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Sharon Colilles – Bath Spa University

Personal statement

Sharon is a Senior Lecturer within Early Childhood Studies, leading on modules Introduction to Early Childhood Studies, Issues in Early Childhood and Dissertation.

Sharon is a Trustee on the Froebel Trust Council as well as a member of their Education research sub-committee and a vice-chair on the Executive of the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN).

Other professional responsibilities include being an associate trainer for Early Education, a national charity supporting practitioners with training, resources and networks, and campaigning for quality education for the youngest children. She has a diverse career background, working initially in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as a policy manager, owning a private day nursery, assessor for the award of EYPs, participating in the review of the Teacher Standards, and more recently working as project assistant for the development of Birth to Five Matters non-statutory guidance.

Sharon’s research interests are particularly concerned with play based participatory pedagogies and its part in developing children’s mixed ethnic identity and cultural learning and development – especially learning and development informed by child-led perspectives. She also has a deep interest and engages in work that develops anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD: Education (How play-based pedagogies support mixed ethnicity identity formation) Birmingham City University (2014-20)
  • Masters in Early Years (Children’s Cultural Identity through Stories and Storytelling) Leeds Beckett University (2012)
  • BA (Hons) Childhood Studies (Do nursery age children recognise race ethnicity and cultural difference?) Leeds Beckett University (2011)

Professional qualifications

  • Senior Fellow Higher Education Authority (SFHEA) 2015
  • Early Years Teacher (EYTS), Best Practice Network (2011)
  • Associate Certificate in Training Practice, The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (2008-2009)

Professional memberships

  • Member of European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA)
  • Member of the Education and Research Committee for Froebel Trust
  • Associate trainer and member of Early Education (EE)
  • Vice Chair on the Executive of Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN)
  • Member of Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA & CREC learning circle)

Areas of expertise

  • Play
  • Children's Voice
  • Rights based participatory approaches in Play
  • Ethnic Identity Formation in early childhood
  • Praxeology as a method for transforming early years practice
  • EYFS Policy & Curricula Approaches
  • Children's ethnography
  • Black female Autoethnography in research

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Play and listening to children's narratives

Colilles, S (2023) 'Play and listening to children's narratives.' Early Years Educator, 23 (20). pp. 20-21. ISSN 2052-4617

Inclusive pedagogies

Colilles, S (2023) 'Inclusive pedagogies.' Early Education Journal, 99. pp. 10-12. ISSN 0960 - 281X

An introduction to inclusive practice with Dr. Sharon Colilles [podcast]

Colilles, S and Tembo, S (2023) An introduction to inclusive practice with Dr. Sharon Colilles [podcast]. TTS Talking Early Years Podcast, 3 (1).

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