Professor Jackie Marsh, BA (Hons), PGCE, MEd, PhD, FAcSS, FRSA

Photograph of Professor Jackie Marsh

Professor of Education
Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 8166

Jackie is interested in young children’s digital literacy practices in homes, communities and early years settings. She has conducted research projects that have explored children´s access to new technologies and their emergent digital literacy skills, knowledge and understanding. She has examined the way in which parents/carers and other family members support this engagement. Jackie also has conducted a number of research projects that have explored how creative and innovative teachers have responded to the challenges of the new media age. She has evaluated a number of national projects that have aimed to develop teachers' expertise in the teaching and learning of digital and media literacy. In her more recent research, Jackie has explored changes in children’s play due to developments in media, technology and commercial cultures.


Jackie supervises EdD and PhD students in the fields of early childhood education and new literacies. She contributes to various programmes in the School of Education. Jackie is the Faculty of Social Sciences Director of Learning and Teaching (2013-).


Jackie has undertaken research on children’s digital literacy learning in homes, nurseries, schools and informal learning settings. She has also undertaken studies that have examined parents’ and families’ engagement in their children’s digital literacy development. Her work draws on theoretical frameworks located in sociology and communications, media and cultural studies. Jackie has employed a range of methodologies in her research, including large-scale, national surveys, in addition to ethnographic case studies which have included visual methods. She has expertise in participatory research with children and teachers, and in co-produced research with teachers and the children’s media industry.

Recent Funded Projects

  • Makerspaces in Early Childhood: Enhancing Play and Creativity (MakEY) 2015 – 2019, Funded by the EU Commission, Horizon 2020 (PI Marsh)
  • COST Action IS1410, ‘The Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children’ (DigiLitEY), 2015 – 2019, funded by the EU Commission (Chair/Grant Holder Marsh).
  • Childhoods and Play. Funded by the British Academy, 2012-2021 (PI Marsh, Co-Is Bishop and Burn)
  • Playing the Archive: Cultural Memory and Virtual and Physical Play, 2017-19, Funded by the EPSRC (PI Burn, Co-Is Marsh, Bishop, Potter, Woolley).
  • Exploring Play and Creativity in Young Children’s use of Apps, Funded by the ESRC, 2015 (PI Marsh, Co-Is Plowman, Yamada-Rice).
  • Digital Futures in Teacher Education, Funded by JISC, 2012, (PI Pountney, Co-Is Marsh, Merchant).
  • Children's playground games and songs in a new media age, 2009-11, funded by AHRC (PI Burn, Co-Is Marsh, Mitchell and Willett).
  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, 2017-
  • Co-editor, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy (; Editorial board member of Australian Journal of Literacy and Language; Child Language Teaching and Therapy; Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood; Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education; Educational Studies; E-learning and Digital Media; Media Education Research Journal; Reading Research Quarterly.
  • Chair, UKLA/Wiley Blackwell Research in Literacy Education Award Committee 2011-2017
  • Past President of United Kingdom Literacy Association
  • Member of ESRC Peer Review College, 2009-

Book Chapters

View list of publications

Marsh, J. (2017) Russian dolls and three forms of capital: ecological and sociological perspectives on parents’ engagement with young children’s tablet use. In C. Burnett, G. Merchant, A. Simpson and M. Walsh (eds). The Case of the IPad: Mobile Literacies in Education. Springer.

Marsh, J. (2017) Childhood in the digital age. In S. Powell and K. Smith (eds) An Introduction to Childhood Studies (4th ed.). London: Sage.

Marsh, J. (2016). Gareth: The reluctant writer. In A.H. Dyson (Eds) Composing in childhoods: A global perspective. New York: Routledge.

Marsh, J. (2015). Researching technologies in children’s worlds and futures. In A. S.L. Farrell, S.L. Kage & K. Tidsall (eds) Sage Handbook of Early Childhood Research. (pp. 485-501.) London, New Dehli, New York: Sage.

Marsh, J. (2014). The discourses of celebrity in the fanvid ecology of Club Penguin machinima. In R.H. Jones, A. Chik & C. A. Hafner (eds) Discourse and digital practices: Doing discourse analysis in the
digital age. (pp. 193–208) New York: Routledge.

Marsh, J. (2014). Researching young children’s literacy practices in online virtual worlds: Cyber-ethnography and multi-method approaches. In Albers, M., Flint, A. & Holbrook, T. (eds) New methods in
literacy research. (pp. 195-209). New York: Routledge.

Marsh, J. (2013). Media, childhood and play. In L. Brooker, S. Edwards & M. Blaise (eds) Handbook of Play and Learning in Early Childhood. (pp. 403-414) London: Sage.

Marsh, J. (2013). Online and offline play. In A. Burn & C. Richards (eds) Children’s Games in the New Media Age: Childlore, Media and the Playground. (pp. 109–132.) London: Ashgate.

Marsh, J. (2013). Breaking the ice: Play, friendships and social identities in young children’s use of virtual worlds. In Burke, A. & Marsh, J. (eds) Children’s Virtual Play Worlds: Culture, Learning and Participation. (pp. 59-78). New York: Peter Lang.

Marsh, J. (2013). Early Literacy and Popular Culture. In J. Larson & J. Marsh (eds) Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy, (2nd ed.) (pp. 207-222) London, New Dehli, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Marsh, J. (2012). Countering chaos in Club Penguin: Young children’s literacy practices in a virtual world. In Merchant G, Gillen J, Marsh J & Davies J (Eds) Virtual Literacies: Interactive Spaces for Children and Young People.(pp. 75-88). New York: Routledge.

Marsh, J. & D. Yamada-Rice (2016). Bringing Pudsey to life: Young children’s use of augmented reality apps. In N. Kuckircova and G. Falloon (eds) Apps, Technology and Young Learners. London: Routledge.

Marsh, J. & Yamada-Rice, D. (2013). Early literacy development in the digital age. In D.M. Barone & M.H.
Mallette (eds) Best Practices in Early Literacy Instruction. (pp. 79-95). New York: Guilford Press.