Amanda began her career in early childhood education as an early childhood practitioner in Wales, UK. She began a PhD at the Centre of Childhood Research at University of Wales Swansea in 2006, where she used conversation analysis and membership categorization analysis to investigate the resources used by four-year-old children in the co-construction of social organisation; her thesis is titled ‘Children’s co-construction of context: prosocial and antisocial behaviour revisited’. In 2010 Amanda moved to New Zealand where she held a senior lecturer position in early childhood education, and continued to use conversation analysis in her research. She has been Principle Investigator on several funded projects and has published widely from these studies, including the books Early Childhood Education: The Co-Production of Knowledge and Relationships, as a single author, and Children’s Knowledge-in-interaction: Studies in Conversation Analysis, which she co-edited. Amanda currently works as a senior lecturer in early childhood education at Swansea University.

Publications

  1. & Methodology and professional development: Conversation Analytic Role-play Method (CARM) for early childhood education. Journal of Pragmatics 143, 242-254.
  2. Ventriloquism as early literacy practice: making meaning in pretend play. Early Years 38(1), 68-85.
  3. & Belonging and culturally nuanced communication in a refugee early childhood centre in Aotearoa New Zealand. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 146394911878134
  4. & Children’s use of objects in an early years playground. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 25(1), 55-71.
  5. Hearing children’s voices through a conversation analysis approach. International Journal of Early Years Education 25(3), 241-256.

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Teaching

  • EDC300 Educational practice in a digital age

    This module will provide discussion and exploration of the following topics: Behaviour, risk and safety in the digital age Perceptions of digital technologies Rethinking knowledge in the digital age In a Welsh context and with the Welsh language Open education Developing the digital practitioner, professional learning and online communities of practice Digital wellbeing ALN and digital technology Emerging technologies and predicted educational impact, including covert wearable technologies, affective computing, brain computer interface technologies and artificial intelligence. Opportunities to interact virtually with NZ graduating early childhood teachers is supported.

  • EDC301 Transitions in the early years

    Throughout children¿s early years there are many transitions that they will engage with, including small transitions from sleep to waking, from liquids to solid food, to transitioning from home to other places such as early childhood centres, schools or visiting friends, relatives and other community members. It is also possible that some children will experience transitions through various foster homes, and often through multiple after-school activities. Transitions for children with ALN, in personal health, socio-economic circumstances and environmental changes when moving house, school or emigrating are also relevant throughout various childhoods. Linguistic transitions will be explored in children who move from one language to another, with a particular focus on issues around refugee families. This module will explore these issues, with a focus on the role of the adult in supporting children through these various changes in the most effective ways, particularly when children transition from early childhood settings to New Entrant classes as they move to school. Students will have the opportunity to reflect as a professional on transitions they have made personally, and how they were managed, as well as discussing the transition they are about to make from their degree into the workplace or further study. They will then be supported in applying their knowledge to real-life scenarios to critically evaluate what their role might be for children experiencing similar situations, through the support of relevant and recent academic research.

  • EDC302 Dissertation

    This dissertation module will enable students to pursue an empirical study on a topic of their choice relating to early childhood studies across contexts according to their academic interest or future career aspirations. It will require students to formulate an appropriate research question and to design and execute a research project that will address their chosen question in a coherent and systematic manner. Students will have the flexibility to pursue a research topic related to infants, toddlers, young children, families and communities that might be relevant to their career aspirations across the full range of contexts where knowledge and expertise in early childhood studies is applicable.

  • EDC303 Professional reflective practice

    This module will prepare students to be reflective in their practice with infants, toddlers, young children and their families. It will support students to recognise the importance of critical thinking in their practice and consider how to use research informed strategies to become an effective reflective practitioner within the early years workforce. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on their own practice in their final year placement where they will be supported to identify an area of personal learning for development, considering its relevance in early years practice to support professional development and employability. The module aim is to understand the important role of the early years practitioner working with children with a range of learning needs and languages (including Welsh), and families as students transition into the workforce or further study.

  • EDE300 Educational practice in a digital age

    This module will provide discussion and exploration of the following topics: Behaviour, risk and safety in the digital age Perceptions of digital technologies Rethinking knowledge in the digital age In a Welsh context and with the Welsh language Open education Developing the digital practitioner, professional learning and online communities of practice Digital wellbeing ALN and digital technology Emerging technologies and predicted educational impact, including covert wearable technologies, affective computing, brain computer interface technologies and artificial intelligence. Opportunities to interact virtually with NZ graduating early childhood teachers is supported.

