Dr Liz Chesworth


School of Education

Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education

 Liz Chesworth in the garden, smiling
Profile picture of  Liz Chesworth in the garden, smiling
+44 114 222 3626

Full contact details

Dr Liz Chesworth
School of Education
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH
Research interests

Liz leads the Early Childhood Education Research cluster and is a member of the School of Education’s Research and Scholarship Committee.

Play and curriculum in early childhood education

Liz’s research focuses upon contemporary play cultures and dynamic approaches to curriculum in early childhood. In recent years she has led two funded projects in which she collaborated with early years educators to identify strategies for curriculum decision-making that are responsive to young children’s diverse interests and lived experiences.  Her research on curriculum has received national and international attention and has led to invited keynote presentations and consultancy work. 

Young children as research participants

Liz is interested in approaches to research that enable children’s participation. She has drawn upon children’s perspectives to explore issues of power, agency and choice within classroom peer cultures.

Digital play

Liz is a co-investigator on international research funded by the Lego Foundation which aims to identify the ways in which children’s well-being is related to their digital play experiences at home.

Current research projects include:

Recent research projects include:


Journal articles


  • Chesworth E & Hedges H (2022) Children’s interests and curriculum making in early childhood education. In Tierney R, Rizvi F & Ercikan K (Ed.), International Encyclopaedia of Education Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Chesworth E & Wood E (2021) Framing and Defining Play in Early Childhood In Arnott L & Wall K (Ed.), Research Through Play: Participatory Methods in Early Childhood (pp. 3-18). London: Sage. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Chesworth EA (2015) A Deeper Understanding of Play In Brock A (Ed.), The Early Years Reflective Practice Handbook (pp. 142-165). Abingdon: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Chesworth EA & Broadhead P (2015) Friendship, Culture and Playful Learning in Early Childhood Education In Moyles J (Ed.), The Excellence of Play (pp. 94-105). Maidenhead: Open University Press. RIS download Bibtex download


  • Chesworth E, Wood E & Folorunsho A (2022) Understanding practitioners’ curriculum decision-making in a multidiverse early years setting: Final Report. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Chesworth E, Pearson E, Igali F, Uttara S & Chhoun P (2021) Project evaluation of Young Bamboo ECCD projects in remote communities (Ratanakiri and Stung Treng provinces RIS download Bibtex download
  • Chesworth EA, Anning A & Spurling L (2005) The Quality of Early Learning, Play and Childcare Services in Sure Start Local Programmes RIS download Bibtex download


Teaching activities

Liz leads the full-time Masters in Early Childhood Education and is module leader for EDU6089: Learning, Development and Curriculum (Early Childhood). As a deputy director for the White Rose Doctoral Training Programme, Liz teaches on the Education, Childhood and Youth pathway.

Professional activities and memberships

Member of Research subcommittee, The Froebel Trust.

Assistant Editor: Journal of Early Childhood Research

Member of Editorial Board: International Journal of Play

Reviewer: International Journal of Research and Method in Education; International Journal of Early Years Education; Early Years: An International Research Journal; International Journal of Early Childhood Research; International Journal of Early Childhood Literacy; International Journal of Qualitative Research in Education; British Educational Research Journal.