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Lecturer, Froebel Dept. of Primary and Early Childhood Education
School of Education



PATRICIA KENNON teaches across a wide range of children’s literature, young adult (YA) literature, youth culture, and English Education. She is the President of The Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature, a former President of the Irish national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and a former Editor in Chief and Features Editor of Inis: The Children’s Books Ireland Magazine. Patricia is the Secretary of NAES, the Irish national section of the European Society for the Study of English and a member of the steering committee of MU SexGen, an interdisciplinary network of Maynooth University faculty and researchers on research in genders and sexualities. Patricia recently won a Maynooth University Teaching Award. Her research interests address a wide range of issues regarding intersections of childhood, young adulthood and power.


As an educator of student teachers and education professionals, I am passionate about teaching and lifelong learning and I strongly believe in the empowering potential of youth culture to resist, challenge and transform normative, conservative and discriminatory power systems and relationships. My teaching and research are focused around identities, norms, and power in language, youth literature and media. I believe that enacting my values in my practice is central to my role as an educator and as a teacher educator. I try to act as an agent of change and I try to support and challenge my students to see themselves as change agents in their future roles as educators. Participating in the DISCs project will invaluably enhance my knowledge, skills and capacity to promote and explore social justice, equity-focussed issues and inclusive representation in youth literature and culture. I am excited about sharing experiences and perspectives with my DISCs colleagues and about the opportunities to co-build capacity and disciplinary and interdisciplinary strategies for social justice education.

  • I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to reflect individually and to co-reflect with my DISCs colleagues about the role of the university and about possibilities for transformation and embedding social justice education. Reflection time is so precious and rare and I’m excited about the potential for my both reflecting and enacting own personal and professional change as well as collective change during this second semester and beyond.
  • The DISCs website will be a great resource and an evolving repository of readings, theories, research and real-life dilemmas and scenarios. I’m feeling excitement and curiosity about discovering and engaging with new critical and pedagogical approaches and reviewing and enhancing my practice with these ideas and frameworks.
  • I intend to apply my reflections and learning and enhanced skills and knowledge to my curriculum design and teaching of a first-year BEd English Literature course. I make changes to the content, sequence, activities, structure and readings every academic year but this project offers the welcome and timely opportunity to consider and apply a radical review of the course. I will be especially informed by the recent #weneeddiversebooks and #ownvoices movements in international youth literature and the decolonizing the curriculum movement.


To learn more about Patricia’s course development and planning for the Spring 2020 semester, please choose from one of the links below.


To learn more about Patricia’s pedagogical orientation and approach as well as her experiences of participating in the DISCs Project, please click on one of the links below.

What is the purpose of Higher Education?

What does it mean to incorporate social justice principles into my teaching?

Reflections on the DISCs Project