Sheila Degotardi



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Personal profile

Research interests

Sheila Degotardi is a Professor of Early Childhood Education who specialises in infant-toddler curriculum, pedagogy and learning. Sheila is also the Deputy Head: Research, in the Macquarie School of Education

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

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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