Professor Susan Edwards - Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education (Faculty of Education and Arts)

Fully accredited supervisor - Can supervise as principal supervisor


Professor Edwards conducts research in the field of early childhood education, specifically focussed on young children's learning in contemporary times. Her research considers the role and use of digital technologies by young children, families and educators. This includes digital play, young children's health and wellbeing using technologies, and cyber-safety education in the early years. Professor Edwards is also interested in examining the role of play-based learning and intentional teaching in early childhood curriculum and pedagogy. Professor Edwards draws on sociocultural and cultural historical theory, practice theory and philosophy of technology to inform her work. Current candidates working with Professor Edwards are researching: teacher imagination in children's play; joint-mediated engagement between infants, toddlers and parents using digital media; and, the role of loose-object play in children's learning outcomes.


Phone : (Melbourne)
URIs : Staff Directory ProfilePersonal Website

Research Interests

Digital technologies in the early years ; Early childhood cyber-safety education ; Play-based learning ; Digital play ; Early childhood curriculum formation ;

Methods Expertise

Qualitative ; Video-based research ; Children's Perspectives in Research ;

Research Projects

Selected Publications


Diverse theories for diverse learners: the Australian Early Years Learning Framework. , in Chapter in J. Georgeson (Ed.), International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Care.

Next time we can be penguins: expanding the concept of learning play to support learning and teaching about sustainability in early childhood education, in Chapter in O.Lillemyr, S. Dockett., & B. Perry (Eds.), International perspectives on play and early childhood education. New York: Information Age Publishing

Post-industrial play: understanding the relationships between traditional and converged forms of play in the early years, in In J. Marsh., & A. Burke (Eds.), Children's Virtual Play Worlds: Culture, Learning, and Participation.

Technological me: Young children's use of technology across their home and school contexts. , in Technology, Pedagogy and Education

Towards a model for early childhood environmental education: Foregrounding, developing and connecting knowledge through play-based learning. , in The Journal of Environmental Education


'Its all about Ben: children's play, health and sustainability decisions in the early years. , in Early Childhood Development and Care, iFirst, DOI:10.1080/03004430.2012.671816

Integrating peer assisted learning and elearning. Using innovative pedagogies to support learning and teaching in Higher Education settings. , in Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(5), 1.

Beyond killing, screaming and being scared of insects: learning and teaching about biodiversity in early childhood education. , in Early Childhood Folio: A collection of recent research

Teaching through assessment: merging technology and assessment in teacher in education, in Teachers and Teaching,18 (5), 585-599.


Environmentalizing early childhood curriculum through play-based pedagogies, in Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 36, 1, 51-59.

Play as a leading activity: the relationship between imagination and reality in children's contemporary play worlds , in Cambridge Journal of Education, 41, 2, 195 - 210


Call for Research: the consuming child-in-context in unhealthy and unsustainable times, in Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 26 (1), 33-46.

Numberjacks are on their way: a cultural historical reflection on contemporary society and the early childhood curriculum , in Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 18 (3), 261-272.

Engaging Play

Early childhood curriculum: planning, assessment and implementation


Early childhood education and care: a sociocultural approach

Professional Learning in Early Childhood Settings


Images of childhood, early education and care: how do teachers constructions of childhood influence pedagogy and practice?, in In P. G. Grotewell & Y. R. Burton, (Eds.), Early Education: Issues and Developments.

Other information

Professor Susan Edwards is Research Director of the Early Childhood Futures stream in the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education (ILSTE) within the Faculty of Education and Arts at the Australian Catholic University (ACU).

Susan is a member of the Centre for Early Childhood Futures (CECF) which focuses on researching issues associated with Professional Learning and Engagement in early childhood education, including young children's play, inter-agency work, digital technologies and media and sustainability.

Susan achieved national recognition for excellence and innovation in her teaching through two awards from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council in 2006 and 2009.

Susan is an editorial board member on two journals including Early Years: an International Journal of Research and Development (, and the Australian Journal of Computing Education ( She is also on the international advisory board of the Journal of Early Childhood Research (

Associate Professor Edwards has recently completed work as a lead Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant titled 'Examining play-based approaches to teaching and learning in early childhood education and care'. She is currently working on project funded by the Telematics Trust focussed on integrating digital technologies and digital media into the early childhood curriculum. Susan is also one of three editors (with Dr Liz Brooker and Dr Mindy Blaise) working on the SAGE International Handbook on Play and Learning in Early Childhood Settings.