Profile Image

Associate Professor Linda Newman

Associate Professor

School of Education (Education)

A Better Start in Life

Associate Professor Linda Newman's far-reaching research in early childhood education is expanding the Faculty of Education and Arts' international footprint.

A Better start in lifeAssociate Professor Linda Newman forged an interest in social justice while working as a childcare centre director in the 1970s, when she realised that children with special needs were not well catered for in mainstream early childhood education.

Her development of outreach programs to bridge that gap eventually led to a new career as a teaching and research academic and, several decades on, those principles remain a driving force in her work.

Newman juggles administrative and teaching tasks in the Early Childhood program in the Faculty of Education and Arts with a substantial research agenda that takes her to places as diverse as Chile and South Africa - and often to the poorest parts.

"My research interests have always been closely aligned to my work with children, families and teachers, and more recently curriculum and pedagogy," says Newman, whose doctoral studies into professional ethics led to the development of the widely used Ethical Response Cycle [available in Newman & Pollnitz (2005). Working with Children and Families: Professional, Legal and Ethical Issues].

Newman and Professor James Albright are part of a team working with three South African universities - Fort Hare, Western Cape and North-West - to build capacity among academics for developing teacher education programs for the kindergarten-equivalent Grade R (or reception year). Enrolments in Grade R, a non-compulsory pre-primary year for five-year-olds, have increased considerably in that country as part of a national education improvement plan.

"To date their teacher education has been geared towards children starting school later so there is a shortage of teachers trained in early childhood and a great need to build that teaching capacity," Newman says. "The Early Childhood team at Newcastle is working with partner universities and will also do some research around the introduction of early childhood education in South African schools."

Three South African students are undertaking postgraduate study in Newcastle as part of the collaboration and the next phase will be to investigate research partnerships.

Newman is also an investigator on an overseas project called Futuro Infantil Hoy (loosely translated as Children's Futures Today), which is focused on building engagement between communities and early childhood centres in very poor neighbourhoods in the port city of Antofagasta, in northern Chile.

"Despite the extreme poverty, they do have early childhood centres and university-qualified staff, but there had been no tradition there of encouraging families to be involved in their children's education and support their learning at home," Newman says.

Newman and colleagues from the University of Western Sydney, her former employer, have worked alongside the centres introducing teaching methods and initiatives that promote family involvement, such as inviting parents to workshops and documenting children's work with digital photography. These measures have led to increased confidence in the work of the centres and better learning outcomes.

"It has helped raise expectations: parents are now saying to us, 'I can see a future for my child,' " Newman says.

The project has fostered international collaboration, with a study team from Chile having visited Newcastle last year, and Newman says the research has wide application beyond the community in which they are working.

"Everything we are developing and doing there we bring back into our own teaching," she says. "It is a two-way knowledge flow, and there is always scope here for improving interaction between families and early childhood centres."

A Better start in life

A Better Start in Life

Linda Newman's far-reaching research in early childhood education is expanding FEDUA's international footprint.

Read more

Career Summary

Biography

In my position as Associate Professor at The University of Newcastle, I enjoy both my teaching and research work. There is an alignment between my teaching of Early Childhood Internship, early childhood teacher research, and contemporary literacies and my research. I am a member of the "Comparative and International Education Group University of Newcastle" (CIEGUN) through my research and teaching in Chile and South Africa. I am currently working with a research team from the University of Western Sydney in "Programa Futuro Infantil Hoy" (Children's Futures Today Project), a community capacity building and teacher change project. This project is situated in conditions of extreme poverty in Northern Chile. I also work in a developing research and teaching project in partnership with the University of Fort Hare in South Africa. We are privileged through this project, currently funded by the Ford Foundation, to have 3 South African lectures studying with us in our Masters of Early Childhood Education. I recently worked with a group of early childhood teachers in Newcastle, using one component of the Futuro Infantil Hoy curriculum - a literacy environment rating scale, with the purpose of achieving teacher change in three early childhood centres.My methodological interests include Practitioner Action Research, sociocultural methodology, ethical methodology, and visual methodologies. Each of these has been drawn on in recent research. The postgraduate students I help to supervise are working in areas of early childhood literacies, creativity and ICT; music across the grades; and professional learning. I have worked in the early childhood education profession for over 30 years. I have taught in and managed a range of early childhood settings including preschool, long day care, school, early childhood intervention, and playgym. I entered vocational and further education as a TAFE teacher and later commenced lecturing in an early childhood degree at the University of Western Sydney. I joined The University of Newcastle in 2009. My research interests have always closely aligned to my work with children, families and teachers. My Masters research was related to transition to school and curriculum continuity for children with disabilities and additional needs, and their families. My doctoral research led on from this work and was related to professional ethics, and particularly the resolution of ethical dilemmas. This work resulted in co-authorship of the "Ethical Response Cycle", a now widely used ethical thinking facilitation model. In recent years, and ongoing from previous research, I have become interested in teacher change and practitioner action research.

