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Director, REEaCh Hub
Professor Eadie has led multi-disciplinary research projects in early childhood, with a focus on understanding young children’s developmental pathways from birth through to school and evaluating interventions in a variety of settings. Her research focuses on children’s language and literacy learning, the importance of adult-child interactions and strong communication skills to children’s later developmental outcomes. This work includes a focus on best-practice models of professional learning for early child and early years teachers. The approach enables educators to implement high quality teaching practices that increase intentional teaching and instructional support to maximise all children’s learning and development.
Nicola Yelland is the Professor of Early Childhood Studies in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. Her teaching and research interests have been related to the use of new technologies in school and community contexts. She has also worked in East Asia and examined the culture and curriculum of early childhood settings. Nicola’s work engages with educational issues with regard to varying social, economic and political conditions and thus requires multidisciplinary perspectives. Recent publications include; Reimagining play with new technologies. In L. Arnott (Ed.) Digital technologies and learning in the early years. (London, UK: SAGE) and Yelland, N.J. & Leung, W.M. Policy into practice in Hong Kong pre-primary kindergartens: the impact of a reform agenda viewing early childhood as the foundation for lifelong learning. International Journal of Early Years. And Arvanitis, E., Yelland, N.J & Kiprianos, P. (2019). Liminal spaces of temporary dwellings: Transitioning to new lives in times of crisis. Journal of Research in Childhood Education. 33:1, 134-144.
Dr Jane Page is an Associate Professor and Associate Director, Pedagogy and Leadership Research in the REEaCh Hub at Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) at the University of Melbourne. Jane has worked in the early childhood field for over thirty years covering a range of roles both as a director and teacher in early childhood services as well as teaching and researching in the University sector. Jane’s research interests include teacher effectiveness, coaching and educational leadership and the application of human rights principles in early childhood settings.
Dr Ben Deery is an early career researcher, supervisor, and lecturer in Early Childhood Education and Care at the MGSE, University of Melbourne. He is a registered Clinical Neuropsychologist, with many years’ experience working both clinically and in research-based roles across paediatric and childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. He is also a qualified Early Childhood Educator, has worked as a Consultant Neuropsychologist for Pearson Australia, and has lectured previously in Educational Psychology. Ben's primary areas of research interest are in evidence-based learning interventions for children, childhood learning disorders, and the application of mindfulness, play/games-based interventions, and social-emotional learning in the early years. Ben is currently working on several innovative intervention pilots and proof-of-concept studies, including an ARC funded play-based mindfulness program for young children, use of games to increase positive adult-child interactions and child development, and new methods for assessing young children's mental health and cognitive development. His appointments at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and the Murdoch Children Research Institute reflect his broader interest in collaboration between health and education fields to better support children during the early years.
Dr Penny Levickis is a postdoctoral research fellow in theREEaCh Hub. She was awarded her PhD by the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. Her PhD was in the field of child language development, specifically examining contributions of parent behaviours to child language outcomes in a community-based sample of slow-to-talk toddlers. Her primary areas of research interest are in examining factors that predict variation in language pathways, in particular contributions of adult-child interactions as well as investigating the effectiveness of prevention and intervention for children at risk of developmental language disorder. In her recent work as part of her Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship she explored parents’ experiences of taking part in parent language programmes aimed at enhancing parent-child interaction. Penny’s current research focuses on enhancing the quality of educator-child interactions in early childhood education and care to promote child language development and reduce social inequalities. This is an opportunity to provide enriched language learning opportunities to the most vulnerable children and their families who find engaging directly with early intervention services difficult.
Amelia is a conversation analyst who studies children’s knowledge-in-interaction. Her current research focuses on participation frameworks in early childhood settings – in particular teacher responsivity – and using the Conversation Analytic Role-play Method (CARM) for professional development.
