Dr Dawn Murphy

PhD MA Bsc Dip HE


Wexford Campus

e: dawn.murphy@setu.ie      t: 053 9185800

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7646-1469    

Dr Murphy is a graduate of the University of Limerick where she completed her PhD in Education.  Dr Murphy has been working as a lecturer at SETU Wexford since 2019 in the Department of Humanities and lectures in Early Childhood Education.  Prior to taking up her lecturing post, Dr Murphy worked in Adult Education, teaching Early Childhood and Healthcare Support at levels 5 and 6.  Dr Murphy previously managed an Early Childhood Setting for nine years, working with children aged between one and six years.  This provided valuable experience in understanding the complexities of working in Early Childhood.  Before moving into Early Childhood Education, Dr Murphy qualified and worked as a paediatric nurse, caring for children from birth to eighteen years with a wide range of health conditions.

  • Research Interests
  • Publications
  • Research Supervision
  • Engagement and Collaboration

Research Interests

Dr Murphy lectures on the undergraduate programme in Early Childhood Education.  The subjects currently been taught include: Children’s Health Care and Well Being, Play based Pedagogy, Child Health and Well Being, Pedagogy and Curriculum, Literacy and Numeracy, Ethics and Supervised Professional Practice.  Dr Murphy has a particular interest in the supervised Professional Practice and has co-ordinated practice placements on the programme for the past three years.  Dr Murphy has a particular interest in the professionalisation of the Early Childhood Education and Care Sector and recognises the fundamental role of practice placements in the preparation of future early childhood educators.

Dr Murphy is also interested in the area of children’s health and well being and the role Early Childhood Education can have in supporting this.  Dr Murphy is currently involved in a research project examining the impact of supports introduced for Early Childhood Settings during COVID-19 and the impact of these supports on children’s early years’ experience.


Books and Book Chapters

Murphy, D. (2022) Caring about Early Childhood Education in Early Childhood Education - Innovative Pedagogical Approaches in the Post-modern Era", IntechOpen.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Mooney Simmie, G., & Murphy, D. (2021) Professionalisation of early childhood education and care practitioners: Working conditions in IrelandContemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 1‑15. Online First: 21 April 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/14639491211010187

Conference Proceedings and Papers

Murphy, D. (2022) (Re) Conceputalising a new Ethic of Care within Discourses of Early Childhood Education and Care Professionalism, American Educational Research Conference, 21st -25th April

Murphy, D. (2022) ‘Early Learning and Care: Time to listen to the silent relation in education’, The Biographic, Narrative and Lifecourse Research Group, 12 March

Murphy, D. and Mooney Simmie (2021) ‘Practitioner Professionalism in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Ireland: an emancipatory practice of care regulations and/or a data driven system of performance management’,  Educational Studies Association of Ireland, 25-26 March

Murphy, D. and Mooney Simmie (2020) ‘The professionalization of Early Childhood Education and Care for ongoing excellence’  American Educational Research Association Conference, 17-21 April

Murphy, D. and Mooney Simmie (2019) ‘Public Perceptions of early childhood practitioners: questions of instrumentalism or productive pedagogy’, National Early Childhood Research Conference, 12 April

Murphy, D. and Mooney Simmie (2017) ‘Rhetoric-Reality contradictions: examining the professionalization of early childcare workers in the Republic of Ireland’, presented at National Early Childhood Research Conference, 31 March


Research Supervision

Dr Murphy’s research interests are primarily in children’s health and well being and the professionalisation of the early childhood sector.  The development of policy for early childhood and its impact on the sector is also an area of interest for Dr Murphy.

Engagement and Collaboration

Dr Murphy has recently joined Wexford County Childcare Committee as the academic representative.  This role will provide a valuable sharing of knowledge between the college and industry perspective in Early Childhood Education.  It also provides an opportunity to establish further links with Early Childhood providers.

Dr Murphy is also a member or PLE (Pedaogy, Learning and Education) Ireland, The National Association of Higher Education Institutions Offering Degree Level Training in Early Childhood Care and Education.  Through PLE, Dr Murphy has been involved in a group looking at practice placements within Early Childhood Education – the strengths and the challenges