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Professor Susan Edwards

Early Childhood Futures

Susan Edwards is Professor of Education in the Learning Sciences Institute of Australia (LSIA), Australian Catholic University, where she currently directs the Early Childhood Futures research program. Her research 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. 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 due for publication in 2018 and 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 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

2015-2017 Australian Research Council Discovery Project, Chief Investigator: Edwards, Nuttall, Grieshaber & Wood 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

Books (Since 2009)

Cutter-Mackenzie, A. Edwards, S., Moore, D., & Boyd, W. (2014). Young children’s play and environmental education in early childhood education. Springer: Dordrecht.
MacLachlan, C., Edwards, S., Margrain, V., & McLean, K. (2013). Children’s learning and development: Contemporary assessment in the early years. Palgrave McMillan: Melbourne.
MacLachlan, C, Fleer, M., & Edwards, S. (2013). Early childhood curriculum: planning, assessment and implementation (2nd ed.). Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
Edwards, S. (2009). Early childhood education and care: a sociocultural approach. Sydney, Australia: Pademelon Press.

Books Chapters (Since 2009)

Henderson, L., & Edwards, S. (2016). Approaches to ECEC: Philosophies, practices and implementation in the Australian context. Chapter in J. Ailwood., W. Boyd and M. Theobald (Eds.), Early childhood education and care in Australia. Melbourne: Allen and Unwin.
Edwards, S. (2015). Technologies in early childhood education. Chapter in M. Henderson & G. Romeo (Eds.), Teaching and digital technologies: Big issues and critical questions, (pp. 282-293). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
McLean, K., & Edwards, S. (2015). Beginning the conversation about young children’s technology use in contemporary times. Chapter in S. Garvis and N. Lemon (Eds.), Understanding digital technologies and young children: An international perspective, (pp.155-166). New York: Routledge.
Edwards, S., Skouteris, H. Nolan, A., & Henderson, M. (2015). Young children’s internet cognition. Chapter in S. Garvis and N. Lemon (Eds.), Understanding digital technologies and young children: An international perspective, (pp.38-46). New York: Routledge.
Edwards, S., Nuttall, J., Lee, S., Wood, L., Mantilla, A., & Grieshaber, S. (2015). Digital play: What do teachers see? In S. Bulfin., N. Johnson & C. Bigum (Eds.), Critical perspectives on education and technology, (pp. 69-84). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Cutter-Mackenzie, A., & Edwards, S. (2013). The next twenty years. Imagining and re-imagining sustainability, environment and education in early childhood education. In S. Elliott, S. Edwards, J. Davis & A. CutterMackenzie(Eds). Early Childhood Australia’s Best of Sustainability. Research Practice and Theory, pp. 61-67. Early Childhood Australia: Canberra.
Edwards, S. (2013). Post-industrial play: understanding the relationship between traditional and converged forms of play in the early years. In J. Marsh, & A. Burke (Eds.), Children’s Virtual Play Worlds: Culture, Learning, and Participation (pp. 10-25). Peter Lang: New York.
Nuttall, J. & Edwards, S. (2013). Diverse theories for diverse learners: the Australian Early Years Learning Framework. In J. Georgeson (Ed.), International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Care (pp. 204-215). London: Open University Press.
Edwards, S., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2013). ‘Next time we can be penguins’: expanding the concept of ‘learning play’ to support learning and teaching about sustainability in early childhood education. In O.Lillemyr, S. Dockett, & B. Perry (Eds.), International perspectives on play and early childhood education (pp. 55-73). New York: Information Age Publishing.
Cutter-Mackenzie, A., & Edwards, S. (2011). Everyday environmental education experiences: the role of content in early childhood education. In J. Szempruch, M. Kwaśniewska, & ASzplit (Eds.), Subjectivity in Education- various dimensions and contexts
Brooker, L., & Edwards, S. (2010). Introduction. From challenging to engaging play. In L. Brooker & S. Edwards (Eds.), Engaging Play. Open University Press: London.
Edwards, S., Cutter-Mackenzie, A., & Hunt, E. (2010). Framing play for learning: professional reflections on the role of open-ended play in early childhood education. In L. Brooker, & S. Edwards (Eds.), Engaging Play. Open University Press: London.
Edwards, S. & Brooker, L. (2010). Afterword. In L. Brooker, & S. Edwards (Eds.), Engaging Play. Open University Press: London.

Articles (Since 2009)

