DR SHEILA GARRITY

M.A., Ph.D

 
researcher
 

Biography

Dr Sheila Garrity is a Lecturer with the School of Political Science and Sociology. She is also the Academic Director of the BA Honours Degree in Early Childhood Studies & Practice and the MA in Early Childhood Studies, delivered through the Centre for Adult Learning & Professional Development at NUI Galway. Dr Garrity lectures on a number of modules, supports the lecturing team within the programme and also lectures in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. Dr Garrity is a Senior Researcher with the UNESCO Child & Family Research Centre. As part of this role, Dr Garrity contributes to the MA in Family Support Studies (FSS) and supervises MA/FSS students for their Year 2 research dissertation. She also supervises Doctoral students based in the U-CFRC and contributes to a number of Graduate Research Committees across the University. Sheila completed the MA in FSS through the U-CFRC and the Structured PhD in Child & Youth Studies. The focus of her doctoral research was an ethnographic study of relationships between mothers and their childcare providers within the Irish Early Years context. Sheila sat her doctoral VIVA on November 6, 2013 and was formally conferred with her PhD on 17th June, 2014.

Dr Garrity's professional expertise is sought after from groups and organisations at a national level, recently acting as the 'External Expert' member of interview panels for both the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Dr Garrity also acted as an 'External Examiner' in a review of the Early Years Education Focused Inspections process on behalf of the Department. In addition, Dr Garrity acts as the current External Examiner for the B.Sc. in Early Childhood Education at Marino Institute of Education, Trinity College Dublin and previously was the External Examiner for the MA degree in Mentoring, Management and Leadership in the Early Years offered at Technical University Dublin (formerly Dublin Institute of Technology).

Dr Garrity is currently Principal Investigator of three ongoing small scale research projects, including:
Spaces and Traces: Exploration and Meaning Making from the Outside In; Early Childhood Education & Care Provision in a Time of Global Pandemic; Designing Bespoke Model of Online Module Delivery for Early Childhood Educators 

Dr Garrity was the Principal Investigator of an evaluation of childcare services in Co. Mayo, funded through TUSLA the Child & Family Agency. The resulting report, co written with colleagues in the U-CFRC is titled: 'Hoping for a Better Tomorrow': A Process Study Evaluation of the Greater Tomorrow Creche and Ballyhaunis Community Preschool Services, Ballyhaunis Co. Mayo, and is available here:  https://aran.library.nuigalway.ie/handle/10379/6040

Research Interests

Early Childhood/Early Years Education and Care;
Family Support through ECEC;
Ethic of Care;
Professional Development for the Early Years sector; 
ECEC policy in Ireland and the EU
Community-based Childcare
Inclusion in ECEC

Research Projects

  Project Start Date End Date
Early Childhood Education & Care Provision in a Time of Global Pandemic 01-SEP-20 31-AUG-21
Spaces and Traces: Exploration and Meaning Making from the Outside In 03-JUN-20 30-JUN-21
Designing Bespoke Model of Online Module Delivery for Early Childhood Educators 18-DEC-19 30-JUN-21
'Hoping for a Better Tomorrow' A Process Study Evaluation of the Greater Tomorrow Créche and Ballyhaunis Community Preschool Services, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. 30-JAN-15 01-JUN-16

