Dr Nicole Leggett

Dr Nicole Leggett

Lecturer

School of Education (Education)

Career Summary

Biography

Nicole has worked in the early childhood profession for over 25 years, mostly as a Director of early education and care centres. In 2015, she completed a PhD entitled: Intentional teaching practices of educators and the development of creative thought processes of young children within Australian early childhood centres. This research examined the role of the educator as an intentional teacher within Australian early learning environments and investigated the relationship of this role to children’s developing creativity. One significant implication of this study was its potential to assist educators in the recognition and implementation of specific identified strategies for intentional teaching as part of their pedagogical practices. This thesis was awarded the Beth Southwell Research Award for Most Outstanding Education Thesis in 2015. 

In 2017 Nicole has collaborated with conjoint Associate Professor, Linda Newman in leading a major research project with four industry partners in early childhood education. This project, Research Connections: Practitioner Research Engagement Network for Early Childhood Educators, first piloted in Newcastle, successfully linked industry partners with two University Research Mentors (URM’s) from the University of Newcastle. Participants were guided by a URM in developing a centre-based action research project, with the aim for improving classroom practices. Research Connections won the practitioner research award at the EECERA conference in Bologna, Italy, 2017. 

A recent project: Creative Collaborations, together with Dr Margot Ford and Dr Jo Ailwood,  brought Associate Professor Antonio Gariboldi and Dr Antonella Pugnaghi (University of Modena & Reggio Emilia, Italy), to the University of Newcastle. Antonio and Antonella visited the University of Newcastle in May, 2018, to establish and consolidate our research relationship. Nicole, Antonio and Antonella resented at a Public Symposium which attracted over 400 attendees at the University of Newcastle.

Nicole also leads 18 students each year on an international study group to Italy as part of an elective course EDUC3800, Intercultural Understandings. Students experience first-hand the social and cultural aspects of Italy as well as visit the world-renown early childhood centres of Reggio Emilia. 



Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Newcastle
  • Master of Early Childhood Studies, Macquarie University

Keywords

  • Practitioner Research
  • Early childhood creativity

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
139999 Education not elsewhere classified 100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Education
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2014 PHD publication award 2014
The University of Newcastle
2008 2008: Travel Scholarship Macquarie University, Master’s Degree.
Macquarie University

Prize

Year Award
2017 Practitioner Research Award, EECERA conference, Bologna, Italy.
European Early Childhood Education Research Award
2015 The Beth Southwell Research Award 2015 for outstanding thesis
Beth Southwell

Research Award

Year Award
2017 Inaugural Ourimbah Research Development RHD Internship (Educational Research Institute Newcastle).
Centre for Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle
2017 Ian Potter Foundation
Ian Potter Foundation
2016 Inaugural Ourimbah Research Development RHD Internship (Educational Research Institute Newcastle).
Centre for Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle
2015 Inaugural Ourimbah Research Development RHD Internship (Educational Research Institute Newcastle).
The University of Newcastle
2014 Inaugural Ourimbah Research Development RHD Internship (Educational Research Institute Newcastle).
The University of Newcastle
2013 Inaugural Ourimbah Research Development RHD Internship (Educational Research Institute Newcastle).
The University of Newcastle
2012 Inaugural Ourimbah Research Development RHD Internship (Educational Research Institute Newcastle).
The University of Newcastle
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Publications

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


Journal article (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Leggett N, 'Early Childhood Creativity: Challenging Educators in Their Role to Intentionally Develop Creative Thinking in Children', Early Childhood Education Journal, 45 845-853 (2017) [C1]

© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Creativity is a topic of wide global interest, often discussed in fields such as education, psychology and business (Runco, Diver... [more]

© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Creativity is a topic of wide global interest, often discussed in fields such as education, psychology and business (Runco, Divergent thinking and creative potential, Hampton Press, New York, 2013; Yoruk and Runco, Journal for Neurocognitive Research 56:1¿16, 2014). However, the relationship of pedagogical practices in early childhood education and care (ECEC) as it applies to the development of creative thought processes of young children is a relatively new area for investigation. This paper presents recent research that examines the role of the educator as an intentional teacher within Australian early learning environments and investigates the relationship of this role to children¿s developing creativity. Theoretically informed by Vygotsky¿s sociocultural constructivist approach (Vygotsky, Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1930, 1978) and neo-Vygotskian theories on creativity (John-Steiner and Moran, Educational Psychologist 31:191¿206, 2012), this paper explores some of the beliefs and understandings of educators on creativity. Furthermore, this paper exposes some of the misconceptions of educators about children¿s creative thinking as they engage in play-based learning activities. The evidence from this Australian study suggests that the role of the educator is pivotal in assisting children in the early development of creative thinking thus challenging their role as educators.

DOI 10.1007/s10643-016-0836-4
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
2017 Leggett N, Newman L, 'Play: Challenging educators' beliefs about play in the indoor and outdoor environment', AUSTRALASIAN JOURNAL OF EARLY CHILDHOOD, 42 24-32 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.23965/AJEC.42.1.03
Citations Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Linda Newman
2016 Leggett N, Ford M, 'Group Time Experiences: Belonging, Being and Becoming Through Active Participation Within Early Childhood Communities', Early Childhood Education Journal, 44 191-200 (2016) [C1]

© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. The National Quality Standards (NQS) as part of the Australian National Quality Framework were developed in 2011 and included sev... [more]

© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. The National Quality Standards (NQS) as part of the Australian National Quality Framework were developed in 2011 and included several references to the organisation of small and large groups within early childhood settings (ACECQA 2013). The NQS act in tandem with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (DEEWR 2009) and are the basis by which early childhood centres are assessed for accreditation in Australia. This paper draws upon current research with early childhood educators as they struggle to understand the new concept of ¿intentional teachers¿ within this new regime. There also appears to have been a dramatic shift in the understanding about how large and small groups operate within centres. As the accreditation process unfolds, some early childhood centres have been advised to abandon large or whole group work. At the core of the EYLF are the notions of ¿being, belonging, becoming¿, locating young children as part of a community of learners within a democratic society. It therefore appears that tensions and contradictions are emerging between the fundamental principles of the EYLF as they are juxtaposed against the requirement of the NQS. Critical Pedagogy of Place provides a theoretical framework in which to interrogate the ways some early childhood educators interpret intentional teaching both in terms of the organisation of spaces in early childhood centres and the organisation of the children as they inhabit those spaces (Gruenewald 2008). This paper argues that the possible abandonment of large group experiences runs the risk of disconnecting children from their communities and the relationships they form as social participants. Furthermore, it is argued that whole group experiences are crucial elements that facilitate a child¿s identity and active citizenry.

DOI 10.1007/s10643-015-0702-9
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Margot Ford
2013 Leggett N, Ford M, 'A fine balance: Understanding the roles educators and children play as intentional teachers and intentional learners within the Early Years Learning Framework', AUSTRALASIAN JOURNAL OF EARLY CHILDHOOD, 38 42-50 (2013) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 12Web of Science - 10
Co-authors Margot Ford
2013 Leggett NM, 'No Rhyme nor Reason', Every Child, 19 34-35 (2013) [C3]
2011 Leggett NM, 'Searching for the pot of gold', Every Child, 17 16 (2011) [C3]
2009 Leggett NM, 'A journey of discovery', Bedrock, 14 10-11 (2009) [O1]
Show 4 more journal articles
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 9
Total funding $42,474

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


20183 grants / $18,000

Creative Collaborations: Creating a research network between Reggio Emillia, Italy and Newcastle, Australia$15,000

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

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team

Dr Nicole Leggett, Dr Margot Ford, Dr Jo Ailwood, Associate Professor Antonio Gariboldi, Sr Antonella Pugnaghi

Scheme FEDUA Strategic Networks and Pilot Projects (SNaPP)
Role Lead
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

