Dr Emma Pearson
Senior Lecturer in Education Studies
School of Social Sciences

Senior Lecturer in Education Studies and Academic Coordinator for the EdP programme

Dr Emma Pearson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences. She joined BGU in 2015 and teaches on the Education Studies programme as well as supervising postgraduate research students. Emma’s work with children began with involvement in an epidemiological study of health related behaviours in primary school children. After moving into the field of education and teaching in early childhood settings, Emma completed PhD studies in education at The University of Hong Kong. Prior to starting work with BGU, Emma taught in universities in Australia, Hong Kong and Brunei.

Emma’s research activities are centred on the study of socio-cultural contexts of learning. She has both published in and led several funded research projects focused on this topic. Her consultancy work with organisations such as UNICEF, UNESCO and the Asia Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC) has supported her research, involving travel to many countries, ranging from North Korea to Vanuatu. As part of this work, she has supported the development of goals and standards for Early Learning and Development in five countries, contributed to the establishment of the Pacific Regional Council for Early Childhood Care and Education, and led the drafting stages of the Pacific Guidelines for the Development of National Quality Frameworks for ECCE.

In recent years, she has participated as a guest speaker in several international forums, including an invitation from UNICEF to draft a background paper for High Level Meetings to discuss possibilities for ‘Fulfilling Child Rights through early childhood development’ and presenting at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine (IOM) Board on Global Health and National Research Council (NRC) forum on Using Existing Platforms to Integrate and Coordinate Investments for Children.

Awards and Grants

2015: PLAN Cambodia Baseline Study of Integrated ECCD Programmes and design of Outcomes Monitoring System (GBP 50,000) – Principal Investigator

2013 – present: Government of Brunei Darussalam Research Council funding (BRC 7): Education, Well-being and Nation Building in Brunei Darussalam: Community Engagement in Education (CEiE)
Principal Investigator (now external advisor) on sub-project A: Building Quality Early Childhood Education in Brunei Darussalam. Includes sub project on documenting ‘noteworthy’ ECCD practices across the Asia Pacific region – co-funded with the Asia Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood, UNICEF (Regional Office South Asia) and the Open Society Foundation  (BND 999,958.00 / GBP 464,000)

2011: Universiti Brunei Darussalam Seed funding (BND 9,000 / GBP 4,176)

Editorships and Reviews

2006 to present: Reviewer for Child Development; Developmental Psychology; Childhood Education; Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood; International Journal of Early Childhood Research;  Australian Journal of Early Childhood; Journal of Australian Research in Early Childhood; Cogent Education.

2012: External reviewer, Australian Aid Development (AusAID) Research Awards

2012: External reviewer for UNESCO, Paris

2008: Guest editor for International Journal of Early Childhood (Special Issue on Policy Change in Early Childhood in the Asia Pacific Region)

Publications

Books 

Degotardi, S.  & Pearson, E. (2014). The relationship worlds of infants and toddlers. Open University Press: McGraw Hill

Rao, N., Pearson, E., Cheng, K.M., & Taplin, M. (2013). Teaching in primary schools in China and India: Contexts of learning. UK: Routledge

Referred Journal Articles 

Pearson, E. C. (2016). Moving forward with early childhood care and education (ECCE) post-2015 in the Asia Pacific Region: an analysis of global and national policy goals. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, 9(1), 1-19

Pearson, E. C. (2015). Achieving Inclusion by Targeting Children and Families in Hard to Reach Communities: Innovations From Cambodia and the Philippines. Childhood Education, 91(6), 411-419

Pearson, E. & Tan, J. (2015). ‘Should inclusive education be made compulsory in schools?’: A study of self-efficacy and attitudes regarding inclusive education among a diverse group of SENA (Special Needs Assistance) teachers. International Journal of Special Education, 30 (1), 1-9

Degotardi, S., Sweller, N. & Pearson, E. (2013). Why relationships matter: parent and early childhood teacher perspectives about the provisions afforded by young children’s relationships. International Journal of Early Years Education, 21 (1), 1-18