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2020) ''Let’s Pretend! Imaginative Play in Irish Early Years Services: Practitioner’s Perspectives and Approaches''
Egan, A., Hodkinson, S and Garrity, S. (2020) ''Let’s Pretend! Imaginative Play in Irish Early Years Services: Practitioner’s Perspectives and Approaches''. An Leanbh Og - Journal of Early Childhood Studies, 13 :87-104 [Details]
(2019) '‘It can be daunting guiding through play’, Engaging with Aistear within the Montessori setting'
Thornton, B., Hayes, N. and Garrity, S. (2019) '‘It can be daunting guiding through play’, Engaging with Aistear within the Montessori setting'. An Leanbh Og - Journal of Early Childhood Studies, 12 :108-126 [Details]
(2019) 'Practice guidance for culturally sensitive practice in working with children and families who are asylum seekers: learning from an early years study in Ireland'
McGregor, C, Dalikeni C., Devaney C., Moran L.& Garrity, S. (2019) 'Practice guidance for culturally sensitive practice in working with children and families who are asylum seekers: learning from an early years study in Ireland'. Child Care In Practice, [DOI] [Details]
(2017) 'Hoping for a better tomorrow: a qualitative study of stressors, informal social support and parental coping in a Direct Provision centre in the West of Ireland'
Lisa Moran; Sheila Garrity; Caroline McGregor; Carmel Devaney (2017) 'Hoping for a better tomorrow: a qualitative study of stressors, informal social support and parental coping in a Direct Provision centre in the West of Ireland'. Journal of Family Studies, 0 :1-16 [DOI] [Details]
(2017) 'Trust, responsiveness and communities of care: an ethnographic study of the significance and development of parent-caregiver relationships in Irish early years settings'
Garrity, S,Canavan, J (2017) 'Trust, responsiveness and communities of care: an ethnographic study of the significance and development of parent-caregiver relationships in Irish early years settings'. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 25 :747-767 [DOI] [Details]
(2017) 'An Informed Pedagogy of Community, Care, and Respect for Diversity: Evidence from a Qualitative Evaluation of Early Years Services in the West of Ireland'
Sheila Garrity, Lisa Moran, Caroline McGregor & Carmel Devaney (2017) 'An Informed Pedagogy of Community, Care, and Respect for Diversity: Evidence from a Qualitative Evaluation of Early Years Services in the West of Ireland'. Child Care In Practice, Volume 23 (3):305-321 [DOI] [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2011) '“It's Not Like a Job Now; It's Part of Me”: Exploring African Women's Experiences in the Irish Childcare Sector'
Sheila Garrity; Brian McGrath (2011) '“It's Not Like a Job Now; It's Part of Me”: Exploring African Women's Experiences in the Irish Childcare Sector'. Child Care In Practice, 17 (1):69-86 [DOI] [Details]

