Dr Lynn McNair OBE

Senior Teaching Fellow

Background

Dr Lynn McNair is Head of Cowgate Under Fives Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is a Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.  Lynn has more than 30 years experience working in Early Years Education and was awarded an OBE for services to Early Education in 2009.  Lynn is a trained Froebelian, attaining her certificate at the Froebel Institute, Roehampton University, London, UK.  She is an award-winning author.  Finally, Lynn would say her passion for egalitarianism, emancipation, democracy and a belief that children are rich, active, resourceful beings came from being a mother to Kurt and Mischa; and what she learned as she observed them playing freely as children.  This way of being with children, trusting in them in their abilities and capabilities is where she puts her energy into her work with children today.

CV

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Qualifications

Froebelian Endorsed Tutor

2016  PhD Education, University of Edinburgh 

Thesis title: Rules, rules, rules and we’re not allowed to skip. An exploratory study: Listening to children’s voices about the transition to primary one. 

Supervised by: Professor John Davis, Moray House School of Education and Professor John Ravenscroft, Moray House School of Education

2006  MSc in Early Childhood Education, University of Strathclyde. Dissertation title: A Socio – Cultural Approach to Literacy Development.Supervised by: Emeritus Professor Aline-Wendy Dunlop, University of Strathclyde

2004  Froebel in Childhood Education, Roehampton University, London

2000  Post Development Award (PDA)in Early Education, Telford College and Stevenson College, Edinburgh

Undergraduate teaching

Course Organiser for the BA in Childhood Studies,

EDUA 08045 Work Based Learning 1: Professional Development

EDUA 10157 Work Based Learning 2: Organisational Development

 

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?

Yes

Areas of interest for supervision

Supervision interests - Early childhood education;  Friedrich Froebel; transition; pedagogy; power; philosophy of education; Scottish education;; play.

Current PhD students supervised

PhD supervisor of Luke Addision: Title: Bringing children’s voices to the fore of education for sustainability in the early years (commencing January 2019).

MSc Dissertation supervision, MSc Childhood Studies, University of Edinburgh

Jacqueline Matthews: Title (ongoing, title tbc).

Past PhD students supervised

PhD Supervision

Successfully supervised PhD graduate: Krystallia Kyritsi(2018) Title: ‘Creativity in primary schools: Exploring perspectives on creativity within a Scottish primary school classroom.’ 

PhD supervisor of Fatma Büşra Aksoy Kumru: Title: Active citizenship in early years: listening to children on decision-making (ongoing).

MSc Supervision

MSc Dissertation supervision, MSc Childhood Studies, University of Edinburgh

Yan Supei (Emma): Title ‘An Opportunity to Bring Play Culture Back: Mosaic Approach in Anji Play (completed 2018)

 

 

Research summary

Early education, Friedrich Froebel, 'Quality' in education. Philosophy of Education, Children's Rights, Children's Perspectives, Power, Tranisitions.

Current research interests

I am a Research Assistant on the project: ‘International Project: Social and emotional experiences in transition through the early years’ (start date October 2016 – end date August 2021). The Principal Investigator is Professor Jayne White from RMIT University, Australia. This investigation aims to examine the everyday activities, interactions and engagement of a single young infant in the ECL context, in the first year of their transition from home to that setting and through subsequent years until entry to school. Early years’ experience is of paramount importance for children’s developmental outcomes, and the key focus of the study is the observation of activities and interactions of young children in the ECL setting within their everyday experiences, in order to identify the types of activities and interactions which promote high quality engagement for a child, and support their transitions into out-of-home care. We aim to observe and video-record the activities of a focus infant and their interactions with other children in the same space as well as interview the key teacher and parent(s). Interviews will be audiotaped. (October 2017 - ongoing) I am the Principal Investigator of ‘Telling Life Stories: developing a Froebelian approach to documenting children’s experiences in the early years. This project is funded by the Froebel Trust. Funding applied for £7,760.00. Dr. Cara Blaisdell, from the University of Strathclyde, is the Academic Consultant for this project. This project is a piece of action research, undertaken by practitioners at the Cowgate Under 5s Centre, a Froebelian nursery in Edinburgh (www.cowgateunder5scentre.co.uk). The project seeks to address a problem that has arisen at the nursery, but which has wide relevance to the early childhood sector. As public investment into Scottish early learning and childcare (ELC) increases, so does the requirement to observe, assess, and ‘track’ children’s learning against developmental outcomes. Cowgate Under 5s Centre is currently using a commercial, online “learning journal” tool, which replaced the previous, paper-based system of documentation. This research is currently investigating the views of children, families, and staff about the current system and test ways to bring it into harmony with Froebelian principles. (November 2017 – April 2019). Founding member of the UNESCO Family Support Research Network and Key Collaborator of the proposed Horizon 2020 project. UNESCO is a participating partner in various projects under the Horizon 2020 programme. My role to date has been to present on intersectionality issues for young people. I have hosted the Family Support Research Network in Scotland (May, 2017) (ongoing)