Dr Edith Nicolas
Dr Edith Nicolas is an Early Childhood Educator and a Linguist. She currently coordinates the Clinical Teaching Practice subjects on the Master of Teaching (Early Childhood). Edith’s research is in early childhood language development and bilingualism. She has recently been involved in the Early Childhood Language Program project, researching best evidence practice and developing course material to support the implementation of the program in preschool settings across Victoria. She had previously developed her own French language program incorporating play-based pedagogies to support young children’s second language acquisition.
Jeanne Marie Iorio, EdD is a Senior Lecturer in early childhood education. Her research, teaching, and writing focuses on disrupting and rethinking accepted educational practices in early childhood and higher education. This work includes rethinking quality as meaning-making; children’s relations with place, more-than-human and materials; pedagogical documentation and research methods; and pedagogies originating from the municipal infant-toddler centres and preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Her research project ‘Out and About’ with Dr Catherine Hamm (La Trobe University) is part of an international research collective (www.commonworlds.net) and seeks to understand and document teaching pedagogies that support children and educators in building deep relationships with place and the more-than-human. ‘Children as Capable’ (also with Dr Catherine Hamm) considers the teaching practices utilised to enact the image of the child as capable throughout the daily ordinary moments in a classroom.
Dr Sonja Arndt's teaching and research sit at the intersection of early childhood education, childhood studies and philosophy of education. With 30 years' experience in early childhood education, her involvement in the unique environment of Playcentre in New Zealand, grounded her strongly in a community centred, collective approach to pedagogies, teaching and research. Sonja was an early childhood teacher in New Zealand and Germany, before becoming a lecturer and senior lecturer, most recently at the University of Waikato. She has a particular interest in cultural identity, otherness and belonging, and philosophies of subject formation, which have led to her teaching and researching in diverse contexts, including Sweden, Denmark, Malta, China, India, Indonesia and others.
Sonja's concerns with children's cultural identities arise in the lack of attention paid to teachers' cultural otherness is a strong theme in her research and publications. They provoke her exploration of diverse methodologies and theoretical perspectives including posthuman and new materialist notions of culture, relationships and human interdependencies with more than human beings, things and places. Sonja is the Vice-President of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA) and is involved in a number of editorial projects and innovations, including as Chair of the Editors Collective, Deputy Editor of Policy Futures in Education and as a book series editor of the Springer Series: Children: Posthumanist perspectives and materialist theories. One of Sonja's recent developments in her teaching includes involving students in intercultural engagements with other student teachers in diverse countries through COLAB - Collaborative Online Learning Across Borders.
Dr Jayson Cooper is a Lecturer in Early Childhood at the University of Melbourne. His research, teaching, and writing focuses on public pedagogy, the arts, and democracy within early childhood contexts. In this work he invites critical relationships with place, Kulin Country and more widely Aboriginal knowledges and pedagogies from Australia, and other ‘southern locations’. This academic work is situated within post-qualitative research methods and is illustrated through artistic processes, practices and pedagogies. He develops relational understandings of place, childhoods, the non-human, materiality and land-based pedagogies (which includes decolonising agendas) across his work. Jayson provides professional development for early childhood and primary educators that bridges the human-nature divide through artistic processes and online, digital technologies.
Lisa Murray is a Research Fellow at the REEaCh Hub. Lisa completed her Master of Teaching at the University of Melbourne and has a background in primary art education. She has broad project management and research experience in relation to educational policy, research and practice. Lisa has managed a range of research projects in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care including the the ARC Linkage Grant Building a Bridge into Preschool in Remote Northern Territory Communities with the Department of Education, Northern Territory government, and the development and evaluation of a professional learning program designed to improve the quality of educator-child interactions (ITSECE). In her current role as Research Fellow at the REEaCh Hub, Lisa provides project coordination, data collection and analysis, writing and publication support across several research projects.
