Yordanka Valkanova has long-standing experience of teaching on BA (Hons), MA, EdD, MPhil and PhD programmes. Over the course of her teaching on various Childhood Studies undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, she has explored different possibilities for research and scholarship. She is the author of Cognitive Developing in Children, Block-building and Design for Children under Seven, and co-editor of Accession and Migration: Changing Policy, Society, and Culture in an Enlarged Europe. She has published numerous articles and chapters on early learning and development and history of childhood. Her current research is concentrated on block play in autism (funded by the Froebel Trust), the Froebel Hebrew teacher training in Russia (1910 – 1925) and the psychoanalytic pedagogy in Soviet Russia (1921 – 1930). Yordanka has gained experience of managing projects during her work as a researcher and principal investigator on a number of research projects, for instance, the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant (2017 – 2020) Re-imagining Teaching: Progressive Pedagogies in Experimental Schools in Transnational Perspective, 1894-1932 and the ESRC/TLRP funded study Eastern European migrant children’s experiences of inclusion and engagement. She is the co-author of an EPPI systematic review of the contribution of art education to cultural learning, funded by the DfES. Furthermore, her work as a member of the Froebel Trust Research Committee has helped her to keep abreast of developments and current issues in the field.
INDIVIDUAL FELLOWSHIPS and AWARDS
2006: ESRC/TLRP Meetings of Minds Fellowship.
2004: British Federation of Women Graduates, the main grant
2004: The best paper award, International Conference on Education and Information Systems: Technologies and Applications EISTA ’04, July 21 – 25, Orlando, Florida, USA.
2003: Information Technology Dissertation Grant for 2003, Jacobs Foundation, Switzerland.
1997: Research Fellowship of the Russian Ministry of Education, 1997, Moscow Educational State University.
Research and knowledge exchange
2008: Research Assessment Exercise (University of Roehampton).
2014: Research Excellence Framework (Canterbury Christ Church University).
2017 - 2020: £97 000, Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Insight Development Grant: 'Re-imagining Teaching: Progressive Pedagogies in Experimental Schools in Transnational Perspective, 1894-1932' [with Professor Larry Prochner - PI (University of Alberta), Professor Helen May (University of Otago), Dr Kristen Nawrotzki (Heidelberg)] and Professor Alessandra Arce (Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil).
2017- £12 000 Froebel Trust Strategic Partnership Grant
2016- £12 000 Froebel Trust Strategic Partnership Grant
2015- £2000 Conference organizing grant, awarded by the Froebel Trust.
2014 – Study leave, funded by Canterbury Christ Church University.
2014 - £11000, Conference grant, awarded by the Froebel Trust.
2013 – £2000, Course development grant, awarded by the Froebel Trust.
2012 – £2000, Conference grant, awarded by the Froebel Trust.
2011: £2000, Research grand, awarded by Canterbury Christ Church University
2011 – £3000, Conference grant, awarded by the Froebel Trust. Scoping the needs of the non-teaching workforce in Kent,
April 2009 – February 2010, principal investigator with Clare Alfrey, £20 000
March- July 2008
UK children’s wellbeing and ‘toxic childhood’. Systematic review. Roehampton University, with Professor Kevin J. Brehony (School of Education) Professor Cecilia Essau (School of Human and Life Sciences) . £1600.
Globalization, Identity Politics and Social Conflict (GIPSC) Project. Funded by the British Academy (2006-2007). With Prof John Eade (Surrey University/Roehampton University) and Prof Suman Gupta, (Open University). £7 000, The project explored human migration between Bulgaria and Britain in the context of Bulgarian accession into the European Union.
2006: £5000. Evaluation of Connecting Brighton & Hove Project funded by Arts Council England,
2005: £2000. Video recording: A teaching tool for encouraging student’s self-reflection, Principal investigator with Professor Mike Watts. Roehampton University, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Research Grant.
Teaching and subject expertise
Programme Director: University Certificate in Froebelian Theory and Practice
Research Theme Group Co-leader
External Examiner, Moscow Scool of Social Sciences and Economics, Russia. MA in Education Leadership. In collaboration with the University of Manchester.
Member of the Froebel Trust Research Committee from 2012.
Member of the Board of the International Froebel Society from 2013
Chair of the International Froebel Society Conference from 2013.
Trustee - National Froebel Foundations 2011
KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS (RECENT)
Valkanova, Y. (2010) Judaism and the schooling of Jewish Orphans in Soviet Russia (1917-1929): the search for a common epistemological ground, at the Jewish Research Cluster Seminar Series, University of Kent, 2 March 2010.
Valkanova, Y. (2009) Eastern European migrant children's learning experiences in the UK. A key-note talk given at Bielefeld University (Germany) on 3th April 2009.
SELECTED CONFERENCE PRESENTATION
Valkanova, Y. (2012) Discovering authenticity: Hebrew Froebelian kindergarten institutes in Russia and Eastern Europe (1909 – 1925). European Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Cadiz, September 2012.
Valkanova, Y. (2011) Schooling and constructing a cultural space in a city: the case of Yiddish orphan education in St Petersburg (1920 – 1928), European Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Berlin, 13-16 September 2011.
Valkanova, Y. (2011). Judaism and the schooling of Jewish Orphans in Soviet Russia (1917 - 1929): the search for a common epistemological ground, Paper presented at the History of Education Annual Meeting, London, 28-30 November.
Valkanova, Y. (2010) Educational Experiences of Slovakian Children in Britain. Paper presented at the Gypsy Lore Society conference, Lisbon, 8-10 September.
Valkanova, Y. (2010) Roma Children's Affective Experiences of Inclusionary Practises in Britain and Slovakia. Paper presented at the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) World Congress Istanbul, 14-18 June.
Valkanova, Y. (2009) Is self-reflection an emotional experience? Rethinking the use of video in the primary science classroom. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting (AERA), San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 2009.
Publications and research outputs
Valkanova Y. (2018) Institutionalised psychoanalysis and its power in defining pedagogy: The case of the psychoanalytic kindergarten project in Soviet Russia, 1921-1930’ In May, H. and L. Prochner (Eds.) Special Edition Lesson and Legacies of Early Childhood History, Early Years: An International Research Journal.
Valkanova Y. (2017) Psychoanalyse and Professionalisation in the Kindergarten: The Children’s home Laboratory in Soviet Russia 1921-1930, In Bruce, T., Powell, S. and L. Ward (eds.)International Handbook of Froebel and Early Childhood Education: Reappraising Research and Policy. London: Routledge.
Valkanova, Y. (2016). The social constructions of childhood through the ages. In S. Powell and K. Smith (Eds.) An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies, 4th ed. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Valkanova, Y. (2016). The Psychoanalytic Kindergarten Project in Soviet Russia, 1921-1930, SCRSS Digest, 13 (2).
Valkanova, Y. (2016). Book Review: The Development of Early Childhood Education in Europe and North America, History of Education Journal, Volume 45.
Valkanova, Y. (2015) Constructions of nature and emerging ideas in child’s education and care, 1600s - 1900s. In David, T., Goouch, K. and S. Powell (eds.). Routledge Handbook of Philosophies and Theories of Early Childhood Education and Care. London: Routledge.
Valkanova, Y. (2013). Childhood through the Ages in Maynard T. et al (eds) An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies 3rd edition. London: Sage.
Valkanova Y. (2009). The passion for educating the 'new man': debates about preschooling in Soviet Union (1917-1925), Special issue on Preschools, the Public, and the State: policy, advocacy and ideology in three national contexts 1883-1939, International Journal History of Education Quarterly, 49(2) 211-221. Blackwell Publishing.
Eade, J. & Valkanova, Y. (Eds.) (2009). Accession and Migration: Changing Policy, Society, and Culture in an Enlarged Europe, Aldershot, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
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