Learning Sciences Institute Australia

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Dr Ana Mantilla is a Senior Research Assistant for the Learning Sciences Institute Australia, Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University. She provides research, project management and administrative support for the Early Childhood Futures and Teacher Education, Quality and Professional Practice research concentrations. Before joining ACU in 2012, Ana completed her doctoral studies at Monash University where she also lectured and worked as a research assistant.

Research interests

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Bilingualism
  • Second Language Learning and Teaching
  • Play and play-based curriculum
  • Digital Technologies

Competitive grants and projects

Project management

2015-2017 Australian Research Council Discovery Project, Chief Investigator: Edwards, Nuttall, Grieshaber & Wood New play pedagogies for teaching and learning in the early years
2015-2016 AuDA, Chief Investigator: Edwards, S., Nolan, A., Henderson, M., and Skouteris, H. Cyber-safety education in the early years

Research team

2014-2016 Australian Research Council, Discovery Project, Chief Inestigator: 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.


Journal Articles

Morris, H., Skouteris, H., Edwards, S., Rutherford, L., Cutter-Mackenzie, A., O’Connor, A., Mantilla, A., Huang, T., Lording, K.M., Williams-Smith, J. (2016). Feasibility of conducting a randomised trial to promote healthy eating, active play and sustainability awareness in early childhood curricula. Early Child Development and Care. DOI:10.1080/03004430.2015.1131158
Nuttall, J., Edwards, S., Mantilla, A., Grieshaber, S., & Wood, E. (2015). The role of motive objects in early childhood teacher development concerning children’s digital play and play-based learning in early childhood curricula. Professional Development in Education, 41(2), 222 – 235.
Edwards, S., Skouteris, H., Cutter-Mackenzie, A., Rutherford, L., O’Connor, M., Mantilla, A., Elliot, S. (2015). Young children learning about well-being and environmental education in the early years: a funds of knowledge approach. Early Years, 33(1), 33-50.
Nuttall, J., Edwards, S., Lee, S., Mantilla, A., & Wood, E. (2013). Kindergarten teachers’ interpretations of young children’s play in digital-consumerist contexts. Journal of Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2013(2), 54-62.

Book Chapters

Edwards, S., Nuttal, J., Mantilla, A., Wood, E., & Grieshaber, S. (2015). Digital play: What do early childhood teachers see? In S. Bulfin, N. F. Johnson & C. Bigum (Eds.), Critical perspectives on technology and education (pp. 69 – 84). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Fleer, M., Tonyan, H. A., Mantilla, A., & Rivalland, C. M. P. (2009). Play and learning in Australia. In I. Pramling-Samuelsson & M. Fleer (Eds.), Play and Learning in Early Childhood Settings: International Perspectives: Springer.
Fleer, M., Tonyan, H. A., Mantilla, A., & Rivalland, C. M. P. (2008). A cultural-historical analysis of play as an activity setting in early childhood education: Views from research and from teachers. In M. Fleer, M. Hedegaard & J. Tudge (Eds.), Childhood Studies and the Impact of Globalization: Policies and Practices at Global and Local Levels: Routledge.

Doctoral Thesis

Mantilla, Ana. (2011). Practices in young children’s foreign language classrooms: a Colombian-Australian comparison. (Doctor of Philosophy), Monash University, Melbourne.

Practitioner Journal Articles

Mantilla, A. (2014). Learning more than one language as a young child: the misconceptions versus the real advantages. Reflections, 54, 16-17.