About

I am a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, at Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University.

My research focuses on the meaning making of young children, particularly those aged under three years. I am interested in the complexity of young children’s non-verbal meaning making, and in particular I have developed a focus on their use of movement as a communicative practice. This connects with my theoretical interests in new materialism, sensory ethnography, multimodality, critical spatial theory and anthropology of childhood.

My doctorate, which I completed in 2014, looked at toddlers and their families experiencing and making meaning in museums.

My background is in community outreach and learning work at museums and heritage sites. I worked with children, families, young people and local history groups for small local museum services and archaeological sites before doing museum consultancy full time for a number of years. Completing my doctorate enabled me to deepen my thinking about things that have always fascinated me; people, stories, social justice, place, access, engagement and meaning making.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. I happened upon your site when I was searching for any info around why my daughter plays by making piles. I posted your writing called Little Piles of Stuff. Thank you for your insight! I see the last post here is from late 2019. I do wonder how toddlers and young children are being/were affected by the events of 2020, meaning quarantine from family and friends, canceled events/school and masks. I would absolutely be interested in reading your educated answer there. Best wishes.

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    1. Thanks for your comment and sorry for the slow reply, I only just saw this. Yes absolutely! My post from last week has a bit of thinking on this, and there are also some really interesting projects now looking at “covid play”. I’m also interested in this idea of children “being behind” or “catching up”, which suggests learning is a straight line trajectory, or that children have been doing nothing during that time. I’m going to try to write something about this in the coming months, Abi

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