My career in education began working in Early Childhood Education and Care, where for many years I supported and nurtured babies, young children and their families. My pedagogy was enhanced by achieving Early Years Professional Status, (EYPS), in 2013, as well as qualifying as an accredited Forest School Leader. My breadth of experience within the Early Childhood sector includes a range of roles, as a SENCO, in management, as an Early Years Inspector (Ofsted), Independent Consultant and Forest School Leader. Moving to Higher Education, and successfully completing postgraduate study, lecturing now offers me the opportunity to focus on supporting others in the study and promotion of subjects surrounding Early Childhood.
Teaching and subject expertise
I work across Early Childhood programmes, which includes undergraduate Early Childhood Studies as well as vocational routes with the Foundation degree and BA top up Early Childhood Education and Care. I have also worked within the Foundation year to support students’ Education studies, as well previously undertaking the role of Link Tutor for the Early Years Initial Teacher Training, (EYITT), programme.
I remain an enthusiastic and committed Early Years Professional. I believe deeply in the requirement for a highly qualified, professionally led workforce that leads practice in a variety of Early Childhood services. This underpins my interest in professionalism, reflective practice and advocacy for this sector. My personal vocational pathway into Higher Education steers my keen interest in the reciprocity between learning and teaching, promoting the benefits of connections between research and practice, linking social justice and critical pedagogy. My pedagogic routes are in active, experiential learning, connected to my interests in the place and space for learning and development, through communities, opportunities and environments, particularly in outdoor natural settings. This connects with a range of subjects such as creativity, imagination and play, as well as sustainability and situated learning.
In 2019 I achieved a Post Graduate Certificate of Academic Practice, (PGCAP), and was awarded Fellowship of Advanced HE (FHEA).
Within my work at Canterbury Christ Church University I currently support the running of our Early Childhood Community of Practice organisation. This is purposefully open to anyone with an interest in matters surrounding Early Childhood, and seeks to promote connections between research and practice through inclusive and accessible events and knowledge exchange. Participants are welcome from both within and outside the University.
I am a member of a variety of organisations which support and promote both Early Childhood care and education, as well as Higher Education, and regularly attend and participate at conferences and other related forums.
Publications and research outputs
Beighton, C., Cobb, W., and Welland, H. (2021, in press) Auto-ethnographic approaches to academic writing development: dialogue as a research tool. Sage.