International Fellows

During the fall of 2010, twelve international scholars were invited to become Velma E. Schmidt Fellows in the College of Education at the University of North Texas.  These Childhood Studies scholars from around the globe met for two days of extensive research planning resulting in the construction of the International Critical Childhood Studies Collaborative.  This Collaborative is a network of researchers committed to social justice, peace, and equity for younger human beings.  The group has now expanded research membership beyond UNT Fellows and meets every six months in various countries to continue multiyear research projects.  Currently, the Collaborative focuses on an international research partnership that uses critical qualitative research methods to unmask the policy assemblages (related to childhood public policy) in diverse geopolitical locations.  These research revelations will be used to construct and support renarrativizations and lines of flight with the purposes of increased equity, support for diversity, and social and environmental justice for all young children.  The following are UNT International Fellows responsible for the beginning of this international policy research initiative.

 

Marianne (Mimi) Bloch

Professor Emerita
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
UNITED STATES

Dr. Marianne Bloch serves as Professor Emerita at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.   Her areas of study consist of bilingual education, early childhood education, Post-colonial studies in education, gender studies, comparative anthropology in education and Feminist theories.  Her publications include the following books: Governing children, family and education: Restructuring the welfare state (Bloch, M., Holmund, K. Marquist, I. & Popkewitz, T.) and Women and education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Power, opportunities, and constraints (Beoku-Betts, B., Tabachnick, R.& Bloch,M.). 

Contact: bloch@education.wisc.edu

Marcela Bustos

Assistant Professor and Doctoral Student
Oslo University College
NORWAY

Her research interests include critically experimenting with normativity and effects of normalizing practices/theories, critical readings of policy documents and research methodology.

Contact: Marcelamf.Bustos@lui.hio.no

 Rachel Holmes

Rachel Holmes

Reader in Cultural Studies of Childhood
Educational and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University
United Kingdom

Rachel Holmes has been a teacher for 23 years, working across the fields of early years, Key Stage 1, further and more latterly higher education. Her research interests lie across the interstices of applied educational research, social science research and arts-based research within cultures of childhood. Her interests are located around notions of 'childhood territories' such as ways childhood becomes imag(in)ed through fictional, documentary and ethnographic film;     children's child(self)hood, identities and objects and ways to (left)field childhood via opening up off-centre research methodologies.

Contact r.holmes@mmu.ac.uk

 Liz Jones

Liz Jones

Professor of Early Childhood Education
Educational and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University
United Kingdom

Liz Jones is Professor of Early Childhood Education at Manchester Metropolitan University. She leads the Centre for the Cultural Studies of Children and Childhood, which is affiliated to the Educational and Social Research Institute. She has over twenty years experience of teaching in both mainstream and special education. She currently teaches research methods and all aspects of early childhood education, especially constructions of identity, on a range of postgraduate and undergraduate programmes. Her research interests include poststructuralist theory; materialism; feminist theory; social constructions and deconstructions of 'the child' and 'childhood'.

Contact E.Jones@mmu.ac.uk

I-Fang Lee

Senior Lecturer
School of Education
University of Newcastle
AUSTRALIA

Dr. I-Fang Lee’s research interests include contemporary issues about curriculum reforms and policy changes in early childhood education and care.  She draws on poststructural theories, educational philosophy, critical perspectives, and feminist theories to study global and local changes in education and care for young children and their families 

Contact: I-Fang.Lee@newcastle.edu.au

Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw

Associate Professor
University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia
CANADA

Dr. Pacini-Ketchabaw is the Coordinator of the Early Years Specialization at the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria.  She has worked professionally in the field of early childhood education for over twenty years.  Dr. Pacini-Ketchabaw has written extensively on the history of child care in Canada; the experiences of young children and early childhood educators in early childhood settings; and anti-racist feminist perspectives in early childhood education. 

Contact: vpacinik@uvic.ca

Cheryl Rau

Early Childhood Teacher Education Degree Provider
Te Tari Puna Ora o Aotearoa/New Zealand Childhood Association
NEW ZEALAND

Cheryl Rau is of Waikato, ratau ko Kahungunu, ko Rangitane iwi descent.   She is currently employed as an early childhood teacher education degree provider grounded in a bi-cultural vision.  Her education experiences have included teaching within the primary, secondary, tertiary and community sectors.  For many years she coordinated/directed a Maori early childhood professional development contract for the Ministry of Education and has been a part-time lecturer and researcher at Waikato University and Te Whare Wananga o Wairaka,/Unitec Institute of Technology.  She has recently completed a two year research project with colleague Jenny Ritchie titled, ‘Titiro Whakamuri, Hoki Whakamua: We are the future, the present and the past: caring for self, others and the environment in early years' teaching and learning’ (2008-2009) which was funded by the Ministry of Education’s Teaching and Learning Research Initiative.   She is beginning a PhD focusing on Maori articulation of Maori early childhood education in Aotearoa, New Zealand.   Her research interests are located in counter-colonial re-narrativisations and the re-positioning of te Ao Maori (a Maori world).

