Conference 2024 Conference Archive News & Events

ESAI Conference 2024 – A review

ESAI Conference 2024 – a review 

ESAI Conference 2024 took place in Kildare from 4th to 6th April at Maynooth University. This was the largest conference on record with more than 400 delegates registered to attend. The theme of the conference was “Education for more just societies: the roles of imagination, innovation and collaboration”.  The conference was a platform for robust discussions, networking, and the sharing of ideas that can shape the future for a more just world. Participants explored the transformative potential of educational research, policy and practice, particularly concerning social justice, with a focus on the power of creative and collaborative responses.


Day 1 ESAI Conference 2024


Celine Healy welcome address

Dr. Céline Healy, President ESAI 2022-2024

ESAI President, Dr Céline Healy, welcomed delegates to Maynooth University, particularly those who had travelled significant distances to be with us – including  Australia, Nepal, Palestine and the USA.

Photo of Prof Sharon Todd

Prof. Sharon Todd

The first Keynote of the conference was given by Dr Sharon Todd, Professor of Education and member of the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Ireland. Prof Todd’s presentation at ESAI 2024 is entitled: Ecology of Encounters: Re-imagining (Compost) Relationality for Education in Times of Environmental Breakdown.

An exhibition space was created in the lobby of the TSI building. It was a welcome opportunity to have conversations about the exhibitors’ on-going work with delegates. 

Following an afternoon of presentations and discussions across 10 parallel sessions, delegates retired to the beautiful Pugin Hall for a welcome reception sponsored by Routledge / Taylor and Francis.  The General Editor of Irish Educational Studies, Dr Audrey Bryan and the previous General Editor, Prof Tony Hall, both spoke about the continued success of the journal. Thursday evening drew to a close with an opportunity for people to meet up with colleagues and friends over delicious refreshments and music. 

Dr Audrey Bryan, General Editor of the Irish Educational Studies journal with Prof. Tony Hall, the previous General Editor of Irish Educational Studies at the Routledge/Taylor and Francis reception.

Day 2 of the ESAI Conference

Day 2 of the ESAI Conference continued with ten strands of concurrent presentations by delegates and a strong ECR presence throughout. 

Friday morning’s Keynote Address was presented by Professor Stephen McKinney, School of Education, University of Glasgow. The Keynote was titled: Addressing the Impact of Poverty on Education’. 

Stephen McKinney Prof. Stephen McKinney


Poster Session

Poster presentations

Posters at ESAI 2024


At the Conference dinner in Pugin Hall, ESAI was delighted to present the Lifetime Achievement Award 2024 to Professor Áine Hyland in recognition of almost five decades of engagement and leadership in the association. The Lifetime Achievement Award 2024 was presented by President Céline Healy, and a fitting citation was prepared and read by Professor Judith Harford.

Céline Healy, Áine Hyland and Judith Harford

President Céline Healy, Prof Aíne Hyland and Prof Judith Harford at the ESAI conference at Maynooth University Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

ESAI Dinner photos

Day 3 of the ESAI Conference

Concurrent presentations ran right throughout the three days of the conference.Concurrent presentations


Panel Discussion 

President, Céline Healy chaired a panel discussion with esteemed colleagues Prof Vivienne Baumfield, Rev. Cannon Prof Anne Lodge, Prof Paul Conway, Dr Máirín Glenn and Prof Tony Hall. 

Panel Discussion


The day culminated in the presentation of the ESAI Early Career Researcher Award. This award celebrates an outstanding conference paper and presentation by an early career researcher presented at the annual ESAI Conference. The ESAI has established this award to celebrate the excellent work which is contributed to the academic field by early career researchers.

Dr. Aideen Hunter, co-ordinator of the Early Career Researcher (ECR) Award, announced that Fergal Harrington was the 2024 winner of this prestigious award. Two highly commended awards were also presented to Stella Wai-Wan and Colm Ó’Riain.  

ECR AWard winnersESAI Early Career Award winners Fergal Harrington, Stella Wai-Wan and Colm Ó’Riain receive their awards from Dr Aideen Hunter and ESAI President, Dr. Céline Healy




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