Past research interests

Research assistant of POET, an international alliance of transitions to school. Emeritus Professor Aline-Wendy Dunlop, University of Strathclyde is the Principal Investigator on this project. Pedagogies of Educational Transitions’ (POET) Marie Curie IRSES 4-year programme. POET brings together experienced and early stage researchers from five universities: Malardalen University, Sweden; Strathclyde University; University of Iceland; Charles Sturt University; Australia and University of Waikato, NZ, to build expertise and skills, and to strengthen international research partnerships in the area of young children’s educational transitions. The POET programme provides a unique opportunity to promote on-going training, research and mobility of established and early stage researchers as well as provide support for early stage researchers as they embrace careers in research and structure their research training in ways that will position them to become international leaders in their fields. (ongoing, latest trip Iceland, June 2017). Research assistant, Moray House School of Education. Professor John. M. Davis was the Principal Investigator on this Project. This project employed the findings of the CREANOVA project (carried out 2009-2012) to investigate how individual, structural, and inter-subjective relational issues defuse or escalate creativity in learning and working environments; it analysed what lessons could be learned for educationalists who seek to promote creative learning environments. CREANOVA was a major European Union (EU) research project funded by the Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission (European Commission Project Number 143725-LLP-1-2008-1-ES-KA1-KA1SCR). The project involved universities, vocational education specialists, regional governments, creative and technical experts from the Basque Country (Spain), Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Scotland (UK). It investigated how learning environments, workspaces, and design processes were constructed to achieve sustainable innovation in the technology and creative industries. (2012) Research assistant, Moray House School of Education. Dr. John. M. Davis was the Principal Investigator on this project. Researching literature of transitions, I contributed to the FIESTA project. The FIESTA project put forward a framework for European Collaborative Working, Inclusive Education and Transition: Analysing Concepts, Structures and Relationships. (2012) Research assistant, Moray House School of Education. Dr .John. M. Davis, was the Principal Investigator on this project. Early Years Staff’s Views of VQS and HNCs. Scottish Social Service Council and Care Commission. (2006)

Invited speaker

Conference Presentations:

Keynote speaker: “Play is the highest form of research”. Care and Learning Alliance. (27 September 2018).

Keynote speaker: “Children Making Changes: An Investing in Children Approach to Scotland”. University of Strathclyde (19 June 2018).

Keynote speaker: “Lived Stories” Early Years Conference.  Glasgow City Council (7 June 2018).

Presenter:Telling Life Stories: developing a Froebelian approach to documenting children’s experiences in the early years  Presented at the 8thInternational Froebel Society Conference “Education for Peace: Froebelian contributions at global and local level”. Thursday 6 – 8 September 2018. Hiroshima Prefectural Citizen’s Culture Center. Japan.

Presenter:“Lived Stories” Children’s Rights Conference.  Midlothian Early Years (21 May, 2018).

Presenter:“Rules, rules, rules and we’re not allowed to skip”: Exploratory Study Listening to the Children’s Voices about the Transition from Primary One”Froebel Gathering Day. Richmond, London (21 April, 2018).

Presenter:Participatory pedagogy: a robust and ethical approach to play, dialogue, and equalities in early years. Presented (along with my colleague Dr. Caralyn Blaisdell) to the Scottish Government(January 2018).

Keynote speaker: “A Child’s Work”. Inspired Kindergartens: Annual Conference for Teachers.  Tauranga, New Zealand (11 October 2017).

Keynote speaker: “Rules, rules, rules, and we’re not allowed to skip: Exploratory Study Listening to the Children’s Voices about the Transition from Primary One”Froebel: Gifts for Our Future, University of Edinburgh (7 October, 2017).

Scottish Government: Participatory pedagogy: a robust and ethical approach to play, dialogue, and equalities in early years (September, 2017).

“Rules, rules, rules, and we’re not allowed to skip: Exploratory study listening to children’s voices about the transition from primary one”. Presentation shared with the staff and students at the University of Jyvaskyla. (July, 2017).

EECERA, University of  Bologna, Italy, 27thAnnual Conference, ‘Early Childhood Education Beyond the Crisis, Social Justice, Solidarity and Children’s Rights’. (29 August – 3rdSeptember 2017). ‘Institutionalised Ageist Practices’.

