Fiona Brennan

Educational and Child Psychologist in-training


Fiona graduated from the B.Ed. in Education and Psychology programme at Mary Immaculate College in 2017. She spent four years working as a primary school teacher in both mainstream and special education settings. Her experience includes conducting assessments, compiling support plans and implementing interventions to support pupils’ educational, social and emotional development. As a tutor on the Summer Provision Programme, Fiona has worked with children and young people with a range of special educational needs and disabilities including autism and Down syndrome.


Fiona returned to Mary Immaculate College in 2018 to undertake a Master of Arts in Education by Research under the supervision of Dr. Suzanne Parkinson. Her research explored primary school children’s understanding and awareness of their learner identities. During this time, she also worked as a Departmental Assistant in the Department of Educational Psychology, Inclusive and Special Education at Mary Immaculate College. 

In September 2021, Fiona commenced the Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology at Mary Immaculate College and is currently training to become an Educational and Child Psychologist. Her research interests include Personal Construct Psychology, Down syndrome and learner voice. Fiona is a graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (M8494).

Continuous Professional Development:


  • Informing and Supporting Families of Children with Disabilities – Health Service Executive, 2021
  • Research Integrity Training: Core Concise – Epigeum, Oxford University Press, 2020
  • Understanding and Supporting Children with Adverse Childhood Experiences – Irish National Teachers Organisation, 2020
  • Dyslexia for Primary School Teachers – Dyslexia Association of Ireland, 2020
  • Differentiating for Children with Additional Education Needs – Flúirse Education, 2019
  • Professional Training in the Applied Use of Mindfulness – Irish Institute of Mindfulness, 2017



  • Parkinson, S., Brennan, F., Gleasure, S., & Linehan, E. (2021). Evaluating the Relevance of Learner Identity for Educators and Adult Learners Post-COVID-19, The Adult Learner 2021, 74-96.
  • Parkinson, S., & Brennan, F. (2020). Exploring the positioning of educational psychology practice in 21st century learning, DECP Debate, Division of Educational and Child Psychology, British Psychological Society, 175, 16-22.
  • Brennan, F., & Parkinson, S. (2017) Positive Self-Talk as a Strategy to Reduce Stress among College Students with Maladaptive Perfectionism [Conference presentation abstract], The Irish Psychologist, Psychological Society of Ireland: Dublin.



  • Brennan, F., & Parkinson, S. (2021). Exploring Primary School Children’s Learner Identity: Implications for 21st Century Education, Educational Studies Association of Ireland Conference 2021, 25th – 26th March, 2021.
  • Brennan, F., Gleasure, S. Linehan, E., & Parkinson, S. (2020). The 21st Century learner is here. Are you ready? [Symposium], Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference, 19th – 20th November 2020.
  • Brennan, F., & Parkinson, S. (2017). Positive Self-Talk as a Strategy to Reduce Stress among College Students with Maladaptive Perfectionism [Symposium], 47th Annual Psychological Society of Ireland Conference, 10th November 2017.

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