10 December, 2021 | Posted by Michelle Hogan

Dr Mary O'Kane: Challenging Thinking on Collaborative Partnerships with Children and Families

Dr Mary O'Kane: Challenging Thinking on Collaborative Partnerships with Children and Families

Early Childhood Education Expert Dr Mary O’Kane will bring a thought-provoking discussion to life at Portobello Insitute’s next early years webinar in January.  

Register here.

Merging her knowledge around ‘Perfectly Imperfect Parenting’ the title of her recent book with her background in psychology and early childhood care and education, Dr O’Kane will give a presentation exploring the relationship between practitioners and parents. 

Speaking ahead of the webinar, she said the focus will be on the practitioner’s collaboration with parents.

“We will explore how challenging parenting can be and the idea of perfection and how the need to be perfect impacts on the way people parent and as an educator how it is important to acknowledge that and to think about that. 

“One of the reasons parents can be hard to reach is we make assumptions as educators; we make assumptions about their parenting so I want to challenge them on that as well and remind them how important it is not to make assumptions and sometimes to look behind the parent's behaviour just as we would look behind the behaviour of a child,” she said.  

If you want to push yourself and challenge your thinking about your role as a practitioner, setting owner, student or academic in early childhood care and education, this webinar is for you. 

You can register for free here.

Dr Mary O'Kane's Background 

Dr Mary O'Kane originally studied for her Honours Degree in Psychology then specialised in the area of early childhood while undertaking her MPhil and Doctorate at Dublin Institute of Technology. She also has a Postgraduate teaching qualification. 

She lectures in Psychology, Early Childhood Studies and Education with the Open University, and taught for many years on the BA in Early Childhood – Teaching and Learning in Maynooth University. She is a Guest Lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology MA in Child, Family and Community Studies. She also worked as the External Examiner for BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, Dundalk Institute of Technology. 

Mary lectures in the areas of Child Development; Play and Creativity, Exploring Children’s Lives and Learning; Childhood Studies and Child Psychology; Children’s Wellbeing; Educational Transitions; Professional Practice in the Early Years; Educational Theory; Working with Families and Communities; and Communication Studies. She has taught at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels.

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