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Summer Series 2022: Professor Nóirín Hayes 

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Nóirín Hayes Research

Hibernia College continued its 2022 Summer Series with an online presentation on 16 August by Professor Nóirín Hayes, who shared insights from her research on early childhood play and development. The focus of this year’s Summer Series is on the topic of play.

Supporting the Developmental Power of Play

Professor Hayes presented a thought-provoking session on ways to support the developmental power of play. She shared how Urie Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model of development can be used as a framework for early childhood development. The theory posits that children’s social interactions are critical to their development. Interactions can be broken down into four aspects — the process, person, context and time.

Professor Hayes encouraged early childhood educators to think about child development in the context of these interactions. By incorporating play into their pedagogical approach, educators can encourage positive interactions to support learning.

Early Childhood Education Researcher

Professor Nóirín Hayes is a developmental psychologist working to enhance research in early childhood education policy and practice. She is currently Emeritus Professor in the Centre for Social and Educational Research (CSER) at Technological University (TU) Dublin and Visiting Professor in the School of Education at Trinity College Dublin. Previously as the Head of School of Social Sciences and Law at TU Dublin, Dr Hayes lectured, provided academic management, and researched the areas of early childhood education policy and practice and children’s rights.

Professor Hayes is involved in arts in early childhood education projects, as well as a community-based research project on professional development (Strengthening Foundations of Learning, which is part of the larger Preparing for Life project). She is also Principal Investigator of evaluation studies at the CSER, supervises postgraduate students, and furthers her own research in early childhood education. In January 2015, she organised a symposium to encourage research in early childhood education in Ireland, which led to the establishment the Researching Early Childhood Education Collaborative (RECEC).

We are grateful for the opportunity to have had such a fruitful conversation with Professor Hayes. This presentation concludes our 2022 Summer Series. All events in the series will continue to be available to the public — we look forward to seeing you next time.

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