Principal Lecturer / Team Leader Childhood Studies
I joined the University in 2017, leading the Childhood Studies programme area. Prior to this, I worked at Northumbria University for 12 years leading on Early Years and Childhood programmes and also more recently as a departmental lead for Teaching and Learning (staff enhancement). I have also worked for many years as an external examiner for Childhood/Early Years courses at other universities.
I began my career as a Nursery Nurse in 1982 which gave me a fabulous foundation from which to develop my career as an educator and this is where my passion for children's development and learning began. Before moving into Higher Education, I taught childcare and education at local colleges and also had a lead workforce development role in Northumberland where I was responsible for developing the Early Years workforce.
In my current role as Principal Lecturer here at Sunderland, I lead on Childhood Studies. The part of this role that I enjoy the most is working with students, especially seeing how they progress from day one of the course, through to their graduation.
Teaching and supervision
I currently lead and teach on a range of Childhood Studies modules including:
Building Graduate Skills for Childhood Practitioners
Play and the Curriculum
I supervise undergraduate dissertations on our Childhood Studies courses and Masters dissertations for MSc Practice Development.
I recently completed my Phd entitled 'Somebody's Child: an exploration of the role of local grandmothers in the deinstitutionalisation of disabled children in Bulgaria'. Drawing from childhood studies and disability studies, my research focused on child development, caregiving practices, attachment and belonging, children's rights and the post communist policy context for childcare.
I am also interested in pedagogical research in the Higher Education (HE) context. During my career in HE, I have enjoyed being involved in teaching and learning research projects often involving students as co-researchers, and with the overall aim of improving teaching practice as well as enhancing the student experience of learning at university.
My key research interests are:
Child development (early years)
Adverse childhood (and family) experiences
Children's workforce development and CPD
Teaching and learning in HE
My areas of expertise relate to children's development and teaching and learning in HE.