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Personal profile


Sheila Degotardi is a Professor of Early Childhood Education and the Director of the Centre for Research In Early Childhood Education. 

Research interests

Sheila specialises in infant-toddler pedagogies and learning in early childhood education centres. With a deep interest in relationship-based pedagogies, she investigates the nature of social interactions between children, their educators and peers, to consider how these interactions contribute towards very young children’s learning.

Sheila has attracted over $2.5 million in external research funds. Three projects investigate the language interactions in infant-toddler early childhood classrooms: The language environment of infant-toddler early childhood rooms (ARC Discovery 2014-2017) significantly increased current knowledge about the interaction features that can promote language development and learning. 'Language for Learning' (ARC Discovery 2018-2023) is investigating the features of infants' language environment the support or constrain the development of learning-oriented talk. 'Toddler TaLK' is tracking the developmental trajectories of learning-oriented talk used by toddlers aged 2.5 to 2.5 years. A Medical Research Futures Fund project has investigated how COVID19 health information was communicated to and by early childhood centres and organisations. 

Sheila supervises Higher Degree Research students and welcomes inquiries from potential candidates whose project interests align with her areas of specialisation. 

Community engagement

Sheila works closely with the early childhood sector to conduct and communicate research that will directly benefit educators and young children. She provides professional learning programs and produces resources for early childhood educators, particularly those working with infants and toddlers. Sheila is on the Editorial Boards for the International Journal of Early Years Education, the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, and The First Years: New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education. 


Sheila teaches in the undergraduate and post graduate early childhood programs. She currently convenes:

  • ECHE3110: Infant and Toddler Curriculum and Pedagogy.
  • ECED8320: Contemporary Approaches to Infant-toddler Theory and Practice


Education/Academic qualification

PhD (Early Childhood Education)

Award Date: 1 Nov 2005

Master of Early Childhood

Award Date: 1 Dec 1997

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

Award Date: 1 Dec 1992

Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

Award Date: 1 Dec 1987


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