  • EDE301 Early childhood transitions

    Throughout children¿s early years there are many transitions that they will engage with, including small transitions from sleep to waking, from liquids to solid food, to transitioning from home to other places such as early childhood centres, schools or visiting friends, relatives and other community members. It is also possible that some children will experience transitions through various foster homes, and often through multiple after-school activities. Transitions for children with ALN, in personal health, socio-economic circumstances and environmental changes when moving house, school or emigrating are also relevant throughout various childhoods. Linguistic transitions will be explored in children who move from one language to another, with a particular focus on issues around refugee families. This module will explore these issues, with a focus on the role of the adult in supporting children through these various changes in the most effective ways, particularly when children transition from early childhood settings to New Entrant classes as they move to school. Students will have the opportunity to reflect as a professional on transitions they have made personally, and how they were managed, as well as discussing the transition they are about to make from their degree into the workplace or further study. They will then be supported in applying their knowledge to real-life scenarios to critically evaluate what their role might be for children experiencing similar situations, through the support of relevant and recent academic research.

  • EDE302 Dissertation

    This dissertation module will enable students to pursue an empirical study on a topic of their choice relating to early childhood studies across contexts according to their academic interest or future career aspirations. It will require students to formulate an appropriate research question and to design and execute a research project that will address their chosen question in a coherent and systematic manner. Students will have the flexibility to pursue a research topic related to infants, toddlers, young children, families and communities that might be relevant to their career aspirations across the full range of contexts where knowledge and expertise in early childhood studies is applicable.

  • EDE303 Professional reflective practice

    This module will prepare students to be reflective in their practice with infants, toddlers, young children and their families. It will support students to recognise the importance of critical thinking in their practice and consider how to use research informed strategies to become an effective reflective practitioner within the early years workforce. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on their own practice in their final year placement where they will be supported to identify an area of personal learning for development, considering its relevance in early years practice to support professional development and employability. The module aim is to understand the important role of the early years practitioner working with children with a range of learning needs and languages (including Welsh), and families as students transition into the workforce or further study.

  • EDN100 Contemporary Education, Problems and Issues

    The module will introduce students to the contemporary range of educational issues, patterns and associated policies locally and nationally. It will describe the history and functions of compulsory education systems, and particularly explore the range of approaches utilized over the past 40 years to improve student outcomes and deal with inequalities in social class, gender and ethnicity in terms of these outcomes. An assessment will be made about why certain policy, paradigms are more effective than others, and about future likely / desired changes in educational and associated policies.

  • EDN202 Protecting and Promoting Wellbeing in Education

    This module will focus on promoting and protecting wellbeing in the context of education. It will consider policy and legislation based on rights to, and within, education. The increased emphasis on emotional health and wellbeing in education will be highlighted using contemporary research to critically evaluate evidence based practice. Safeguarding issues, processes and a multi-agency approach in professional practice will be explored. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own educational experiences in relation to rights, safeguarding and wellbeing.

  • EDN303 Childhood Studies

    This module will introduce students to key issues and ideas relating to childhood across time and culture. The module will be structured around four main themes: concepts of childhood, constructing childhood, childhood across time and culture and issues relating to childhood across children¿s services. Childhood is considered from a multi-disciplinary perspective in relation to aspects of professional educational practice and related services.

Research Groups

  • The Early Years Research Centre, Waikato University, NZ

    The Early Years Research Centre is sited in the Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research – includes a group of scholars who have built a national and international reputation in the following three areas of research in the early years: pedagogy, policy and community connections. These areas form the three themes of the Centre research programme.

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2010 2018 Senior Lecturer New Zealand

Key Grants and Projects

  • Royal Marsden project - Co-researcher 2018 - 2021

    Refugee families in early childhood education: constructing pathways to belonging., $845,000

  • Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) – Co-researcher 2018 - 2020

    Strengthening belonging and identity of refugee and immigrant children through early childhood education., $199,993

  • Principal Investigator 2014 - 2016

    Literacy and narrative in the early years: Zooming in and zooming out., $450,000