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Personal profile

Personal profile

Sheena Elwick is a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education (ECE) at Charles Sturt University (CSU), Albury. She has a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood/Primary) (Honours 1) and a Doctor of Philosophy in ECE, both from CSU. She has worked as a primary school teacher, pre-school teacher, educational leader, mathematics coordinator (F-6) and numeracy leader (F-10). Sheena has supervised two PhD students to completion and is currently supervising one PhD student and one Master of Education student. She has written, lead, and taught an extensive range of postgraduate and undergraduate education subjects.

Sheena is the Convenor of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Qualitative Methodologies Special Interest Group that provides researchers with a space to discuss, explore ideas and debate qualitative methodological issues in social and educational contexts. She also facilitates The Thinking Space, which is a collaborative space where participants are provided with time for thinking about and responding to the big questions in qualitative educational research and beyond. Sheena also facilitates the Reclaiming the Early Years professional learning group that provides opportunities for early childhood professionals working in ECE settings and the first years of primary school to regularly meet and explore how best to support and honour the children they work with. Sheena is the Education Specialist on the Charles Sturt University Human Research Ethics Committee.

Research Interests

Sheena’s research interests in the field of ECE are driven by a concern that all children, regardless of circumstances, warrant the best possible opportunities to thrive—personally, socially, emotionally, and educationally. The work she engages with is diverse as it is driven by her strong collaborative relationships with national and international multi-university and multi-disciplinary teams, specialist organisations and practitioners, and government and non-government organisations. This work develops critical transdisciplinarity that is: responsive to context-specific issues; transcends and integrates different disciplines; involves multiple stakeholders; and produces applicable, useful and practical outcomes. Her current research projects are creatively and collaboratively designed to promote research innovation and co-production of knowledge with stakeholders, with the aim of advancing practitioners' knowledge and practice with young children in educational settings, including residential care settings.

Sheena specialises in qualitative research approaches and has considerable experience with mixed-method research approaches in large-scale research projects. She has a sustained interest in using philosophy, particularly Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy and his phenomenological method, as a resource and catalyst for critically engaging with taken-for-granted concepts and methodologies in research concerning young children.

Sheena is skilled in a large range of methods and associated qualitative and quantitative analysis including:

  • Development and facilitation of large Delphi Panels involving key stakeholders
  • Observation and development of observation coding systems
  • Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Infant and CLASS-Toddler
  • Survey design and implementation
  • Visual methods, including baby-cam, Go-Pro cameras, tripod cameras, and child camera-tours
  • Interview design and implementation
  • Time-use Diaries
  • Language Inventories
  • Temperament and personality questionnaires
  • Assessment tool design and implementation

Teaching

Sheena currently teaches in the Bachelor of Education (Birth to Five Years). She has previously taught in the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary), the Bachelor of Education (K-12) and the Graduate Certificate in Arts and Social Science Research.

She is currently the Subject Coordinator in the following subject:

  • EMC305: Investigation – mathematics, science and technology

Higher Degree Research (HDR) Student Supervision

Student

Degree

Title

Role

Status

B. Friezer

PhD

How do infants interact in groups in Long Day Care across the first two years of life?

Co-supervisor

Completed 2022

Awarded the 2022 Beth Southwell Research Award for Outstanding Educational Thesis, NSW Institute for Educational Research

Awarded the 2022 Charles Sturt University Higher Degree by Research University Medal

N. Thompson

PhD

Talking to children about literacies in and out of school in the 21st Century

Co-supervisor

In progress

L. Delli-Pizzi

PhD

Too much too young? Investigating mental health risks and coping strategies in children in the first three years of school

Co-supervisor

In progress

G. Constanti

Masters

Conceptual Playworlds in Upper Primary – what do teachers think?

Principal Supervisor

In progress

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

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