 “Rules, rules, rules, and we’re not allowed to skip: Exploratory Study Listening to the Children’s Voices about the Transition from Primary One” – The influence of Foucault and Bakhtin Methodologically. University of Jyvaskyla, Finland (18 July 2017).

Developing the Early Years Workforce ‘The Froebel Approach to Early Education.’ (27 June 2017).

This event reflected on the changes introduced since the publication of the Independent Review of the Scottish Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Workforce and Out of School Care (OSC) Workforce in April 2015. 

Rediscovering Empathy, Values, Relationships and Practice in a Changing World.  UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre. 8thBiennial International Conference ‘Young Children’s Empathy and Froebelian Philosophy and Practice’ (8 June 2017).

Scottish POET team seminar.  Transition as tools for change. Early Years Research Seminar, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand (16November 2016). 

Using the wealth of the research from POET (Pedagogies of Educational Transitions), I  presented my thesis ‘Rules, rules, rules and we’re not allowed to skip’: Listening to young children’s perspectives on transition; which is located within the field of Childhood Studies and draws on anthropology, philosophy, psychology and sociology. 

New Zealand Association for Research in Education, 24thRECE Annual Conference, Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education, Wairakei Resort - Taupo, New Zealand(30 October – 3 November 2016). He kōrero, he kaupapa, he whāriki - Kia tipu whakaritorito:Re-weaving theories and practices to re(construct) critical questions, new imaginings and social activism. 

Reconceptualising Creativity.  This seminar exposed the work of post-structural theorists, e.g., Baudrillard

UNESCO, Paris, ‘Developing a European Family Support Network’ (7th– 8thSeptember 2016). Children and Youth Perspectives on Intersectionality.

Early Years Conference, ‘Taking a dialogic ‘look’. Bishopbriggs Academy. (27thJune 2016)

EECERA, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland, 26thAnnual Conference, ‘Happiness, Relationships, Emotion and Deep Level Learning’. (31stAugust – 3rdSeptember 2016). Symposium ‘Parents’ and Children’s Perspectives on Transitions’.

Scottish Pedagogies of Educational Transitions Transitions as a Tool for Change, McCance Lecture Theatre, Richmond Street, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. (14thMay 2016). Rules, rules, rules and we’re not allowed to skip.’ Exploratory study listening to children on the transition to primary school.

Pedagogies of Educational Transitions, ‘Transitions as a Tool for Change’, University of Strathclyde (May, 2016) ‘Rules, rules, rules and we're not allowed to skip: Listening to the children's voices about the transition to primary one’.

Pedagogies of Educational Transitions, ‘Connecting Policy and Practice’,Canberra, Australia (March, 2016) Seminar. ‘Starting School in Scotland: The bairns are daein’ fine’.

Pedagogies of Educational Transitions, ‘Doctoral Students Perspectives’,Charles Sturt University, Albury Australia (19 February, 2016) Seminar.

Nursery World, Annual Conference, London: England (6 February, 2016) ‘Rules, rules, rules and we’re not allowed to skip’.

International Family Day Care Conference, ‘My Rights, My Voice: Celebrating the Rights of the Child. Edinburgh, Scotland, (22-25 Jul, 2015). The Importance of Play.

International Childhood and Youth Research Network. 3rdInternational Conference, Nicosia, Cyprus. (10-12 June 2015). 

Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, 4thInternational Conference, ‘Celebrating Childhood Diversity’, University of Sheffield (9-11thJuly, 2013)  Understanding Diversity: Young Children, Social Justice and Changing Worlds.

International PhD Symposium on Children’s Rights, University of Liverpool (12thJanuary 2013). Children and Parents’ Perspectives: the missing piece of the puzzle in understanding young children’s transitions. 

Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, 5thInternational Conference, University of Sheffiel

 (1st-3rdJuly 2014). Engaging with diverse participant groups: putting reflexivity into practice in ethnographic research.

 

Organiser

BA Childhood Practice annual conference.

Froebel - Gifts for the Future Conferences, annual conferences, 2008 - 2018. 

Participant

International Froebel Society, ‘What does it mean to understand Froebel?’ – Working on, with and according to Froebel today’. Germany. (23-25 June 2016).

Pioneer Conferences, ‘Elinor Goldshmied A Radical Pioneer for People under Three. A Celebration of the life, principles and practice of Elinor Goldshmied.  University of Roehampton, London. England (5th October, 2013).

Papers delivered

Presenter:Telling Life Stories: developing a Froebelian approach to documenting children’s experiences in the early years  Presented at the 8thInternational Froebel Society Conference “Education for Peace: Froebelian contributions at global and local level”. Thursday 6 – 8 September 2018. Hiroshima Prefectural Citizen’s Culture Center. Japan.