Rao, N., Jin, S., Pearson, V., Pearson, E., Liu, Constas, M. & Engle, P.  (2012). Is Something Better than Nothing? An Evaluation of Early Childhood Programs in Cambodia. Child Development, 83(3), 864-876

Pearson, E. (2011). Greetings, meetings and the role of broader social contexts: A ‘response’. New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 13 (2), 34-37

Pearson, E. (2011).  Avoiding Recolonisation in Early Childhood: promoting local values as mediators in the spread of globalisation. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 12 (3), 212-223

Voon, S. J. & Pearson, E. (2011) Understanding Early Childhood Socialisation in Immigrant Families: Malaysian-Chinese Parents’ Perceptions on the Importance of Cultural Identity and Maintenance. International Research in Early Childhood Education 2 (1), 30-44

Pearson, E. (2011). Relationship- building with parents from culturally-diverse backgrounds caring for a child with a disability. Diversit-e: Australia’s Diversity Health E-Magazine, Issue 1, 20-22.
Degotardi, S. & Pearson, E. (2009). Relationship theory in the nursery: Attachment and beyond. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 10(2), 144-149

Pearson, E. & Degotardi, S. (2009). Education for sustainable development in early childhood: A global solution to local concerns? International Journal of Early Childhood, 41 (2), 97-111

Pearson, E. & Cologon, K. (2009). Advancing inclusive approaches in service support: How can we provide responsive support to people with disability from CALD backgrounds? Development Bulletin, 73, 83-87

Rao, N. & Ng, S.S.N. & Pearson, E. (2009). Preschool pedagogy: A fusion of traditional Chinese beliefs and contemporary notions of appropriate practice. In C.K.K. Chan & N. Rao (Eds). Revisiting the Chinese Learner: Psychological and Pedagogical Perspectives. The University of Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre/Springer Academic Publishers

Pearson, E., & Rao, N. (2006).  Early Childhood Education Policy Reform in Hong Kong:  Challenges in effecting change in practices. Childhood Education, 82 (6), 363-369

Pearson, E. & Rao, N. (2003) Socialisation goals, parenting practices and peer competence in Chinese and English Preschoolers. Early Child Development and Care, 173 (1), 131-146

Rao, N., McHale, J. & Pearson, E. (2003) Links between socialisation goals and child-rearing practices in Chinese and Indian mothers. Infant and Child Development, 12, 475-492

Book Chapters

Degotardi, S. & Pearson, E. (scheduled for publication in 2016). The relationship dynamics of infant play. In M. Ebbeck & M. Waniganayake (Eds.) Children’s Play in Early Childhood Education: Facilitating learning in diverse contexts (2nd Ed). Melbourne: Oxford University Press

Mohamad, H., Yacub, R., Pearson, E. & Tan, J. (scheduled for publication in 2016). Towards Wawasan Brunei 2035: Early childhood education and development in Brunei Darussalam. In M. Fleer & B. van Oers (Eds.), International Handbook on Early Childhood Education and Development. Dordrecht: Springer

Pearson, E. & James, J. (scheduled for publication in 2016). Building early childhood education from the ground up: Teacher preparation in Vanuatu. In Li, M., Fox, J. & Grieshaber, S. (Eds.). Contemporary issues and challenges in early childhood education: Experiences from Asia-Pacific. Dordrecht: Springer

Pearson, E., Mohamad, H., Zainal, Z.  (2014). Cultural and linguistic diversity in early childhood. In K. Cologon (Ed.) A good start: Inclusion in the early years. Melbourne: Oxford University Press

Pearson, E. (2014). Early Education and Care in the World Regions. In J. D. Wright (Ed) International Encyclopedia of the Social And Behavioral Sciences, Second Edition, Elsevier

Pearson, E. (2013). Engaging parents from immigrant backgrounds in early intervention. In P. Whitehead & K. De Gioia. Children and Childhoods (Volume 3). Cambridge Scholars Publishers

Degotardi, S. & Pearson, E. (2010). Knowing me, knowing you: The relationship dynamics of infant play. In M. Ebbeck & M. Waniganayake (Eds.) Play in early childhood education: Learning in diverse contexts(pp.46-66). Melbourne: Oxford University Press

