Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education

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Professor Susan Edwards

Early Childhood Futures

Professor Susan Edwards is Director of the Early Childhood Futures research program in the Learning Sciences Institute of Australia (LSIA), Australian Catholic University. Her group investigates the role of play-based learning in the early childhood curriculum for the 21st century. Professor Edwards has completed work as a Chief Investigator on two Australian Research Council Discovery Grants. The first examining play-based learning in early childhood education settings, and the second the role of play-based learning in wellbeing and sustainability education. She is currently the lead Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant on digital play and an Australian Research Council Linkage Project investigating best practice for playgroups-in-schools. Susan has over 70 publications in peer reviewed journals, and has published several books with publishers including Cambridge University Press, McMillan and Open University Press. Her most recent book is titled Young Children’s Play and Learning in the Digital Age (co-authored with Christine Stephen, University of Stirling).

Professor Edwards is the immediate past co-editor of the Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education and is currently on the editorial board for three journals (Early Years: International Journal of Research and Practice; Journal of Early Childhood Research; Australasian Journal of Early Childhood). Professor Edwards currently co-chairs the Early Childhood Australia Digital Policy Group (with Professor Leon Straker) where she is leading the development of a Statement on Young Children and Digital Technology. Professor Edwards is also a winner of several awards for teaching excellence in the tertiary education sector, including a prestigious Australian Learning and Teaching Council award in 2009.

Research interests

  • Curriculum
  • Play and play-based learning
  • Digital technologies
  • Consumption
  • Sustainability

Competitive grants and projects

2017-2020 Australian Research Council Linkage Project: Edwards, S., McLean, K., Evangelou, M., Henderson, M., Nolan, A., Skouteris, H., & Healy, C. Research Partner: Playgroup Victoria. A best practice framework for playgroups-in-schools.
2015-2017 Australian Research Council Discovery Project: Edwards, S., Nuttall, J., Grieshaber, S., & Wood, E. New play pedagogies for teaching and learning in the early years.
2014-2016 Australian Research Council, Discovery Project: Skouteris, H., Edwards, S., Rutherford, L., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A., Promoting healthy eating, active play and sustainability awareness in early childhood curricula: Addressing the Ben10™ problem.
2010-2011 Australian Research Council, Discovery Project: Edwards, S., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A., Examining play-based approaches to teaching and learning in early childhood education and care.

Publications

Young children’s play and environmental education in early childhood education Early childhood curriculum: planning, assessment and implementation Early childhood education and care: a sociocultural approach

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