I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education at Queen Margaret University, and Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Education Studies programme. Before coming to higher education, I worked in early childhood education and care for 13 years in corporate, Reggio-Emilia-inspired and Froebelian settings in the United States and Scotland. I started working in early years because I enjoyed being with young children and their families, but I thought it would be temporary! In fact, I loved it and this has become the focus of my working life. When I am not at work, you might find me reading (anything and everything fictional) or going for massive long walks.
My research focuses on two main strands. First, I explore children’s rights in early childhood, particularly participation rights and the voice of very young children. Second, I work on outdoor learning in early years, particularly young children’s experiences and relationships with land and place. I approach both strands from a relational perspective, looking at how young children’s lives and experiences are shaped by intergenerational relationships, attitudes toward childhood, policy/practice trends, and relationships of power. I also work on research methodology and ethical considerations in research with young children, and have drawn on approaches such as ethnography, arts-based methodologies and action research. My research has been supported by funding from the Froebel Trust, the Scottish Funding Council, and Starcatchers.
Active research interests:
- Children's rights in early childhood
- Early childhood pedagogy and practice
- Outdoor play and learning in early childhood
- Qualitative methodologies
- Action research
- Ethnographic methodologies
- Arts-based methodologies
I teach across the BA (Hons) Education Studies, BA (Hons) Education Studies (Primary) and MA Education on matters related to early years, children’s rights, literacy, and outdoor play and learning.
BA (Hons) Education Studies