Contact:cheryl.rau@nzca.ac.nz 

Jeanette Rhedding-Jones

Professor
Oslo University College
NORWAY

Honourary Appointment, Melbourne University
AUSTRALIA

Dr. Rhedding-Jones has worked as a teacher and teacher educator since 1964, when she graduated with a three year qualification from Australia, in early childhood education. Her research interests include developing new research cultures, working as an advocate and activist for/with supposed minorities, writing differently and reading avidly.

Unfortunately, after suffering from an illness for some time, Dr. Rhedding-Jones passed away in late 2012.  We will miss her as a friend and scholar.

Jenny Ritchie

Associate Professor
Te Whare Wananga o Wairaka - Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland
NEW ZEALAND

Dr. Jenny Ritchie’s teaching and research has focused on supporting early childhood educators to enhance their practice in terms of applying an awareness of cultural, environmental and social justice issues.  She has recently worked alongside her colleague Cheryl Rau in leading three consecutive two-year studies funded by the Ministry of Education’s Teaching and Learning Research Initiative administered by the New Zealand Centre for Educational Research. The most recent study, ‘Titiro Whakamuri, Hoki Whakamua: We are the future, the present and the past: caring for self, others and the environment in early years' teaching and learning’ (2008-2009) utilised both kaupapa Maori constructs around kaitiakitanga, and western perspectives such an ethic of care, to focus on local/national ‘pedagogies of place’ which address global issues of ecological sustainability.  She is now co-directing a ten-year longitudinal study of a Maori early childhood education initiative by the Ngati Whakaue hapu of Te Arawa, funded by the Ministry of Education. She is also currently working under the auspices of the New Zealand Peace Foundation – Te Tuapapa Rongomau to develop a peace curriculum for early childhood education in Aotearoa.

Contact: jritchie@unitec.ac.nz

Cinthya Saavedra

Assistant Professor
Utah State University, Logan, Utah
UNITED STATES

Cinthya M. Saavedra was born in Managua, Nicaragua. Due to turmoil in Nicaragua during the Sandinista-Contra war, her family moved to Texas in 1981. Cinthya received her Ph.D from Texas A&M in 2006 while working as a bilingual third grade and pre-K teacher in Austin and Dallas, Texas. Cinthya is currently an assistant professor at Utah State University where she teaches bilingual/ESL, early childhood and multicultural courses in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership. Her research and scholarship center Chicana/Latina epistemology perspectives in bilingual early childhood education. She also explores the possibilities of constructing critical qualitative (decolonizing) research methods with marginalized populations. Her current research is examining transnationality as it impacts immigrant children, teacher practices, and curriculum.

Contact: cinthya.saavedra@usu.edu

Mere Skerrett

Senior Lecturer
School of Maori, Social and Cultural Studies in Education
Te Whare Wanaga o Waitah (University of Canterbury), Christchurch
NEW ZEALAND

Dr. Mere Skerrett research focuses on bilingual education including second language early childhood teaching methodologies, language development, Maori education, assessment and pedagogy and equity issues as they relate to the Maori people.   She is also interested in women’s issues and children’s rights. Dr.  Skerrett’s future research plans are to examine place based research from a terralinguistics perspective and to search for sustainable pedagogies. 

Contact: mere.skerrett@canterbury.ac.nz

Mathias Urban

Associate Professor, Reader in Education
Cass School of Education, University of East London
ENGLAND

Dr. Urban conducts research on professionalism in early childhood and directs the Doctor of Education (EdD) programme at the University of East London. His research interests unfold around questions of diversity and equality, evaluation and professionalism in working with young children, families and communities in diverse socio-cultural contexts. He is a founding member of a consortium of European Universities to develop and deliver the first European Joint Masters programme in Early Childhood Education and Care (EMEC)EMEC. Mathias is currently directing, as Principal Investigator, a pan-European study on competence requirements in early childhood and care, funded by the European Commission. His recent work includes international cased-based comparisons on change processes in early childhood systems (Strategies for Change, Urban, 2007) and on professional epistemologies and habitus (A Day in the Life of an Early Years Practitioner, Dalli, Miller, Urban, forthcoming).  Mathias is convenor (with Carmen Dalli, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand) of an international special interest group on professionalism in early childhood. His recent publications include a guest-edited special edition of the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal (EECERJ) on professionalism in early childhood (Urban & Dalli, 2008), a guest-edited special issue of Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (CIEC) (Re-thinking professionalism in early childhood: Untested feasibilities and critical ecologies, 2010 (11/1) and Professionalism in Early Childhood. International perspectives (Dalli&Urban, 2010). Mathias is a member of the DECET (Diversity in Early Childhood Education and Training) network and of the AERA special interest group critical perspectives on early childhood education.

Contact: m.urban@uel.ac.uk

Radhika Viruru

Clinical Professor
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
UNITED STATES

Dr. Radhika Viruru is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture at Texas A & M University.  Her research areas consist of Early Childhood Education in International Settings, Early Childhood Curriculum and Postcolonial Theory.   Dr. Viruru is the author of Early childhood education: postcolonial perspectives from India.  She co-authored the book Childhood and (Post)colonization: Power, education and contemporary practice with Dr. Gaile Cannella. 

Contact:  viruru@tamu.edu