Joyriding and raise awareness of the potential role of drama and theatre in education as a creative and educational tool to stimulate debate and discussion about issues of youth joyriding nationally.
    • Funding Agency
      • Blue Drum: The Government Arts Specialist Support Agency
    • Date From
      • 2006
    • Date To
      • 2006

     

    • Title
      • The role of drama in language development and social disadvantage
    • Funding Agency
      • National Children's Strategy (Office for the Minister of Children)
    • Date From
      • 2004
    • Date To
      • 2008

     

    • Title
      • The use of Drama in Education in the holistic education of young people with Asperger Syndrome
    • Funding Agency
      • Dormant Accounts Fund, The Ireland Fund, Dublin Bus and the Asperger Syndrome Association
    • Date From
      • 2004
    • Date To
      • 2009

     

    • Title
      • Schoolscape@future (lead partner)
    • Summary
      • This EU Minerva Project investigated a vision for the 21st Century School in which ICT is integrated into ICT practice in schools. Through working with successful schools and industrial experts, the project identified examples of innovative practice in the three member countries (Ireland, UK, and Portugal). A database of best practice was prepared using "networked knowledge" between teachers, researchers and industry in order to create teacher briefing packs which contain new models of practice for school teachers as well as a series of case studies which benefit teachers, researchers, teacher trainers and learners across Europe.
    • Funding Agency
      • EU Minerva Open and Distance Learning Initiative
    • Date From
      • 2001
    • Date To
      • 2004

Arts and health; Arts in Education; Asperger Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder; AUTISM SPECTRUM; Dance Education; Drama and theatre in education; Early Years Education; Higher Education; Special Education

Publications and Further Research Outputs

    Trinity Research and Innovation Societal Impact AwardDec 2019

    Career LEAP was nominated for a Chambers Ireland CSR Award as part of A&L Goodbody's 'Step Up Community' programmeSept 2019

    Nominated for a QS Reimagine Education awardOctober 2018

    An article we wrote about our Career LEAP programme was shortlisted for the 2018 British Educational Research Association Editors' Choice Award for articles published in its Review of Education journal.August 2018

    Shortlisted for The Registrar's Civic Engagement Award 2018 for Career LEAP in recognition of outstanding engagement with societyApril 2018

    Our 'Heads Up' research project received an Allianz Business to Arts Award in 2017 for the best Community Arts project (ReCreate, EPA and TCD)5th Sept 2017

    Nominated as a 'Changemaker' by Ashoka for contributing to social change across the countryJuly 2017

    Nominated and won a community service award from Dublin Bus for our work on Social Drama with people with autism2009

    I received one of only two major awards for postgraduate study granted by the Irish Arts Council in 1993.1994

Expert Advisory Group Member on Pillar 1 of the Creative Ireland Programme (Dept of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dept of Education, and the Dept of Children and Youth Affairs)2018 – 2021

ETAI (Encountering the Arts Ireland)2012 – To date

AISHE (All Ireland Society for Higher Education)2005 – to date

ADEI (Association for Drama in Education in Ireland): Founding member and Chairperson (1999 to 2009)1999 – to date

ATE (Association for Teachers of English)1998 – 2008

ND (National Drama, UK)1997 – to date

IDEA (International Association for Drama and Theatre in Education): member of the Executive Committee (1998-2004); secretary to the Accountancy Committee (1998-2004); member of the International Advisory Committee (2005-2007)1995 – to date

NATD (National Association for the Teaching of Drama), UK: National Publicity Officer (1995-'98); National Conference Officer (1996-'98); member of international editorial advisory committee (2004 to date)1993 – to date

Youth Theatre Ireland (formerly the National Association of Youth Drama - NAYD)1993 – to date

External Examiner, Newman University, Birmingham, UK2020-2023

Invited member of the Expert Advisory Group on Pillar 1 of the Creative Ireland Programme, for the Dept of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dept of Education, and the Dept of Children and Youth Affairs.2018-2021

Visiting research professor to East China Normal University (ECNU), Shanghai2018

External examiner for University College Cork (2014-2016) - Teaching and Learning in Higher Education2014-2016

External expert on the validation panel for the PG Certificate in Creative and Cultural Education, Edge Hill University, Liverpool, UK2014

Member of academic advisory committee for IDIERI (the International Drama in Education Research Institute)2012

External examiner for St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra (2011-2014)2011 - 2014

External examiner in the School of Social Studies, DIT (2011-2014; 2000-2003)2011 to 2014

Member of the Academic Board of IICP (Institute of Integrated Counselling and Psychotherapy)2010 - 2012

Member of Accredited Programmes Working Group for NAIRTL (National Academy for Integrated Research in Teaching and Learning)2008 to 2010

Academic development sessions for teaching staff in several Higher Education institutions on effective communication skills for teaching and learning in higher education2007 to date

Special Interest Group convenor for Drama and Special Needs Education for IDEA (International Drama, Theatre and Education Association)2006 to date

External examiner for the Institute of Education, University of Warwick (2006-2009)2006 to 2009

Member of HETAC validation panel for a postgraduate programme on Teaching and Learning at Griffith College Dublin (2008) and the BA in Humanities at Carlow College (2006).2006 to 2008

Member of international academic advisory committees: IDEA (International Drama, Theatre and Education Association) 6th World Congress in Hong Kong; 7th IDIERI conference (International Drama in Education Research Institute).2005 to date

Member of the international editorial advisory committee for five peer reviewed journals: RIDE (Research in Drama Education) (2005 to date); the Journal for Drama in Education (2004 to date); Drama Research - International Journal of Drama in Education (2011 to date); the Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy (2013 to date); and Applied Theatre Research (2014 to date).2004 to date

Member of the Peer Review Group of St. Patrick's College of Education (Quality Assurance Programme, Irish Universities Quality Board)2004

External examiner for the Cork School of Music, CIT (2003-2008)2003 to 2008

Commissioned writer for the NCCA (National Guidelines on the use of Drama in Education for students with Mild, Moderate and Severe and Profound General Learning Disabilities)2000 to 2002

Chairperson of ADEI (Association for Drama in Education in Ireland)1999 to 2009

Adjudication of Drama and Theatre festivals (nationally and internationally).1995 to date

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