Sheila Degotardi

Associate Professor

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Personal profile

Research interests

Sheila Degotardi is an Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education who specialises in infant-toddler curriculum, pedagogy and learning. Sheila is also the Deputy Head: Research, in the Department of Educational Studies.

Research: Sheila’s primary research area examines the processes of learning and teaching with infants and toddlers in early childhood education centres. She is a lead researcher in the Infant and Toddler Research Group in the Department of Educational Studies.

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

Sheila is particularly interested in how very young children’s relationships contribute to their early experiences, and how relationship-based pedagogies are enacted in early childhood centres. This has lead her to investigate the nature of social interactions between children, their educators and peers, to consider how these interactions reflect and contribute towards very young children’s relationships as well as their learning.

Sheila is Chief Investigator on three ARC-funded projects. The first investigates the language environment of infant-toddler early childhood rooms, with the aims of increasing current knowledge about the interaction features that can promote language development and learning. The second project, a collaboration between Macquarie and Sydney Universities, is investigating parents’ understanding of quality and early learning to determine whether these understandings feature in their child-care decision making processes. And the most recent award - 'Language for Learning' will investigate the features of infants' language environment which support or constrain the development of learning-oriented talk.

Teaching: Sheila teaches in the undergraduate and post graduate early childhood programs offered by the Department of Educational studies. She currently convenes:

  • ECHE311: Infant and Toddler Curriculum and Pedagogy.
  • ECED832: Contemporary Approaches to Infant-toddler Theory and Practice

Community: Sheila is currently on the Editorial Boards for the International Journal of Early Years Education and The First Years: New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education. She is active in providing professional learning programs and events for early childhood educators, particularly those working with infants and toddlers.  

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Early Childhood

Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)

PhD (Early Childhood Education)

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

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infant Social Sciences
childhood Social Sciences
educator Social Sciences
learning Social Sciences
parents Social Sciences
day care Social Sciences
language Social Sciences
qualification Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2006 2022

Research Output 1999 2019

Infant educators' beliefs about infant language development in long day care settings

Degotardi, S. & Gill, A., 2019, In : Early Years. 39, 1, p. 97-113 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Language Development
day care
Child Development

Infant educators' use of pedagogical questioning: relationships with the context of interaction and educators' qualifications

Degotardi, S., Torr, J. & Han, F., 2018, In : Early Education and Development. 29, 8, p. 1004-1018 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Infants’ experience with ‘near and clear’ educator talk: individual variation and its relationship to indicators of quality

Degotardi, S., Han, F. & Torr, J., 2018, In : International Journal of Early Years Education. 26, 3, p. 278-294 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

early childhood education and care
group size

Influences on parents’ child care choices: a comparative analysis of preschool and long day care users

Degotardi, S., Sweller, N., Fenech, M. & Beath, A., Oct 2018, In : Child and Youth Care Forum. 47, 5, p. 683–700 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

day care
child care
decision making

Who cares? Infant educators' responses to professional discourses of care

Davis, B. & Degotardi, S., 2018, Early childhood pedagogies: creating spaces for young children to flourish. Murray, J. (ed.). Abington, Oxford: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p. 19-33 15 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearch

Press / Media

Early Education Show Podcast- Feature Interview

Sheila Degotardi


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research

A quarter of childcare centres failing on language

Sheila Degotardi


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Lack of childcare chatter risks kids' language development

Sheila Degotardi


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research

The Importance of Socialisation for Babies

Sheila Degotardi


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment