Yarm Gwanga provides and supports research, teaching, participation, and observation by students and academic staff of the University of New England, high schools, TAFE and tertiary institutions across Australia.
Students who observe children at our centre gain valuable insights into the practical application of their course work to the teaching situation. Research is supported as it informs action, proves a theory, and contribute to developing knowledge in the field of education – which is high on our priority list.
Young Children and the Environment, 3rd edition
Textbook: Julie Davis and Sue Elliot (eds)
Researchers: Dr Jo Bird University of New England, Melanie Pearson Yarm Gwanga.
Publication date: November 2022.
Mel and Jo have written a chapter on the use of digital technologies to promote sustainability learning in Early Childhood Education.
Closed door policy: the power shift from parents to children
Research dates: August – November 2021
Researchers: Dr Jo Bird University of New England, Galia Urquhart and Tammy Paterson-O’Kane Yarm Gwanga
During the Covid pandemic, early childhood settings remained open, receiving Department recommendations for ways to reduce the risks and exposure of Covid-19. In response to these recommendations, a University based Early Education Centre changed its drop off and pick up procedures for children and families. Shifting from an open door policy, to a procedure where the door was locked and parents rang the doorbell, handed their children to staff and said their goodbyes at the door. At pick up time, parents could collect their children from the back gate, often sneaking a glimpse of their child playing before being noticed. The aim was to minimise the risks to children, families and staff, we needed to understanding the effect the new procedure was having on all stakeholders.
This pandemic is a world first, therefore research doesn’t exist on how centres protect the health of staff, children and families while also meeting the emotional and practical needs of all involved in the centre. We conducted an online survey of both families and educators to ascertain the impact of the new procedure, aiming to improve the experience for all involved. What we found was the new procedure had a positive impact on children’s sense of agency, confidence and resilience (which was tested in the following months when the centre experienced a natural disaster and had to relocate). While parents were positive the changes were reducing the risk to their children, they also felt a disconnect with the centre and the experiences, friends and space their child was involved in. This research has allowed us to change the health recommendation into an exciting way to build the sense of belonging within the centre community and continue to develop children’s confidence and sense of agency.
Background: The Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland is conducting research into parents’ opinions about parenting and programs available for parents. If you have a child between 2 and 12 years, we would love to hear your views on parenting and the services that are available to you as a parent.
How you can help: You will need to complete a short survey, which will remain open until the 31st of August 2019.
Looking at the impact of professional development in drama for Early Childhood Education teachers
Research Dates: 3rd September until 27 December 2019
Team: Dr. Lynn Everett, Dr. Jo Bird, and Dr. Marg Rogers
Background: We are investigating whether ECE teachers feel confident in facilitating drama activities and if additional training can increase their level of skill and confidence. Participants will gain skills in teaching drama to young children as well as support in implementing drama learning. This research project is to help Yarm Gwanga educators grow.
Yarm Gwanga is owned by The University of New England. Yarm is managed in collaboration with UNE and UNE Life. Yarm's Approved Provider is the University of New England and the Director of UNE Life, David Schmude is the current Approved Provider contact.
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Providing an outstanding experience for UNE students, staff and the wider community.
The University of New England respects and acknowledges that its people, programs and facilities are built on land, and surrounded by a sense of belonging, both ancient and contemporary, of the world’s oldest living culture. In doing so, UNE values and respects Indigenous knowledge systems as a vital part of the knowledge capital of Australia.