Bowes, J., Watson, J. & Pearson, E. (2009). Families as a context for children. In J. Bowes & R. Grace (Eds.) Children, Families And Communities: Contexts And Consequences. Oxford: Melbourne

Refereed Conference Presentations – Recent

Pearson, E. (2014). Documenting noteworthy practices in ECCD in the Asia Pacific region. Paper presented at Asia-Pacific Regional ECD Conference 2014: Early Childhood Development on the Global Agenda, Building partnerships for Sustainability and Harmony. Manila, 3-5 December

Pearson, E. (2012). Why research in ECCE needs to globalize: ‘Evidence’ from Cambodia, the Philippines and Vanuatu. Paper presented at the Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education Conference, Pennsylvania State University, 1-4 November

Tan, J. & Pearson, E. (2012). The millennium development goals post-2015 and human security. Presented at 10th ASEAN Inter-University Conference on Social Development, Brunei Darussalam, 10-12 December

Commissioned Reports and Papers

Sun, J., Rao, N., & Pearson, E. (2014). Achieving Goal 1. Policies and strategies to enhance the quality of early childhood educators. UNESCO. Paris

Pearson, E & Tan, J. (2013). Fulfilling child rights through early childhood development. Background paper for High Level Meetings on South-South Cooperation, UNICEF

Pearson, E. (2013). Community-based approaches to supporting early childhood education (ECE): Issues and implications. Prepared for distribution by UNICEF (Laos)

Pearson, E. (2013). Laos CBSR (Community-Based School Readiness) Upgrade Project: Proposal.Prepared for UNICEF (Laos)

Pearson, E. & Voon, S. J. (2011).  Early Childhood Care and Education Teacher Policies and Quality Standards for Community-based Programmes in the Asia-Pacific Region. UNESCO-UNICEF. ECCE Policy Research Series Regional Desk Review Report

Rao, N. & Pearson, E. (2009). Policy change in early childhood in the Asia Pacific region: Introduction to the Special issue on Policy Change in Early Childhood in the Asia Pacific Region

Rao, N. & Pearson, E. (2007). An evaluation of early childhood education and care programmes in Cambodia. UNICEF Final Report

Book Reviews 

Pearson, E. (2009). [Review of the book Bye Bye Charlie: Stories from the vanishing world of Kew Cottages, by C. Manning]. Disability & Society, 24 (7), 926-927

Invited Presentations and Papers

Pearson, E. (2015). ECCE post-2015: Strengthening ‘platforms’ from the ground up (in the Asia Pacific region).Presented at the Using Existing Platforms to Integrate and Coordinate Investments for Children. Hosted by the United States of America Institute of Medicine (IOM) Board on Global Health and National Research Council (NRC) of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Sunday March 15, Chinese University, Hong Kong SAR

Pearson, E. (2014). Developing early Learning Development Standards: Lessons learned. Presented at Consultative Meeting on SEA-BES (South East Asia Basic Education Standards) and SEA-PLM (South East Asia Primary Learning Metrics). SEAMEO RECSAM / UNICEF EAPRO, from 4-5th November, Penang, Malaysia

Pearson, E. (2013). Creativity and Innovation in Early Childhood: The role of teachers. Keynote presentation, International Conference on Early Childhood: Innovation in Early Childhood Education, Malaysia, 9-11 September

Pearson, E. & Tan, J. (2013). Fulfilling child rights through ECD in Asia and the Pacific. Presentation at Preparatory Meeting for HLM on Child Rights, Beijing, 13-14 May

Pearson, E. (2013). ECD / ECE and ‘Teacher’ Quality post-2015: Issues and Recommendations.Presented at SEAMEO / ARNEC / World Bank sponsored workshop: Proposing An ECD/ECE Goal in the Post 2015 Global Development Framework Dissemination Seminar on the Asia-Pacific Regional Consultations, Jakarta, 17 March

Pearson, E. (2012). Creativity and Innovation in Early Childhood: Starting with teachers. Paper presented at the National Seminar on Creativity and Innovation, Malaysia, 2-4 October

Pearson, E. (2010). Building relationships with mothers from culturally diverse backgrounds who are caring for a child with a disability. Paper presented at the Migrant and Refugee Families Conference, Macquarie University, 11 November