Research Expertise

Linda Newman is well recognised in national and international early childhood communities for her work in professional ethics and the development of professional learning communities, tied to her co-authored volume (with Lois Pollnitz), "Working with Children and Families: Professional, Legal and Ethical Issues". Current research is focusing on community capacity building through teacher pedagogical leadership, early literacy, and visual methodology. This research is centred in Northern Chile in the "Futuro Infantil Hoy" project. Linda works in partnership with the University of Western Sydney on this project.

Teaching Expertise
Linda's current teaching is in Early Childhood Internship at undergraduate level. At postgraduate level Linda teaches two courses in the Master of Early Childhood Education - "Conducting teacher Research in Early Childhood Education" and "Early Childhood Literacies". She also co-supervises several doctoral candidates.

Administrative Expertise
Linda Newman has held many administrative roles over her career. Currently she is the Chair - Early Childhood Program Management Committee and the Convenor of the Master of Early Childhood Education at the University of Newcastle.

Collaborations
Current Collaborations: University of Western Sydney and Minera Escondida Foundation: "Programa Futuro Infantil Hoy" - Chile University of Fort Hare and Ford Foundation - Capacity building with early childhood education academics.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Education, University of Western Sydney
  • Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education), Sydney Kindergarten Teachers College
  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood), Hunter Institute of Higher Education
  • Master of Education (Honours), University of Western Sydney

Keywords

  • early childhood
  • pedagogical change
  • pedagogical inquiry
  • pedagogical leadership
  • professional ethics
  • teacher inquiry

Languages

  • English (Fluent)

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
130199Education Systems not elsewhere classified20
130399Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified60
139999Education not elsewhere classified20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2014 - Associate ProfessorUniversity of Newcastle
School of Education
Australia

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/07/2010 - ChairEarly Childhood Teacher Education Council
Australia
1/01/2010 - Editorial Board - Early Childhood Teacher Education CouncilEarly Childhood Teacher Education Council
Australia
Edit

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (2 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2005Newman L, Pollnitz L, Working with children and families: Professional, ethical and legal issues, Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, United States of America, 294 (2005) [A1]
2002Pollnitz LJ, Newman L, Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues in Early Childhood, Pearson SprintPrint a division of Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest NSW, 31 (2002) [A2]

Chapter (3 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Woodrow C, Arthur L, Newman L, 'Futuro Infantil Hoy and community capacity building: An international early childhood literacy project', Diverse Literacies in Early Childhood: A social justice approach, Australian Council for Educational Research, Melbourne 86-105 (2014) [B1]
2005Newman L, 'Ethical issues: Dealing with the hard stuff', Does this child need help? Identification and early childhood intervention, Early Childhood Intervention Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (2005) [B1]
2000Newman L, 'Implementing the Australian Early Childhood Association Code of Ethics: a constitutional strategy', Early Childhood Landscapes: Cross National Perspectives on Empowerment and Restraint, Peter Lang, New York City, New York, United States 280-287 (2000) [B1]

