Staff Profiles


Dr Patrick Meehan

Senior Lecturer

School: Faculty of Education Undergraduate Programmes

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 922077

Profile summary

After gaining a BA Modern History and Government in 1992, Patrick joined the Queensland Police Service in 1993 and served in a variety of roles from unifrom general duties to policy writing and specialist plain clothes investigations. He gained an MA Justice Studies via distance education in 2000 and worked extensively with local authorities in Queensland on reducing crime and safety risks through situational crime prevention strategies and participated in writing and delivery of several service-wide training and education initiatives. From 2000-2003 he taught undergraduate criminology/sociology to sworn police and civilians at Griffith University in Brisbane.

In 2006 Patrick emigrated to the UK with his family and worked series of short term ASBO Officer contracts in the Greater London Area prior to joing Canterbury Christ Church in 2007 as a Senior Lecturer, in Early Childhood Studies teaching several modules on law, child protection and human rights. He became a Year Level Coordinator in 2009 and has been a Module leader for several modules each year since then. He gained a Forest School Practitioner qualification in Denmark in 2009

Patrick has worked extensively with colleagues from Education Studies, Primary Education, Life Sciences and Geography in organising and leading staff/student trips to India, Norway, Germany and the USA and has supervised incoming and outgoing Erasmus students.

In 2017-19 he was Programme director of the BA Early Childhood Education and Care and in 2019 became Programme Director for the MA Education

Research and teaching interests

The life-course impacts of physical environmentsa nd welfare regimes on children and families

Crime prevention/ public safety

Police and Corrections organisational cultures and professional education

Human rights especially for children and families

Socio-economic and political impacts on children and famiies of rapid changes in technology such as AI, automation, 

Research and knowledge exchange

Canterbury Christ Church representative on Canterbury City Council £1.6 million Heritage Lottery Bid to redevelop Westgate Gardens

Canterbury Christ Church representative on Kent County Council Men in Childcare Network.

Facilitated consultative process for St Thomas' Catholic Primary School Canterbury to enable children to be the drivers of a plan to redevelop their playground equipment.

2012 negotiated a three month voluntary internship for a graduate with the African Child Policy Forum to conduct research on SEN provision in Ethiopia

2010, 2013, 2015, 2017 2019 Organised and co-led multidisciplinary staff/student trips to Tamil Nadu, India looking at empowerment of local villages especially women and children through education and collective work projects. Also looked at soil and water contamination from local tannery industries.

2015 organised and co-led staff/student trip to Oslo Norway looking at education and care of children 0-8 years at forest schools, kindergartens and schools and undertaking Erasmus guest lecturing at Oslo Metropolitan University.

External Examiner at University of Sunderland and University of Hertfordshire and previously at University of Huddersfield and Marino Institute Dublin

2019-20 Remote supervision of MSc Criminology students for University of Suffolk

Actively seeking international university partners for collaborative activity and research on areas of interest

Currently supervising two PhD students for Canterbury Christ Church University.

Teaching and subject expertise

Modules taught

MECMD3ECS/STU Independent Study

MECMD2GNP Global and International Perspectives

MECMD2CEC 21st Century Childhood

MECMD2CTM Children and the Media

MECMD3LCW The Law, the Child and the Family

MEDIN4DIS  Independepent Study

Areas of expertise

Human Rights

Dissertation supervision

Situational Crime Prevention

Police Operational Skills (Firearms and Operational Skills Instructor 1995-2004)

Forest Schools / Outdoor Play

Crime and children

Children and the built environment/ landscape architecture

Research Interests

Children and natural environment, especially health benefits and development of pro-social attitudes

Child agency as decision-making stakeholders in spaces where they live, play, travel and are educated and cared for

Chldren and Poverty, especially in regard to impacts of poor physical environments on life outcomes

Police and Corrections occupational cultures and professional education

Socio-economic and political impacts of rapid advances in technology on children and families


Membership of organisations

International Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Association


Royal Geographical Society

Kent County Council - Men In Childcare Network

Howard League for Penal Reform

External activities

Papers presented

Meehan, C and Meehan, P. (2015) Parents as Partners Con or Concept? OMEP world conference Washington D.C.


Meehan, P. (2017) Draw me a map of your town. OMEP World Conference, Opatija Croatia


Meehan, P. (2019) Have we underestimated children’s understanding of their environment?: A new model for examining children’s artefact maps of large scale space. Child Friendly Cities Conference Bristol.


Meehan, P. (2020) Taking children’s knowledge seriously – A new model for analysis of children’s maps. Child in the City Conference Dublin (Cancelled due to COVID19 but paper held for rescheduled Conference Sept 2021)

2011 Presented paper on history of UK child protection legislation in Kampala, Uganda

2010 Presented paper on reasons for continued failure of UK to successful protect children at the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) conference in Hawaii

Membership of professional bodies

International CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) Association

OMEP WorldOrganisation for Early Childhood Education

Royal Geographical Society

External consulting

Canterbury Christ Church University representative on Canterbury City Council £1.6 million Heritage Lottery bid for redevelopment of Westgate Gardens

Canterbury Christ Church University representative on Kent County Council-sponsored Men in Childcare Network

Publications and research outputs


Meehan, C. and Meehan P. (2017) Trainee teachers’ perceptions about parent partnerships: are parents partners ?  Early Childhood Development and Care. February 2017  DOI 10.1080/03004430.2017.1286334


Meehan, C. and Meehan P. (2017) Exploring the role of ‘RE’ in early childhood education and care as a response to the PREVENT agenda in England.  Early Childhood Development and Care, September 2017 DOI 10.1080/03004430.2017.1369978


Meehan, P. (2017) Considering the relationship between the education of children and the application of the law: A brief global view, in Trimmer, K, Dixon, R. and Findlay, Y.S. (Eds) (2017) Education and the Law – Considering the Legal Context of Schools. Toowoomba: University of Southern Queensland.


Forthcoming Publications


Meehan, C. Meehan P., Alisauskiene, S., Visnjic, J. A, Kostas, M and Weaver D (2020) Are parents partners in children's education? A six-country study about trainee teachers and practitioners perceptions about parents. American Educational Research Journal (Forthcoming)

Carpenter, H. and Meehan, P. (under development) An exploration through online surveys of the views of parents and practitioners about women with highly visible tattoos working with children.

Conference Presentations


Meehan, P. (2010) Why does the UK continue to fail to protect vulnerable children from abuse and neglect?  International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) Hawaii


Meehan, P. (2010) A short history of children in the UK justice and welfare system from 1880 to 2010.  African Child Policy Forum/International Juvenile Justice Observatory. Kampala Uganda

Meehan, C and Meehan, P. (2015) Parents as Partners Con or Concept? OMEP world conference Washington D.C.


Meehan, P. (2017) Draw me a map of your town. OMEP World Conference, Opatija Croatia


Meehan, P. (2019) Have we underestimated children’s understanding of their environment?: A new model for examining children’s artefact maps of large scale space. Child Friendly Cities Conference Bristol.


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Last edited: 19/11/2020 13:32:00