Winners of the EECERA Annual Awards 2017

EECERA 2018 Award winners

Posted 26th September 2017

As part of our annual conference, we like to highlight the importance and demand for new and innovative research in the early years by giving recognition to researchers whose contributions make an impact, not only in terms of readership, but also originality and transferability.
This year we offered awards in three categories: EECERA Student Research Award, EECERA Practitioner Research Award, and EECERJ Best Published Paper 2016.
So, without further ado, we present, your winners…

EECERJ Best Published Paper (2016)

The EECERJ Best Published Paper award is presented to the ‘most popular’ article in the EECERJ from the last year, determined by the total number of downloads.
All authors who published in the last completed EECERJ volume of published papers (Volume 24) were eligible to receive this award.
Best Published Paper Winner: Ioanna Palaiologou
Children under five and digital technologies: implications for early years pedagogy
EECERA best Published Paper Award Winner 2017 - Ioanna PalaiologouIoanna commented:
I feel honoured to have received the award for the Best Published Paper of 2016. I consider, in the field of early childhood education, it is important to move away from the debate about digital anxieties and “digital panic” when young children are using digital devices and instead focus on investigating how digital technology can be integrated in early childhood practice. It is important that research should focus on questioning the efficacy of digital devices and examine ways to create technological continuity between home and school. Our research should problematize the issue and identify ways that can bring a balance to children’s literacy and digital fluency within early childhood pedagogy.
Ioanna’s paper is now available to read and download for free until the end of 2017, courtesy of Taylor & Francis Online.

EECERA Student Research Award

The EECERA Student Research Award is open to postgraduate students with appropriate status from any recognised university, whose research is aimed at developing early childhood policy or practice.
Student Research Paper Winner: Fiona Mayne
‘Enhancing young children’s meaningful participation in research ethics processes through an Interactive Narrative Approach’
[EECERA 2017 Abstract: Embedding rights into early years research: A hierarchical model of children’s research participation rights, based on information, understanding, voice, and influence]
EECERA Student Research Award Winner 2017 - Fiona MayneFiona’s PhD Supervisor, Léonie J. Rennie (Emeritus Professor of Science and Technology Education at Curtin University), commented:
Fiona addressed her topic with enthusiastic dedication, underpinned by her strong belief that children are entitled to have their views heard when they are involved in a research project. Further, she strongly believed, and the research outcomes supported, that children as young as three years can understand what is happening if it is explained through an interactive narrative framework. Fiona’s work has had the effect of having the editors of the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood Education amend their ethical requirements for research they publish to bring their ethical standards in line with Fiona’s work.
Fiona has been invited to publish her research in the EECERJ and to be involved when the EECERJ author guidelines are updated.
Highly Commended Student Research Paper: Penny Lawrence
Observing and understanding two-year-old children’s decision-making in dialogue
[EECERA 2017 Abstract: Same title]
Penny commented:
There is a moment when your name is announced at EECERA and that is very public. What is very close and personalised is the thoughtful attention that the panel has given to the work. There is a deep level of engagement with the submitted paper and with discussing the potential work going forwards. This dialogue is very rewarding.
Highly Commended Student Research Paper: Katrien Van Laere
Conceptualisations of care and education in early childhood education and care
[EECERA 2017 Abstract: The social and political potential of educare. Exploring perspectives of parents and preschool staff]
Katrien commented:
I would like to thank the publisher and editorial board for this commendation. Receiving recognition from the international research community for this PhD study is extremely exciting and motivating in furthering my research and work. I am very proud that this study is able to contribute to a scholarly body of work in which social justice and children’s rights are placed at the forefront, contesting a unilateral focus on the ‘Heckmanisation’ of ECEC. Special thanks to Prof. Dr Michel Vandenbroeck for his inspiration and mentoring in this endeavour, and Dr Jan Peeters and the rest of the VBJK team for their continuous support.”

EECERA Practitioner Research Award

The Practitioner Research Award is open to anyone working in an early years setting or other organisation working with young children.
Practitioner Research Paper Winners: Linda Newman, Nicole Leggett, Melissa Duffy-Fagan, Kate Higginbottom, Kylie Kirrage & Catherine Highton
Research Connections: Practitioner research engagement network for early childhood educators
[EECERA 2017 Abstract: Read all the abstracts from their Self-organised Symposium in the 2017 Conference Abstract Book – SYMPOSIUM SET C/20: Collective moments: regenerating agency in early childhood teacher research and accountability, PAGE 101]
EECERA Practitioner Award Winners 2017
Linda commented:
It was with huge excitement and pride that four members of the Research Connections team accepted the award for practitioner research at the 2017 conference. We represented a team of 16 researchers and wish to offer huge thanks to EECERA for recognising and rewarding the emerging and important place that practitioner research has in the early childhood sector. The four centres who worked with the University of Newcastle to develop their own research projects have each seen the power of research, to transform not only educator ways of looking at their work but centre practices. The two academics and educators who engaged in the project have all now become firmly committed to the importance of practitioner research as a way to raise professional understanding and articulation of practice. The EECERA award is hugely prestigious for us and will encourage us to extend and spread our work. Thank you to the panel members who read our work and were so complimentary about its strength and potential.

For more information about EECERA 2018, which will be held in Budapest, Hungary, please visit

EECERA 2018 - Budapest, Hungar

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