Journal article (15 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2012Newman LR, Arthur L, Staples K, Woodrow C, 'Sustained shared thinking in early childhood pedagogical practice', Futuro Infantil Hoy: Connecting Research and Practice Series, Theme 5 1-6 (2012) [C3]
2012Woodrow C, Newman LR, 'El enfoque de los Fondos de Conocimiento para fortalecer el aprendizaje de los ninos y ninas', Serie Conectando la Investigacion y la Practica. Futuro Infantil Hoy, 01-8 (2012) [C3]
2012Newman LR, Mowbray SLA, ''We were expected to be equal': Teachers and academics sharing professional learning through practitioner inquiry', Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 18 455-468 (2012) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 3Web of Science - 2
2011Millei Z, Newman LR, 'Professional learning: A strengthening and reinvigorating element of the early childhood profession', Foundations, 14-16 (2011) [C3]
Co-authorsZsuzsanna Millei
2011Newman LR, 'A glimpse of early childhood policy and practice in one province in South Africa', Every Child, 17 24-25 (2011) [C3]
2009Newman L, Ashton J, 'Sociocultural learning approaches: exploring early childhood communities of practice', International Research in Early Childhood Education, 16 87-101 (2009) [C1]
2008Newman L, Findlay J, 'Communities of Ethical Practice: Using New Technologies for Ethical Dialectical Discourse', Educational Technology and Society, 11 16-28 (2008) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 1
2006Ashton J, Newman L, 'An unfinished symphony: 21st century teacher education using knowledge creating Heutagogies', British Journal of Educational Technology, 37 837-852 (2006) [C1]
DOI10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00662.x
2002Newman L, 'Making the hard decisions: student teachers moving towards ethical judgment', Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 23 19-26 (2002) [C1]
2001Newman L, Pollnitz LJ, 'Helping students make tough decisions wisely: The challenge of ethical inquiry', Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 26 (4) 39-46 (2001) [C1]
2000Newman L, 'Ethical Leadership or Leadership for Ethics?', Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 25 40-45 (2000) [C1]
2000Newman L, Pollnitz LJ, 'Researcher reflections on the ethical dilemmas of ethics research: The making of a video about early childhood fieldwork dilemmas', Australian Research in Early Childhood Education, 7 (1) 31-39 (2000) [C1]
1999Newman L, Coombe K, 'Facing the Hard Questions: Ethics for Early Childhood Fieldwork Programs', Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 24 35-39 (1999) [C1]
1997Coombe K, Newman L, 'Ethical quandaries for early childhood practitioners 1-9 (1997) [C1]
1996Hine A, Newman L, 'Empowering young children's thinking - the role of the early childhood educator', Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 21 39-45 (1996) [C1]
Show 12 more journal articles

Conference (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2012Newman LR, 'Removing the invisibility cloak: Early Childhood Development and the Millennium Development Goals', Trans-Disciplinary Conference on Early Childhood Development and Education. Programme, Cape Town, South Africa (2012) [E3]
Edit

Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants11
Total funding$269,275

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20152 grants / $27,000

Evaluation of the Hunter Prelude Baby Program$25,000

Funding body: Hunter Prelude

Funding bodyHunter Prelude
Project TeamDoctor Kerry Dally, Associate Professor Linda Newman
SchemeResearch Grant
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2015
Funding Finish2015
GNoG1500694
Type Of FundingGrant - Aust Non Government
Category3AFG
UONY

European Early Childhood Education Research Association Conference, Barcelona 7-10 September$2,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project TeamAssociate Professor Linda Newman
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2015
Funding Finish2015
GNoG1500888
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20101 grants / $53,500

The development of leaders in Early childhood education: A sociological study of transnational knowledge exchange - Australia and Chile$53,500

Funding body: Fundacion Minera Escondida (FME)

Funding bodyFundacion Minera Escondida (FME)
Project TeamAssociate Professor Linda Newman, Associate Professor Christine Woodrow
SchemeResearch Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2010
Funding Finish2010
GNoG1000602
Type Of FundingInternational - Non Competitive
Category3IFB
UONY

