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PGCE, PGCTHE, MA, PhD
School of Education
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+44 (0)1865 488357
Mary is Head of the School of Education having previouly been Principal Lecturer (Student Experience), Senior Lecturer in Child Development and Education, and Subject Coordinator for Early Childhood Studies. Prior to joining Oxford Brookes Univeristy she completed her DPhil at Oxford University, researching the impact of ICT on children's early literacy. She has taught across a range of courses for practitioners and professionals in early years, including the BA Hons degree in Early Childhood Studies, the PGCE , the Advanced Early Years Specialism, MA Childhood Studies and doctoral level supervision. Mary is a qualified teacher with experience in both the primary and early years sectors and a member of the British Psychological Society, the British Educational Research Association and UCET. She is a member of the National Strategy group for the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network and a patron of the Reading Quest Charity.
Consultancy includes a review of children's attitudes to reading for the Beanstalk reading charity (2013), a review of developmental literature (ages 0-5) for the DCSF (Evangelou et al, 2009), researching the establishment of a new PEEP initiative in the Republic of Ireland, (Wild & Mitchell, 2009),the design & evaluation of a Survey on Parenting Skills for UNICEF Turkey (2008) in association with The Centre for Learning Behaviour, and an Evaluation of the National Bookstart Programme (2007)
Research interests include children’s thinking; early childhood literacy including the use of ICT in early years classrooms in relation to literacy, parenting and the professional development of practitioners in Early Years.
Digital technologies have the potential to offer new opportunities for children’s expressive arts practices. While adult expectations surround and shape children’s visual art-making on paper in the early years classroom, such expectations are not so established in relation to digital art-making. So how do children make sense of digital art-making when it is newly introduced into the classroom and adult input is minimal? Drawing on a social semiotic ethnographic perspective, this paper explores this question by examining instances of 4-5 year olds’ spoken dialogue around the computer during a week in which digital art-making was first introduced into the classroom. Analysis focused on interactions where children proposed, reinforced or challenged conceptions of digital art-making. These interactions demonstrated that children’s digital art-making was negotiated and constructed through particular processes. Three such processes are presented here: the use of collective motifs and metaphors; attributing ‘expert’ status; and polarizing conflicts. Understanding these processes offers a starting point for thinking about how a new activity like digital art-making can be integrated into the early years classroom and supported by practitioners.
This paper considers the overt and covert discourses in two contemporary policy documents in England and Wales, The Nutbrown Review: Foundations for Quality ([DfE] Department for Education Department for Education. 2012. ‘The Nutbrown Review: Foundations for Quality: The Independent Review of Early Education and Childcare Qualifications.' DFE-00068 2012. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/175463/Nutbrown-Review.pdf.) and More Great Childcare (MGC) ([DfE] Department for Education. 2013. ‘More Great Childcare: Raising Quality and Giving Parents More Choice.' DFE-00002-2013. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/219660/More_20Great_20Childcare_20v2.pdf.), which advocated a number of significant changes to Early Years provision. It employs Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to ask questions about relationships between language and society, specifically how these are managed in policy documents. Drawing on Foucauldian analysis on the power behind the words and utilising [Fairclough, N. 2010. Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.] CDA, indications of underlying values and assumptions, overt and covert agendas were explored. Findings suggest a significant shift in concepts of quality, professionalism and childcare that positions the child as an investment in the future as a strong feature of the discourse within MGC as well as an increase in top-down frameworks. Both documents assert that quality and professionalism will only occur with top-down regulation and inspection. They propose a consumer market based model of practice that has implications for professionalism of the workforce and quality of children's experiences.
Digital technologies have material and social properties that have the potential to create new opportunities for children’s expressive arts practices. The presence and development of oral narratives in young children’s visual art-making on paper has been noted in previous research, but little is known about the narratives children create when they engage in digital art-making. How do young children construct narratives during digital art-making? How do the features of these narratives relate to the social and material properties of the digital resources they are using? How can looking at these narratives inform and enrich our understanding of children’s art-making in general? Drawing on a social semiotic perspective, these questions are explored through an in-depth analysis of narrative in three examples of 4-5 year olds’ digital art-making. On the basis of the analysis, features of oral narrative in young children’s digital art-making are suggested and these are linked to potentially influential properties of the digital resources. Being aware of these features and properties offers a starting point for thinking about what digital resources can offer in the context of young children’s art-making. The findings also prompt us to be aware of the diverse potentials that exist in children’s art-making practices regardless of the resources being used.
Calder, P. Leeson, C. Nightingale, B., Silberfeld C. & Wild, M. , (Aug 2013) More? Great? Childcare?: A discourse analysis of recent social policy documents relating to the care of young children in Englandand Wales. Symposium at EECERA Annual Conference: Values, Culture and Contexts Tallinn University (Tallinn, Estonia) August 28 to 31, 2013.
Wild, M. (2013) Plenary Speaker : Picturing Change Conference Oxford Brookes University (27/04/13)
Wild, M. (2012) Expert Panel member : The Changing Face of Early Childhood Policy and Practice in England over the Past Twenty Years: an expert seminar Warwick Institute of Education/The Open University(23/11/12)
Wild, M. and Evangelou. M. (2012) Getting the balance right: the role of the adult in supporting children’s early learning. European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Annual Conference. Porto. Portugal
Wild, M. and Mitchell, H. (2010) Listening to and Learning From the Voices of Practitioners and Professionals in the Early Years European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Annual ConferenceBirmingham, UK
Evangelou, M. and Wild, M. (2010) Quality Of Early Childhood Settings: Giving Parents A Voice.. European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Annual ConferenceBirmingham, UK
Mitchell, H. and Wild, M. (2009) Supporting Parents in Supporting Children’s Literacy: Practitioner Perspectives on Implementing a Parenting Programme in a New Societal Context. European Early Childhood Educational Research Association, Annual Conference, Strasbourg, France.
Barron, I, Calder, P. Hughes, A., Majoribanks, B., McMillan, D., Nurse, A Selleck, D. Silberfeld, C. & Wild, M. (2009) Reconciling Diverse Agendas in Early Childhood Policy, Systems and Practice in the UK. Strasbourg, France. European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Annual Conference 2009
Consultancy includes a review of children's attitudes to reading for the Beanstalk reading charity (2013), a review of developmental literature (ages 0-5) for the DCSF (Evangelou et al, 2009), researching the establishment of a new PEEP initiative in the Republic of Ireland, (Wild & Mitchell, 2009),the design & evaluation of a Survey on Parenting Skills for UNICEF Turkey (2008) in association with The Centre for Learning Behaviour, and an Evaluation of the National Bookstart Programme (2007).