International Conference on Education, Hawaii, 4-7 January 2018$2,000

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

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team

Dr Nicole Leggett

Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

2018 Ourimbah Strategic Research Grant$1,000

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

Funding body Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle
Scheme Faculty funding
Role Lead
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

20171 grants / $2,000

To attend The European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) conference in Bologna, Italy, 29 August - 1 September, 2016$2,000

Funding body: Ian Potter Foundation

Funding body Ian Potter Foundation
Project Team Doctor Nicole Leggett
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1700044
Type Of Funding Scheme excluded from IGS
Category EXCL
UON Y

20165 grants / $22,474

Research Connections: Practitioner Research Engagement Network for Early Childhood Educators$6,355

Funding body: Elder Street Early Childhood Centre

Funding body Elder Street Early Childhood Centre
Project Team Doctor Linda Newman, Doctor Nicole Leggett, Kylie Kirrage, Mel Duffy-Fagan, Kate Higginbottom, Catherine Highton
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1601038
Type Of Funding C3111 - Aust For profit
Category 3111
UON Y

Research Connections: Practitioner Research Engagement Network for Early Childhood Educators$5,105

Funding body: Cameron Park Early Learning Centre

Funding body Cameron Park Early Learning Centre
Project Team Doctor Linda Newman, Doctor Nicole Leggett, Kylie Kirrage, Mel Duffy-Fagan, Kate Higginbottom, Catherine Highton
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1601037
Type Of Funding C3111 - Aust For profit
Category 3111
UON Y

Research Connections: Practitioner Research Engagement Network for Early Childhood Educators$5,102

Funding body: Hamilton Child Care Centre

Funding body Hamilton Child Care Centre
Project Team Doctor Linda Newman, Doctor Nicole Leggett, Kylie Kirrage, Mel Duffy-Fagan, Kate Higginbottom, Catherine Highton
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1601035
Type Of Funding C3112 - Aust Not for profit
Category 3112
UON Y

Research Connections: Practitioner Research Engagement Network for Early Childhood Educators$5,102

Funding body: Adamstown Community Early Learning and Preschool

Funding body Adamstown Community Early Learning and Preschool
Project Team Doctor Linda Newman, Doctor Nicole Leggett, Kylie Kirrage, Mel Duffy-Fagan, Kate Higginbottom, Catherine Highton
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1601036
Type Of Funding C3112 - Aust Not for profit
Category 3112
UON Y

Ourimbah Strategic Research Grant 1$810

Funding body: Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body Faculty of Education and Arts
Scheme Ourimbah Strategic Research Grant scheme
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current4

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.25
PhD0.9

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2018 Masters Intentional Teaching and Intentional Learning with Children under Three Years M Philosophy (Education), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2018 PhD An Investigation into Preschool Teachers' and Parents' Activities and Perceptions on Emergent Literacy in Early Childhood Years PhD (Education), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2018 PhD What Impact does a Critical Mentoring Program have on an ECE Team’s Ability to Build Team Leadership Skills and Reimagine Leadership as a Creative Team Process? PhD (Education), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2013 PhD Early childhood national educational frameworks and teachers' beliefs about creativity: A comparative study of Australia and Iran PhD (Education), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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News

How creativity plays role in early childhood education

May 21, 2018

The Hunter’s early childhood community will have the opportunity to hear from two visiting Italian researchers on the role of creativity in early childhood education when they present at a public symposium at the University of Newcastle this week.

Open flames and real tools deter our toddlers from risky business

July 19, 2017

UON research finds exposing toddlers to ‘risky play’ can increase their safety awareness.

Dr Nicole Leggett

Position

Lecturer
Nicole.Leggett@newcastle.edu.au
School of Education
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

Education

Contact Details

Email nicole.leggett@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 43484041

Office

Room Humanities building HO1.05
Building Humanities building Ourimbah
Location Ourimbah Campus
10 Chittaway Road
Ourimbah, NSW 2258
Australia
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