Published Reports

  Year Publication
(2016) Hoping for a Better Tomorrow A process study evaluation of the Greater Tomorrow Creche and Ballyhaunis Preschool Services, Ballyhaunis, Mayo.
Moran, L., Garrity, S., Mc Gregor, C., and Devaney, C., (2016) Hoping for a Better Tomorrow A process study evaluation of the Greater Tomorrow Creche and Ballyhaunis Preschool Services, Ballyhaunis, Mayo. Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2012) Mobilising Peer Support in Schools: A Review of the BBBS School Based Mentoring Programme.
Brady, B, Canavan, J., Cassidy, A., Garrity, S., O'Regan, C. (2012) Mobilising Peer Support in Schools: A Review of the BBBS School Based Mentoring Programme. Foróige Best Practice Unit, Dublin. [ARAN Link] [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
‘Hoping for a better Tomorrow’: Family Support through community childcare provision in Ballyhaunis Co. Mayo,
Garrity, S., Moran, L., Devaney, C. and McGregor, C. (2016) Community childcare in rural Ireland; family support principles and practice. [Invited Oral Presentation], ‘Hoping for a better Tomorrow’: Family Support through community childcare provision in Ballyhaunis Co. Mayo, European Early Childhood Education Research Association Annual Conference, Dublin, August 2016) . [Details]
‘Hoping for a better Tomorrow’,
Garrity, S., Moran, L., Devaney, C. and McGregor, C. (2016) Abstract accepted to the Ethics and Social Welfare in Hard Times Conference. [Invited Oral Presentation], ‘Hoping for a better Tomorrow’, London, UK . [Details]
(2018) Time and Space: Developing Enabling Environments that Nurture and Inspire,
Dr Sheila Garrity (2018) ‘Developing Early Years Practice Through Reflection’. [Invited Oral Presentation], Time and Space: Developing Enabling Environments that Nurture and Inspire, ILAS, National University of Ireland Galway , 24-MAR-18 - 24-MAR-18. [Details]
(2018) Maximising Health and Well-being for Young Children in Roscommon,
Dr Sheila Garrity (2018) Well-being in the Early Years: the what and the why. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Maximising Health and Well-being for Young Children in Roscommon, Roscommon Town, County Roscommon , 09-MAR-18 - 09-MAR-18. [Details]
(2017) OMEP: EARLY CHILDHOOD CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: EMBRACING CHALLENGE AND INVENTING TOMORROW,
Sheila Garrity (co-authors L. Moran, C. McGregor, C. Devaney) (2017) OMEP: World Organisation for Early Childhood Education. [Keynote Address], OMEP: EARLY CHILDHOOD CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: EMBRACING CHALLENGE AND INVENTING TOMORROW, Cork, Ireland , 20-MAY-17 - 20-MAY-17. [Details]
(2017) Early Childhood Challenges and Opportunities: Embracing Challenge and Inventing Tomorrow,
Dr Sheila Garrity (2017) .Diversity, Inclusion and Family Support in Early Years Settings: a Case Study. [Invited Oral Presentation], Early Childhood Challenges and Opportunities: Embracing Challenge and Inventing Tomorrow, UCC Cork, Ireland , 20-MAY-17 - 20-MAY-17. [Details]
(2017) Motherlines: Mothering, Motherhood and Mothers In and Through the Generations: Theory, Narrative, Representation, Practice and Experience,
Dr Sheila Garrity (2017) 'I just knew' Trust and intuition in the Development of Parent-Practitioner Relationships in the Irish Early Years Sector. [Plenary Lecture], Motherlines: Mothering, Motherhood and Mothers In and Through the Generations: Theory, Narrative, Representation, Practice and Experience, NUI Galway , 06-JUL-17 - 09-JUL-17. [Details]
(2016) European Early Childhood Education Research Association Annual Conference,,
Garrity, S., Moran, L., Devaney, C. and McGregor, C. (2016) Community childcare in rural Ireland; family support principles and practice (2016) Hoping for a better Tomorrow’: Family Support through community childcare provision in Ballyhaunis Co. Mayo,. [Oral Presentation], European Early Childhood Education Research Association Annual Conference,, Dublin , 31-AUG-16 - 03-SEP-16. [Details]
(2016) Child poverty in times of crisis conference,
Moran, L., Garrity, S., McGregor, C. and Devaney, C. (2016) 'Hoping for a better tomorrow: narratives of coping, resilience and identity among parents in a Direct Provision centre in the west of Ireland'. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Child poverty in times of crisis conference, Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research, University of Salzburg , 25-AUG-16 - 26-AUG-16. [Details]
(2016) Abstract accepted to the Child Poverty in Times of Crisis Conference, Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research, University of Salzburg, August 25-26 2016,
Moran, L., Garrity, S., Devaney, C. and C. McGregor (2016) (2016) This paper focuses on narratives of resilience, identity and coping of parents from asylum seeking communities living in a Direct Provision centre in Ballyhaunis, a rural community in the West of Ireland. [Oral Presentation], Abstract accepted to the Child Poverty in Times of Crisis Conference, Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research, University of Salzburg, August 25-26 2016, Salzburg , 25-AUG-16 - 26-AUG-16. [Details]
