The Historical Emergence of Early Childhood Education Research in Australia

Jocelyn Nuttall, Susan Jane Grieshaber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter of the handbook raises the question of whether early childhood education has reached the status of a mature field of research in Australian universities. It is organised around the discussion of three historical ‘moments’between the 1930s and 2014. The authors argue these moments constitute turning points in the emergence of early childhood education research and scholarship in Australia, as distinct from research about children’s learning and development that draws on medical and psychological perspectives. A glimpse of the present moment is provided through an analysis of the recent contents of two prominent international early childhood education research journals edited in Australia. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the conditions under which early childhood education researchers in Australia presently conduct their work and the relationship between these conditions and the implications of higher education policy for the continuing emergence of the field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Early Childhood Education
EditorsMarilyn Fleer, Bert van Oers
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789402409277
ISBN (Print)9789402409253
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Research
  • Early childhood education
  • Historical moments
  • Higher education policy
  • Cultural diversity
  • Teacher education

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