Samantha Cooney

Early Years & Montessori

Special Needs Assisting

Position: SNA lecturer

This quote from Haim Ginott is the basis of my work with children of all ages and backgrounds. “I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”

About Samantha 

I have a BA in Early Years and Childhood Studies and an MA in Sociology from University College Cork. Additionally, I am just about to complete a P.M.E in Primary Education from Hibernia College. Throughout my academic studies and career to date, my research has been focused on cultural hybridity in primary schools and collaborative learning methodologies for inclusion and special educational needs. I have worked in advocacy roles within community engagement initiatives and organisations such as Barnardos Ireland and Amnesty International. Over the past 10 years I have worked in the early years’ sector, special needs settings, primary schools and as an intervention home tutor with the Department of Education. I work primarily with students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and language delay.

Samantha’s Teaching Philosophy 

As a teacher I advocate for multi-sensory learning that builds on children’s own lived experiences. As a lecturer, I teach exactly the same way! It can be intimidating to return to education, change career or take your first steps into further education. I strive to teach in a way that helps the adult learning identify their existing knowledge, strengths and weaknesses. Everyone learns differently, and I endeavour to teach using a multitude of strategies to support that including; class discussions, online materials, working through different scenarios, practical skills and examples from my own professional practice.


  • First Class Honours BA Level 8 Degree in Early Years and Childhood Studies
  • First Class Honours MA Level 9 Degree in Sociology
  • First Class Honours PME Level 9 Degree in Primary Education

Research Areas

  • Cultural Hybridity
  • Collaborative Learning Strategies

Industry Roles

  • Advocacy Roles
  • Early Intervention
  • Special Needs Assisting
  • Primary Teaching
  • Lecturing

Find Samantha Online


Samantha Cooney Samantha Cooney