Denham, A., Skouteris, H., Edwards, S., Nolan, A., Small, J. (in press, accepted 16.12.15). A Cooperative Pedagogical Program Linking Preschool and Preparatory Teachers: A Pilot Study. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood.
Edwards, S., Henderson, M., Gronn, D., Scott, A. (in press, accepted 13.7.15). Digital disconnect or digital difference? A socio-ecological perspective on young children’s technology use in the home and the early childhood centre. Technology, Pedagogy and Education.
Morris, H., Skouteris, H., Edwards, S., Rutherford, L., Cutter-Mackenzie, A., O’Connor, A., Mantilla, A., Huang, T., Lording, K.M., Williams-Smith, J. (in press, accepted 9.12.15). Feasibility of conducting a randomised trial to promote healthy eating, active play and sustainability awareness in early childhood curricula. Early Child Development and Care.
McLean, K., Edwards, S. Evangelou, M., Skouteris, H., Harrison, L., Hemphill, S., Sullivan, P., & Lambert, P. (2015). Playgroups as a site for parental education. Journal of Early Childhood Research. DOI:10.1177/1476718X15595753
Edwards, S. (2015). New concepts of play and the problem of technology, digital media and popular-culture integration with play-based learning in early childhood education. Technology, Pedagogy and Education. DOI: 10.1080/1475939X.2015.1108929
Edwards, S., Skouteris, H., CutterMackenzie, A., Rutherford, L., O’Conner, M., Mantilla, A., Morris, H., & Elliot, S. (2015). Young children learning about wellbeing and environmental education in the early years: a funds of knowledge approach. Early Years: An International Research Journal, 36(1), 33-50.
Edwards, S., & Bird, J. (2015). Observing and assessing young children’s digital play: using the digital play framework. Journal of Early Childhood Research. DOI: 10.1177/1476718X15579746
Morris, H., Skouteris, H., Edwards, S., Rutherford, L., (2015). Obesity prevention interventions in early childhood education and care settings with parental involvement: A systematic review. Early Child Development and Care, DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2014.991723
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.
Bone, J., & Edwards, S. (2015). Connecting in rhizomic spaces: Peer-assisted learning (PAL) and e-learning in teacher education. Australian Journal of Adult Education, 55(1), 55-74.
Bird, J., & Edwards, S. (2014). Children learning to use technologies through play: A Digital Play Framework. British Journal of Educational Technology, 10.1111/bjet.12191
McLean, K., Edwards, S. Colliver, Y., & Schaper, C. (2014). Supported playgroups in schools: What matters for caregivers and their children? Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 39(4), 73-80.
Edwards, S. (2014). Towards contemporary play: sociocultural theory and the digital-consumerist context. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 12(3), 219-233. doi: 10.1177/1476718X14538596
Skouteris, H., Edwards, S., Rutherford L., Cutter-MacKenzie, A., Huang T., & O’Connor, M. (2014).  Promoting healthy eating, active play and sustainability consciousness in early childhood curricula, addressing the Ben10™ problem: a randomised control trial. BMC Public Health, 14, 548. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-548.
 Bird, J. Colliver, Y., & Edwards, S. (2014). The camera is not a methodology: towards a framework for understanding young children’s use of video cameras. Early Childhood Development and Care, 184(11-12), 1741-1756. doi: 10.1080/03004430.2013.878711
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.
Cutter-Mackenzie, A., Edwards, S., & Widdop-Quiton, H. (2013). Child-Framed video research methodologies: issues, possibilities and challenges for researching with children. Childhood Geographies, 13(3), 343-356. doi:10.1080/14733285.2013.848598
 Gronn, D., Scott, A., Edwards, S., & Henderson, M. (2013). ‘Technological me’: Young children’s use of technology across their home and school contexts. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 23(4), 439-454. doi:10.1080/1475939X.2013.813406
 Skouteris, H., Cox, R., Huang, T., Rutherford, L., Edwards, S., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2013). Promoting obesity prevention together with environmental sustainability. Health Promotion International, 29(3), 454-462. doi: 10.1093/heapro/dat007
Edwards, S., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2013). Pedagogical play-types: what do they suggest for learning about sustainability in early childhood education? International Journal of Early Childhood, 45(3), 327-346. doi: 10.1007/s13158-013-0082-5.
Edwards, S., Moore, D., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2012). Beyond ‘killing, screaming and being scared of insects’: learning and teaching about biodiversity in early childhood education.  EC Folio, 16(2), 12-16.
Cutter-Mackenzie, A., Edwards, S., & Widdop-Quinton, H. (2012). The serious work of learning and sustainability in the early years. Eingana, 35(3), 12-17.
Edwards, S., (2012). Teaching through assessment: merging technology and assessment in teacher in education. Teachers and Teaching, 18(5), 585-599.
Edwards, S., & Bone, J. (2012). Integrating peer assisted learning and elearning. Using innovative pedagogies to support learning and teaching in Higher Education settings. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(5), 1.
Souketeris, H., Cox, R., Haung, T., Rutherford, L., Edwards, S., & CutterMackenzie, A. (2012). Using social marketing to promote individual and environmental wellbeing: a new framework for ‘wholesome communities.’  Annals of Behavioural Medicine, 43(1), 1-6.
Edwards, S. (2011). Lessons from ‘a really useful engine’™: using Thomas the Tank Engine™ to examine the relationship between play as a leading activity, imagination and reality in children’s contemporary play worlds. Cambridge Journal of Education, 41(2), 195-210.
Edwards, S., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2011). Environmentalizing early childhood curriculum through play-based pedagogies. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, (36)1, 51-59.
Skouteris, H., Do, M., Rutherford, L., Cutter-Mackenzie, A., & Edwards, S. (2010). Call for research – the consuming child-in-context in unhealthy and unsustainable times. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 26(1), 33-46.
Edwards, S. (2010). ‘Numberjacks are on their way’:  A cultural historical reflection on contemporary society and the early childhood curriculum.  Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 18(3), 261-272.