M.A., Ph.D

Contact Details

Lecturer Above The Bar
Office of Adult & Continuing
Education
NUI Galway

T: -
E: SHEILA.GARRITY@nuigalway.ie
Lecturer
Child and Family Research Centre
1025
ILAS
Dangan
North Campus
NUIGalway

T: 091-494048
E: sheila.garrity@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher

Biography

Sheila is the Academic Coordinator 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. Sheila lectures on a number of modules and supports the lecturing team within the programme and also lectures in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. As part of her role with the UNESCO CFRC Sheila contributes to the MA in Family Support Studies (FSS) and supervises MA/FSS students in first year and for the Year 2 thesis. 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 was awarded her doctoral degree on 17th June, 2014

Since 2009 Sheila has been responsible for the development of the BA in ECS&P and the new MA in ECS, with particular duties including the academic related aspects of the course. She consulted with those within the Early Years sector as well as staff of the U-CFRC, the School of Political Science & Sociology and the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, to ensure that the course on offer was relevant and accessible to current Early Years practitioners wishing to up-skill while practicing in the field. Sheila also collaborated on the development and writing of all course modules, delivered through the four years of the programme and the 2-year MA. While carrying out this role, Sheila completed her doctoral research, as part of the Structured PhD in Youth & Child Studies, through the School of Political Science and Sociology. 

Prior to her role at NUI Galway, Sheila was employed by the HSE as an advisor to early years services in the Galway City and County areas. Through this role, Sheila contributed to national policy documents, most notably, the National Guidelines for Childminders (OMCYA, 2006). Sheila trained as an early years practitioner in Canada, and has worked in a range of practice settings through her career.

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

Research Projects

  Project Start Date End Date
'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
(2016) '‘I just don’t know if they’re learning’: Understanding Aistear through a Montessori lens. Under Review'
Thornton, B., Hayes, N. and Garrity, S. (2016) '‘I just don’t know if they’re learning’: Understanding Aistear through a Montessori lens. Under Review'. Irish Educational Studies, [Details]
(2018) 'Trust, responsiveness and communities of care: An ethnographic study of the significance and development of parent-caregiver relationships in Irish Early Years settings. Forthcoming'
Garrity, S. and Canavan, J. (2018) 'Trust, responsiveness and communities of care: An ethnographic study of the significance and development of parent-caregiver relationships in Irish Early Years settings. Forthcoming'. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, [Details]
(2016) '‘An informed pedagogy of community, care and respect for diversity: evidence from a qualitative evaluation of early years’ services in the West of Ireland’. Under Review'
Garrity, S., Moran, L., McGregor, C. and Devaney, C. (2016) '‘An informed pedagogy of community, care and respect for diversity: evidence from a qualitative evaluation of early years’ services in the West of Ireland’. Under Review'. Child Care In Practice, [Details]
(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’''
Moran, L., Garrity, S., McGregor, C. and Devaney, C. (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’''. Journal Of Family Issues, [Details]
(2011) ''It's Not Like a Job Now; It's Part of Me: Exploring African Women's Experiences in the Irish Childcare Sector''
McGrath, B. & Garrity, S. (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 Créche and Ballyhaunis Community Preschool Services, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo.
Dr Lisa Moran, Dr Sheila Garrity, Prof Caroline McGregor, Dr Carmel Devanney (2016) 'Hoping for a Better Tomorrow' A Process Study Evaluation of the Greater Tomorrow Créche and Ballyhaunis Community Preschool Services, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. The UNESCO Child &Family Research Centre, The National University of Ireland, Galway, Galway. [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. [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
(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) '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]
(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) ‘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) This paper presents qualitative findings from an evaluation of the ‘Greater Tomorrow’ Crèche and Ballyhaunis Community Preschool facilities, which are accessed primarily by members of asylum seeking communities 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]
(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) 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]
(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]
(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]

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Children's Research Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland Early Years Sub-group /
European Early Childhood Education & Research Association SIG: Working with Children & Families /
PLÉ: Pedagogy Learning & Education Association of Universities/Institutes of Education delivering third level study in Early Childhood Education /

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

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

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. 

Current Postgraduate Students (Taught)

  Name Degree Primary Supervisor
Michelle Doherty Masters of Arts Y
Sinead McGlacken DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY Y

Recent Postgraduate Students

  Graduation Name Degree Primary Supervisor
2014 Theresa Gyoh Y

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.
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.