(2016) ‘Hoping for a better tomorrow’: A Qualitative Study of Perceptions and Experiences of Asylum Seekers about Direct Provision in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo,
Moran, L., Garrity, S., Devaney, C. and C. McGregor (2016) (2016) ‘Hoping for a better tomorrow’: A Qualitative Study of Perceptions and Experiences of Asylum Seekers about Direct Provision in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. [Oral Presentation], ‘Hoping for a better tomorrow’: A Qualitative Study of Perceptions and Experiences of Asylum Seekers about Direct Provision in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo, University of Limerick , 14-MAY-16 - 14-APR-16. [Details]
(2016) ‘Hoping for a better tomorrow’: A Qualitative Study of Perceptions and Experiences of Asylum Seekers about Direct Provision in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo,
Moran, L., Garrity, S., Devaney, C. and C. McGregor (2016) ‘Hoping for a better tomorrow’: A Qualitative Study of Perceptions and Experiences of Asylum Seekers about Direct Provision in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. [Oral Presentation], ‘Hoping for a better tomorrow’: A Qualitative Study of Perceptions and Experiences of Asylum Seekers about Direct Provision in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo, University of Limerick , 14-APR-16 - 14-APR-16. [Details]
(2016) Which Path Ahead?Perspectives on Policy from Irish Social Science,
L Moran S Garrity, C McGregor C Devaney (2016) ‘Hoping for a better tomorrow: a qualitative study of stressors, informal social support and parental coping in a Direct Provision centre in the West of Ireland’. [Invited Lecture], Which Path Ahead?Perspectives on Policy from Irish Social Science, Dublin , 11-MAY-16 - 11-MAY-16. [Details]
(2016) Hoping for a better tomorrow’: Narratives of Coping, Resilience and Family Support arising from a study of Early Years services and the experience of parents, including those resident in Direct Provis,
Garrity, S., Moran, L., Devaney, C. and McGregor, C. (2016) (2016) Irish Social Sciences Platform and the National Economic & Social Council, Dublin. [Oral Presentation], Hoping for a better tomorrow’: Narratives of Coping, Resilience and Family Support arising from a study of Early Years services and the experience of parents, including those resident in Direct Provis, Dublin , 08-JUN-16 - 08-JUN-16. [Details]
(2016) 'Building Resilience, Enhancing Social Support: What Research Tells Us',
Garrity, S., Moran, L., McGregor, C. and Devaney, C. (2016) 'Hoping for a Better Tomorrow': Family Support through Community Childcare provision. [Invited Oral Presentation], 'Building Resilience, Enhancing Social Support: What Research Tells Us', Dublin , 06-DEC-16 - 06-DEC-16. [Details]
(2016) Ethics and Social Welfare in Hard Times,
Garrity, S., Moran, L., Devaney, C. and McGregor, C. (2016) Practicing Politics in Preschool: Disrupting State policy through Ethical Practice in an Early Years Setting in the West of Ireland. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Ethics and Social Welfare in Hard Times, London: Journal of Ethics and Social Welfare , 01-SEP-16 - 02-SEP-16. [Details]
(2015) Us, Them, Me: Universal Targeted or Individualised Early Childhood Programmes - European Early Childhood Education Research Association,
Sheila Garrity (2015) Communities of Care: Vulnerability and Shared Caregiving. [Oral Presentation], Us, Them, Me: Universal Targeted or Individualised Early Childhood Programmes - European Early Childhood Education Research Association, Greece , 01-SEP-15 - 05-SEP-15. [Details]
(2014) 9th Annual Ethnography Symposium - Liverpool University School of Management,
Sheila Garrity (2014) Title: Maternal-Caregiver relationships on the threshold between the private and the public. [Oral Presentation], 9th Annual Ethnography Symposium - Liverpool University School of Management, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK , 27-AUG-14 - 27-AUG-14. [Details]
(2014) Qualitative approaches to research and evaluation concerning children and young people with a view to informing policy,
Sheila Garrity (2014) Qualitative research in the early years sector: Implications for policy and Practice. [Invited Oral Presentation], Qualitative approaches to research and evaluation concerning children and young people with a view to informing policy, Galway, Ireland , 14-OCT-14 - 14-OCT-14. [Details]
(2013) ‘Global Gathering for Early Childhood’ - Early Childhood Ireland,
Sheila Garrity (2013) 'People think it’s not the real world – but it’s our world': Exploring engagement between mothers and early years practitioners in a changing Ireland. [Oral Presentation], ‘Global Gathering for Early Childhood’ - Early Childhood Ireland, Dublin, Ireland , 16-OCT-13 - 19-OCT-13. [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2020 CASSCS Dean's Award College of Arts Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, NUI Galway