20091 grants / $1,000

Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Inspiring Innovative Research in Education, 29 November - 3 December 2009, Canberra$1,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamAssociate Professor Linda Newman
SchemeTravel Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2009
Funding Finish2009
GNoG0900237
Type Of FundingInternal
CategoryINTE
UONY

20081 grants / $32,767

Standing Tall on Shifting Grounds: Investigating Quality with Local Early Childhood Professionals, Children, Families and Managers in Times of Global Paradigm Shift$32,767

UWS Partnership Grant with Penrith City Council
Funding body: University of Western Sydney

Funding bodyUniversity of Western Sydney
Project Team
SchemeShared
RoleLead
Funding Start2008
Funding Finish2008
GNo
Type Of FundingExternal
CategoryEXTE
UONY

20071 grants / $16,000

Reversing the lens: examining e-learning in sociocultural communities of early childhood professionals using 21st century learning approaches for early childhood professional development$16,000

Funding body: University of South Australia

Funding bodyUniversity of South Australia
Project Team
SchemeJean Denton Memorial Scholarship
RoleLead
Funding Start2007
Funding Finish2007
GNo
Type Of FundingExternal
CategoryEXTE
UONY

20062 grants / $60,000

An Early Childhood Journey into Blended Learning$35,000

This project involved the development of an innovative blended learning model for course delivery and enabled the development of a range of electronic web based resources for student learning
Funding body: University of Western Sydney

Funding bodyUniversity of Western Sydney
Project Team
SchemeUnknown
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2006
Funding Finish2006
GNo
Type Of FundingExternal
CategoryEXTE
UONY

Student e-Portfolio Project$25,000

Funding body: University of Western Sydney

Funding bodyUniversity of Western Sydney
Project Team
SchemeLearning Teaching Action Plan Grant
RoleInvestigator
Funding Start2006
Funding Finish2006
GNo
Type Of FundingExternal
CategoryEXTE
UONY

20051 grants / $25,000

Developing Ethically Based Reciprocal Interactions in Children's Services$25,000

Funding body: University of Western Sydney

Funding bodyUniversity of Western Sydney
Project Team
SchemeRegional Development Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start2005
Funding Finish2005
GNo
Type Of FundingExternal
CategoryEXTE
UONY

19961 grants / $48,008

Ethical decision making for stakeholders in early childhood field experience$48,008

Funding body: University of Western Sydney

Funding bodyUniversity of Western Sydney
Project Team
SchemeUnknown
RoleLead
Funding Start1996
Funding Finish1996
GNo
Type Of FundingExternal
CategoryEXTE
UONY

19951 grants / $6,000

Video about ethical dilemmas in field experience$6,000

Funding body: University of Western Sydney

Funding bodyUniversity of Western Sydney
Project Team
SchemeUWS Initiatives in Teaching and Learning Grant
RoleLead
Funding Start1995
Funding Finish1995
GNo
Type Of FundingExternal
CategoryEXTE
UONY
Edit

Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2013Investigating the Roles of Home and the Kindergarten Literacy Environments in Supporting Saudi Children Emergent Literacy
Curriculum & Education Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2013Examining the Power Effects that Influence Educator¿s Decision Making when Planning with the Early Years Learning Framework
Curriculum & Education Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2013The Impact of Preschool Educational Programs on Children's Creative Thinking: A Cross-Cultural Study of Educational Programs and Children's Creative Thinking in Iran and Australia
Curriculum & Education Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2004Principals' Leadership in ICT
Education, University of Western Sydney
Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

YearResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015Intentional Teaching Practices of Educators and the Development of Creative Thought Processes of Young Children Within Australian Early Childhood Centres
Curriculum & Education Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
2014Young Children's Use of ICT: Preschool Teachers' Perceptions and Pedagogical Practices in Shanghai
Curriculum & Education Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts
Principal Supervisor
Edit

Associate Professor Linda Newman

Position

Associate Professor
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

Education

Contact Details

Emaillinda.newman@newcastle.edu.au
Phone4921 6283

Office

RoomHA-59
BuildingHUNTER BUILDING
Edit