Dr Sheila Long

BA MA DChild


Carlow Campus

e: Sheila.long@setu.ie      t: 059 9175386

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7970-4016     ResearchGate

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

Research Interests

A qualified social care worker, Dr Long began her career working with children and young people in residential care in Ireland and this work was foundational to her commitment to including children and young people in all decisions that affect their lives. She subsequently completed a master’s in international studies, with a regional focus on East Africa before embarking on the next phase of her career as a development worker in children’s rights and education, primarily in Tanzania and Uganda.

On her return to Ireland, she commenced a Doctorate in Childhood studies at Queen’s University Belfast and began lecturing in the Department of Humanities in 2012. Her teaching intersected with her research interests, which enabled her to develop a comprehensive model for teaching children’s rights to early years students (published in 2019).  She is particularly interested in children’s rights, initial early years teacher education and psychosocial supports for children and young people both in Ireland and East Africa.  She has completed a certificate in advanced studies in children’s rights at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, focusing on child protection strategies and policies, and child rights policy implementation and monitoring. In Academic year 2021-2022 she took a one-year official career break to work with VSO Rwanda as an early years advisor on a Lego Funded Learning through play project.


Peer reviewed journal articles

Zanatta, F. and Long, S. (2021) Rights to the Front: Child Rights-Based Pedagogies in early childhood degrees.  Journal of Early Childhood Education Research Volume 10, Issue 1, 2021, 139–165.

Long, S. (2021)  Engaging with Children’s Participation: Some Considerations for Early Childhood Education Programmes Childlinks, Barnarndos.

Long, S. (2019). ‘Learning about the principle of participation, Children's Research Digest Available at: https://www.childrensresearchnetwork.org/knowledge/resources/principle-of-participation-early-childhood-education-and-care-students

Conference Proceedings and Papers

Olaniran, O and Long, S. (2019) ‘Respect, relationships and reciprocity: Teaching and learning about childrens rights incorporating the Afrocentric perspective’, paper presented at the OMEP Relationships Matter Conference, Cork Institute of Technology, 9th November 2019.

Zanatta, F and Long, S. (2019) ‘Rights to the Front: Rights based education in Early Childhood Degrees, paper presented at the 2nd Education Research and Enterprise Conference, University of Brighton. 14th June 2019

Long, S and Morrissey, E. (2019). ‘Children’s Rights Education: Can it be transformative and empowering for students?’, paper presented at Early Childhood Ireland Conference and AGM. Providing Leadership to the First Five, 12th April, 2019.

Long, S (2018). ‘(Re)conceptualising children’s rights in infant-toddler care and education’, Self-organised symposium paper presented at the 28th European Early Childhood Education and Care Conference, Budapest, Hungary, 31st August, 2018.                    

Long, S. (2017).  ‘Learning about the principle of participation’, paper presented at the 5th Children’s Research Network Conference, Dublin, November 30th, 2017.

Long, S. (2017). ‘Children’s Rights Education in ECEC: The Centrality of the mentoring relationship’, Paper presented at the 27th European Early Childhood Education and Care Conference, Bologna, Italy, ECE beyond the crisis: social justice, solidarity and children’s rights. 29th August- 1st September, 2017.

Long, S. (2017). Valuing the Early Childhood Education and Care Professional, unpublished paper presented at: Early Childhood Ireland Conference, University College Dublin, 31 March, 2017.

Long, S. (2017) Children’s Rights Education: The Pivotal role of the Mentor, unpublished paper presented at:  European Early Childhood Education Research Conference, Bologna, 30-31 August, 2017

Book Chapters

Long, S. (2022) ‘Children’s Rights Education for ECEC students’ in Press, F and Cheeseman, S. (Eds.) (Re) Conceptualising children’s rights in infant-toddler care and education. London: Springer.

Long, S. (2019). ‘Towards a comprehensive and systematic model of Children’s Rights Education for early childhood students: Experiences from Ireland’ in Murray, J, Swadener, B.B and Smith, K. (2019) Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Rights. Routledge.

Research Supervision

Areas of Interest as a Supervisor include-

  • Children’s rights education
  • Children’s rights in early years contexts
  • Children’s rights in East Africa
  • Child migration in East Africa
  • Rights based approaches to the education and care of young children
  • Leadership and mentoring in early years

Engagement and Collaboration

Voluntary Board Member - Museum of Childhood Project Ireland

Children’s rights are central to the work of the Museum of Childhood Ireland Project and in 2020 I was invited to the Board of this project as a member of the Children’s Rights Group. Key to this role is disseminating information on children’s rights both nationally and internationally on behalf of the Museum and participating and collaborating with other organisations on behalf of the MCI project both individually and as part of a group.

Peer reviewer and member of scientific committee

I have been a peer reviewer and member of scientific committees for a range of children’s rights and early years journals and conferences.

Member of The South-East Ireland-East Africa Network

I am an active member of this network and have delivered a seminar to Phd students in Kampala, Uganda in 2022.

External Examiner

I have acted as external and internal examiner on two masters by research dissertations in the area of animal welfare and early childhood. I have also been a panel member on two occasions for programmatic reviews of Early Childhood Programmes.