Sharon Skehil

Sharon Skehil

LINC & LINC+ Module Content Developer

Sharon Skehill is a lecturer and PhD candidate in the Department of Reflective Pedagogy and Early Childhood Studies in Mary Immaculate College. She lectures in a wide range of early childhood education topics across BEd and BAECCE modules, include curriculum and pedagogy, inclusive education and nature-based learning. Sharon is also the managing director and a preschool teacher at a full day-care outdoor ELC setting, catering for children from six months to school-aged. Holding a job-share lecturing post in early childhood education and working directly with young children in practice, she leads the pedagogical staff team in the planning, developing and implementation of an emergent curriculum and their service has achieved the Siolta award, as well as the grading of ‘excellent’ across all areas in the DES EYEI. Sharon has led the team in various initiatives including showcasing practice at conferences hosted by NUIG, Early Childhood Ireland, as well as a project for the DES Literacy and Numeracy conference. The Willows and Nursery settings have been included in the DES ‘Insights’ programmes, Better Start AIM and Quality initiatives, as well as leading communities of practice facilitated by Galway Childcare Committee. Her research interests include quality inclusive early learning and care; leadership in the early years and the emergent curriculum in the outdoors. Sharon has involved children and staff in action research projects to support their active participation and involvement in the setting, and incorporates practical experience of data collection as part of her daily role as a pedagogical leader. She has also carried out research with children as part of her PhD study, which focuses on the inclusion of all children in the ELC setting. Sharon also sits on the Board of Early Childhood Ireland and is an advocate for children’s rights and participation from both a practice and teaching perspective within this context.

Research contributions to date:

Dunleavy-Lavin, M. M., Heaney, S. and Skehill, S. (2018) ‘Individualised planning: Bureaucratic requirement or critical for effective practice’, in Ring, E., Daly, P. and Wall, E., eds., Autism from the inside out: Signposts for parents, early childhood, primary, post-primary and special school settings, Oxford: Peter Lang, pp.121–138.

Ring, E., Kelleher, S., Breen, F., Heaney, S., McLoughlin, M., Kearns, A., Stafford, P., Skehill, S., Campion, K., Comerford, D. and O’ Sullivan (2019) Interim Evaluation of the Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years (LINC) Programme. Limerick: Mary Immaculate College, available:  https://lincprogramme.ie/research [accessed 22 Oct 2019].

Skehill, S. (2021a) ‘Leadership in the early learning and care setting’, in Ring, E., O’ Sullivan,

L., Ryan, M. and Daly, P. (eds.) Leading inclusion from the inside out: A handbook for parents and early childhood teachers in early learning and care, primary and special school settings, Oxford: Peter Lang, pp. 229-254.

Skehill, S. (2021b) ‘An action research project based on teacher reflections on their pedagogical practice in a nature preschool in the West of Ireland during COVID-19’.  Sakarya University Journal of Education Faculty, 21(1), 1-12.