Pearson, E. (2010). Developing effective support for ECCD in resource-constrained environments: Home-based programmes in Cambodia. Invited Key Note Speaker, First National ECCD Conference, Garoka, Papua New Guinea, 28-30 June

Pearson, E. (2010). Going global project: ELDS in the Asia Pacific Region. Invited Key Note Speaker, First National ECCD Conference, Garoka, Papua New Guinea, 28-30 June

Pearson, E. (2010) ECCE development and reform in Asia and the Pacific: Current issues. Invited Speaker, UNESCO Regional Seminar on Teacher Policies in Asia-Pacific. 17-19 November, Bangkok

Pearson, E. (2010) Regional developments in ECCD. Invited Speaker, UNICEF Annual Regional Education Officers’ meeting (EPO meeting), 28-30 September, Bangkok

Degotardi, S. & Pearson, E. (2009). Constructing relationships in the nursery: An inclusive approach to understanding the nature of infants’ encounters with others. Invited Speakers, Unpacking education change: Pedagogy, place and people. Macquarie University, 13-15 March, Sydney

Consultancies and Community Service – Recent

August 2015: Asia Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC) / UNESCO. Facilitation of Regional Experts Meeting on Documenting Innovative Pedagogical Approaches in early Childhood Education (Asia Pacific region)

November 2014 – 2015: SEAMEO RECSAM / UNICEF EAPRO. Consultative Meetings on SEA-BES (South East Asia Basic Education Standards) and SEA-PLM (South East Asia Primary Learning Metrics)

April 2013: UNICEF EAPRO / Government of India. Invited to prepare background paper for High Level Meeting on Fulfilling Child Rights through Early Childhood

March 2013: World Bank / Asia Pacific Resource Network for Early Childhood. Jakarta, Indonesia. Invited to participate in Dissemination Seminar on the Asia-Pacific Regional Consultation on Proposing an ECD Goal in the Post 2015 Global Development Framework

September 2012: Pacific Regional Council on Early Childhood Care and Education meetings, Fiji.Invited by UNICEF, at request of Council, to attend as Advisory Group member

May 2012: Special Education Unit, Ministry of Education, Brunei Darussalam. Co-presenter for Workshop on Teacher Self-efficacy & Inclusion in Early Childhood

April 2012: Early Childhood Unit, Ministry of Education, Brunei Darussalam. Chief rapporteur – National ECCE Conference / SEAMEO regional forum on Project 5 (Preschool for All), April 16-19

Feb 2012: UNICEF (Pacific). Facilitator- first meeting of the Pacific Regional Council for Early Childhood Education and Care. Contracted to draft regional guidelines for the development of national quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) frameworks, as follow up to the meetings

November 2011: Special Education Unit, Ministry of Education, Brunei Darussalam. Co-presenter for Workshop on Writing For Publication in Journals. 29 November 2011

July 2011: Special Education Unit, Ministry of Education. Rapporteur / member of Working Committee, ASEAN Cooperative Conference on Inclusive Education, 5-7 July 2011

July 2011: UNICEF (Pacific). Invited to coordinate and lead advisory meetings for establishment of Pacific Regional Early Childhood Council (Fiji, July 2011)

2006 to 2009: UNICEF (Cambodia) / UNICEF (Laos) / UNICEF (Democratic Peoples’ Republic of North Korea) / UNICEF (Vanuatu) / UNICEF (Vietnam). Employed to work on UNICEF’S Going Global initiative – providing initial, on-the-ground training and on-going subsequent consultation to countries developing nationally-recognised early childhood learning and development standards

2006 to 2007: UNICEF (Cambodia). Co-investigator on country-wide evaluation of Community Preschool and Home-based Programmes in Cambodia. Three key programmes operating in Cambodia, Community-based programmes; Home-based programmes, and State Preschool programmes were included in this national evaluation

2005 to 2007: Australian Federal Government. Member of Macquarie University’s Local Evaluation Team for seven NSW sites implementing Communities for Children initiatives. Major tasks involved development and implementation of Programme Logics for individual projects developed within each site.