• Source: Scopus
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Personal profile

Personal profile

Sheena is a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education (ECE) within the School of Education at Charles Sturt University (CSU), and is located on the Albury-Wodonga campus, NSW. She has a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood/Primary) (Honours Class 1) and a PhD in ECE, both from CSU. Sheena is a Certified Infant CLASS™ Observer, and a Certified Toddler CLASS™ Observer.

She has practice-based experience in prior-to-school, primary school, and tertiary settings, both as a teacher and a teacher educator. As a teacher, she has worked in long day care and mobile childcare with children aged birth-five; as well as in primary school settings in both NSW and Victoria. She has held leadership positions in each of those settings, including Nominated Supervisor, Educational Leader, Mathematics Coordinator (Foundation to Year 6) and Common Curriculum Numeracy Team Leader (Foundation to Year 10).

Locally, Sheena facilitates the ‘Reclaiming being three: Reflecting, learning, and imagining’ professional learning group that provides opportunities for service staff and practitioners, who work with children aged three, to regularly meet and explore how best to support and honour the children they work with. This group crosses the New South Wales/Victoria border, as well as service boundaries, and is open to all services that include children aged three in their setting.

Research Interests

Sheena specialises in working closely with ECE service staff, and the children themselves, to explore and co-design innovative and timely responses to questions emerging from within their localised experiences of ECE contexts. Her current research focusses on two key content areas:

  1. Advancing age inclusive practices for three-year-old learners across diverse ECE services in pedagogy and spatial design.
  2. Applying principles and stages of implementation science in the co-design and evaluation of ORICL (Observing, Reflecting, Improving Children’s Learning), an assessment tool for educators working in infant-toddler ECE settings to identify and respond to the unique contextual factors within those settings that support and/or limit the development, learning and wellbeing of individual children. 

Sheena is skilled in qualitative and quantitative research approaches, including a range of visual research methodologies and pedagogies and associated analysis and dissemination. She has a particular interest in drawing explicitly and systematically on philosophy, particularly Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy, as both a resource and a catalyst for critically engaging with taken-for-granted concepts and methodologies concerning young children’s experiences, whilst offering worthwhile alternatives. This work is underpinned by her continued focus on developing and enacting the research approach called ‘philosophical-empirical inquiry’: work that is at once philosophical and empirical in nature and orientation, exploring and engaging what are conceptual and methodological issues and challenges.


Sheena teaches in the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) and the Bachelor of Education (Birth-Five). She currently convenes and/or teaches the following subjects:

  • EED110: Child Development: The Early Years
  • EPT122: Professional Experience 1 Early Childhood Programs: 3-5 Year Olds
  • EPT140: Professional Experience: Birth to 2 years
  • EPT124: Play and Learning
  • EEL204: Child Health and Safety
  • EMC305: Investigation: Mathematics, science and technology


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