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Children's Research Network Early Years Sub-group 01-SEP-15 /
OMEP/Wolrd Organisation for Early Childhood Education Member 01-JAN-16 /
European Early Childhood Education & Research Association SIG: Working with Children & Families 31-AUG-15 /
PLÉ: Pedagogy Learning & Education Association of Universities/Institutes of Education delivering third level study in Early Childhood Education 01-SEP-15 /

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
Scientific Committee, OMEP - Ireland: World Organisation for Early Childhood Education Scientific Committee 04-JAN-19 / 28-MAY-21
Scientific Committee: Early Childhood Ireland; Annual Commitment Review of conference abstracts 01-FEB-17 / 31-MAR-21
UNESCO CFRC Biennial Conference Committee Committee Member; Chair Scientific Subcommittee 01-OCT-16 / 30-JUN-17
Early Years Research Group Project Coordination 01-OCT-16 / 01-MAR-17
Scientific Committee : European Early Childhood Research Association Conference Review proposals from potential presenters 01-APR-16 / 30-JUN-16
UNESCO CFRC Biennial Conference Committee Committee member; Chair of Scientific Committee 01-OCT-14 / 30-JUN-15

Education

  Year Institution Qualification Subject
2013 National University of Ireland, Galway PhD Sociology
2009 National University of Ireland, Galway MASTERS DEGREE (LEVEL 9) Family Support Studies
2011 National University of Ireland, Galway Diploma Training & Education

Community Engagement

  Title Type From / To
Outreach Parenting Talks: Tuam Library 01-MAR-17 / 31-MAR-17
Board Membership AMACH LGBT+ Galway CLG 01-NOV-18 / 01-MAR-20
Outreach Parenting Talks: Understanding your young child's learning 16-JUL-19 / 16-APR-19

Other Activities

  Description

Expert Contributor: Community Consultation Presenting: Maximising Well-being, Learning and Development in Children 0 - 3 in Galway City Children and Young Peoples’ Services Committee, TUSLA, January 2015

External Expert: Interview Panel, post of National Childminding Strategy Coordinator. February 2020, Department of Children and Youth Affairs

External Expert: Short Listing for applicants for interview, Early Years Inspectorate, Department of Education and Skills. March 2020

Member: Expert Advisory Panel (representing University sector) Advising on the establishment of a new BA degree in Early Childhood Education Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, June 2014, January 2015.

External Examiner: Marino Institute of Education, Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education, 2019 - 2023

External Expert: Recruitment Panel Recruitment of Early Years Inspectors, Department of Education and Science, July 2015

Invited Contributor: Open Policy Debate Topic: Future Investment in Early Years and School-Age Care and Education Host: Department of Children and Youth Affairs, March 2015

External Examiner MA in Leadership, Management and Mentorship Technical University Dublin 2017-2019

External Examiner, Department of Education and Science Review of Early Years Education Focused Inspections May 2017 to September 2017

Invited Contributor: Inter-Departmental Working Group Topic: Supporting Access to Early Childhood Care and Education for Children with a Disability Host: Department of Children and Youth Affairs, June 2015

Teaching Interests

Social Policy, particularly early childhood and family policy;
Reflective Practice;
Care Ethics and Policy;
ECEC and Family Support;
Professional Development in the ECEC sector;
Qualitative Social Research, including ethnography. 

Recent Postgraduate Students

  Graduation Name Degree Primary Supervisor
2020 Margaret Bermingham MASTERS DEGREE (LEVEL 9) Y
2020 Veronica Crombie MASTERS DEGREE (LEVEL 9) Y
2020 Niamh Mangan MASTERS DEGREE (LEVEL 9) Y
2018 Deirdre Molloy MASTERS DEGREE (LEVEL 9)
2016 Lisa Curtin MASTERS DEGREE (LEVEL 9) Y
2017 Michelle O'Doherty MASTERS DEGREE (LEVEL 9)
2015 Theresa Gyoh MASTERS DEGREE (LEVEL 9) Y

Current Postgraduate Students (Research)

  Student Degree Type Type
Sinead Mc Glacken Doctorate - Ph.D. (Child and Youth Research) Supervisor

Modules Taught

  Term/Year Module Title Module Code Subject / Desc
Full Year, Year One Work Based Project Year 1: Reflective Practice ECS106 Introduction to the theories and practice of reflection in ECEC.
MA, Second Year Supporting Families through Early Years Provision EYS1117
Full Year; Year Four Research Dissertation ECS404 Social Research
3rd Year, Spring Early Childhood Education and Care: Research and Policy SP3113 Exploration of policy development in Ireland in relation to the Early Childhood Education sector; the impact of research in ECEC is considered in terms of influencing policy development. Irish policy is situated within the European and International context.