Dr Louise Kay

Louise Kay

BA (Hons) Humanities/Social Studies; Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) ; MA Early Childhood Education; EdD Early Childhood Education
Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 8103
Email: louise.kay@sheffield.ac.uk



I have worked in the field of education for the past eighteen years and taught across the primary and Early Years sector before moving into Higher Education in 2013.

As part of my role at the University of Sheffield I supervise students on the MA Education programme.



Research Interests:

My doctoral thesis explored the beliefs of two Reception teachers using Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). The ways in which 'school readiness' was constructed through pedagogical practices was identified, and the tensions and contradictions that emerged between these practices and the beliefs of teachers were explored in depth.

I have a particular interest in curricular and assessment policy frameworks and how these impact on teachers and children.

Current Research Projects Include:

Learning-rich leadership for quality improvement in early education

The aim of this research project is to explore how learning-rich leadership enhances service quality in ECE. Focusing on the role of the Educational Leader in Australia and the Early Years Teacher Status in England, this collaborative project aims to generate knowledge about practices of educational leadership for quality improvement in ECE, and will form the basis for an ongoing programme of international research.

Engaging disadvantaged children in creative and innovative making to encourage engagement in STEM/ STEAM learning

The project involves the provision of a year-long after-school makerspace (a space that enables making and tinkering, using a range of tools) for children and young people of Somali heritage. The aim is to examine the possibilities offered by the use of this space to motivate marginalised children and young people towards the study of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects through the integration of these subjects with arts and humanities – characterised as STEAM. The project also aims to enhance participants’ digital literacies and transversal 21st century skills.



• BERA northern regional Rep
• Reviewer for the Journal of Early Childhood Research