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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.

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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

Code Description Percentage
130199 Education Systems not elsewhere classified 20
130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified 60
139999 Education not elsewhere classified 20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Associate Professor University of Newcastle
School of Education
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/07/2010 -  Chair Early Childhood Teacher Education Council
Australia
1/01/2010 -  Editorial Board - Early Childhood Teacher Education Council Early Childhood Teacher Education Council
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2005 Newman 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]
2002 Pollnitz 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)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Woodrow 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]
2005 Newman 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]
2000 Newman 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)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Newman 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]
2012 Woodrow 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]
2012 Newman 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]
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 2
2011 Millei Z, Newman LR, 'Professional learning: A strengthening and reinvigorating element of the early childhood profession', Foundations, 14-16 (2011) [C3]
Co-authors Zsuzsanna Millei
2011 Newman LR, 'A glimpse of early childhood policy and practice in one province in South Africa', Every Child, 17 24-25 (2011) [C3]
2009 Newman L, Ashton J, 'Sociocultural learning approaches: exploring early childhood communities of practice', International Research in Early Childhood Education, 16 87-101 (2009) [C1]
2008 Newman L, Findlay J, 'Communities of Ethical Practice: Using New Technologies for Ethical Dialectical Discourse', Educational Technology and Society, 11 16-28 (2008) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 2
2006 Ashton J, Newman L, 'An unfinished symphony: 21st century teacher education using knowledge creating Heutagogies', British Journal of Educational Technology, 37 837-852 (2006) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00662.x
2002 Newman L, 'Making the hard decisions: student teachers moving towards ethical judgment', Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 23 19-26 (2002) [C1]
2001 Newman 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]
2000 Newman L, 'Ethical Leadership or Leadership for Ethics?', Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 25 40-45 (2000) [C1]
2000 Newman 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]
1999 Newman L, Coombe K, 'Facing the Hard Questions: Ethics for Early Childhood Fieldwork Programs', Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 24 35-39 (1999) [C1]
1997 Coombe K, Newman L, 'Ethical quandaries for early childhood practitioners 1-9 (1997) [C1]
1996 Hine 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)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Newman 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]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 11
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 body Hunter Prelude
Project Team Doctor Kerry Dally, Associate Professor Linda Newman
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1500694
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

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

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

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team Associate Professor Linda Newman
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1500888
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

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 body Fundacion Minera Escondida (FME)
Project Team Associate Professor Linda Newman, Associate Professor Christine Woodrow
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2010
GNo G1000602
Type Of Funding International - Non Competitive
Category 3IFB
UON Y

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 body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Linda Newman
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2009
GNo G0900237
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

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 body University of Western Sydney
Project Team
Scheme Shared
Role Lead
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2008
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON Y

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 body University of South Australia
Project Team
Scheme Jean Denton Memorial Scholarship
Role Lead
Funding Start 2007
Funding Finish 2007
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON Y

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 body University of Western Sydney
Project Team
Scheme Unknown
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2006
Funding Finish 2006
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON Y

Student e-Portfolio Project$25,000

Funding body: University of Western Sydney

Funding body University of Western Sydney
Project Team
Scheme Learning Teaching Action Plan Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2006
Funding Finish 2006
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON Y

20051 grants / $25,000

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

Funding body: University of Western Sydney

Funding body University of Western Sydney
Project Team
Scheme Regional Development Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2005
Funding Finish 2005
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON Y

19961 grants / $48,008

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

Funding body: University of Western Sydney

Funding body University of Western Sydney
Project Team
Scheme Unknown
Role Lead
Funding Start 1996
Funding Finish 1996
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON Y

19951 grants / $6,000

Video about ethical dilemmas in field experience$6,000

Funding body: University of Western Sydney

Funding body University of Western Sydney
Project Team
Scheme UWS Initiatives in Teaching and Learning Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1995
Funding Finish 1995
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed2
Current4

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.3
PhD0.85

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2013 PhD The Role of Home Environment and Kindergarten Environment in Assisting Saudi Children Emergent Literacy
Curriculum & Education Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2013 Masters Examining 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, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2013 PhD The 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, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2004 PhD Principals' Leadership in ICT
Education, University of Western Sydney
Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015 PhD Intentional 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, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2014 PhD Young Children's Use of ICT: Preschool Teachers' Perceptions and Pedagogical Practices in Shanghai
Curriculum & Education Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
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Associate Professor Linda Newman

Position

Associate Professor
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

Education

Contact Details

Email linda.newman@newcastle.edu.au
Phone 4921 6283

Office

Room HA-59
Building HUNTER BUILDING
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