Parian Madanipour is a research fellow at The University of Melbourne where she is project-managing the Melbourne Graduate School of Education’s Early Childhood Professional Practice Partnership Project. A qualified early childhood teacher, her master’s degree research focused on facilitating young children’s spatial thinking through dance. Reflective practice has informed her growing interest in the inclusion of innovative pedagogies and technology in early childhood education, and specifically, the adaptation and promotion of STEAM in early childhood education settings.
Dr Sarah Young
Dr Sarah Young is a lecturer and researcher in early childhood education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. Sarah’s research addresses the relations of teachers and children as they collaborate in shared creative spaces with particular focus on play and the arts. Building reciprocal relationships where children and adults co-contribute to the creative process is central to her research in educational and public spaces. Sarah has engaged with research collaborations with the Melbourne Museum focusing on theorising and rethinking public learning spaces for children. Theoretical drivers of Sarah’s research are cultural-historical theory, childhood sociology, early childhood education, arts-based methodologies and philosophies of play.
Dr Laura McFarland
Dr Laura McFarland is a Research Fellow in the Research in Effective Education in Early Childhood (REEaCh) Hub, in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. The overarching theme of Laura's research is supporting the well-being of children, families and educators in the early childhood education context.
Laura was awarded her PhD in 2000 at The University of Texas at Austin in Human Development and Family Sciences. Her doctoral research focused on examining the links between parent-child interaction quality and parent-child attachment. Laura's current research focuses on supporting quality relationships amongst children families and educators, in order to provide the best outcomes for children. Laura's research recognises the importance of a whole of service approach to supporting mental health and well-being and she is particularly interested in the role of leadership in creating mentally healthy early learning communities.
Prior to commencing in an academic role, she worked as an early childhood educator for ten years. She has also held roles in family support at a community health service, and as a consultant for Early Childhood Australia (ECA). At ECA, Laura supported early childhood educators to implement the Be You initiative, which is the national initiative to support mental health in schools and early learning services.
Laura is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and was awarded an Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching citation in 2016 for sustained excellence in scholarship in early childhood education that enhances student learning by connecting research, families and communities. Laura is a member of the editorial board for the Early Childhood Education Journal (ECEJ) and is Associate Editor for the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood (AJEC). Laura is a member of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) and Early Childhood Australia (ECA).
Dr Hannah Stark
Dr Hannah Stark is a research fellow in the REEaCh Hub. Hannah’s research interests centre around the delivery of educational interventions to enrich children’s communication and reduce the impacts of social disadvantage. Hannah was awarded her PhD by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) in 2019. In her doctoral research she investigated the impact of professional learning in oral language on early years’ teachers’ knowledge and classroom practice. She was previously a team leader in Learning Diversity at Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools and was the project manager of the evaluation of Every Toddler Talking, a Victorian DET initiative to improve communication for babies and toddlers in ECEC settings.
Dr Hannah Bryson
Dr Hannah Bryson is a research fellow in the REEaCh Hub. Her primary areas of research interest are in equitable health and development for all children, and the role that health and education services can play in promoting equitable outcomes for young children experiencing adversity. Hannah’s research has particularly focussed on parent and child mental health in the context of adversity. She was awarded her PhD by the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne in 2020. Her PhD focussed on the role of physiological stress in children’s experiences of early adverse environments and the pathways for health and development. Throughout her career, Hannah has worked extensively in community-based intervention and cohort research. She was previously based at the Centre for Community Child Health at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and was the research manager for the right@home trial, examining the effectiveness of an Australian nurse home visiting program promoting family wellbeing and child development for families experiencing adversity.
Dr Lynn Lee-Pang
Dr Lynn Lee-Pang is a research fellow in the REEaCh Hub. Her research focuses on enhancing the quality of learning experiences for young children and promoting social and emotional well-being in the early years. She was awarded her PhD by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) in 2021. Her doctoral research investigated meanings embedded within infants’ and toddlers’ musical interactions with early childhood educators, and the application of music’s ontological meanings of expression and interconnection to pedagogy.