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School of Education and Professional Studies

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My research focuses on early childhood education, particularly the intersection of child development and learning with curriculum and pedagogy. I also have expertise regarding Indigenous Australian early childhood education (teacher professional learning, the role of culture in curriculum and pedagogy).

Dr Karen L Martin is an Associate Professor within the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University. Karen has over 15 years’ experience as a teacher/director in early childhood education in Queensland. Karen was recently invited to present on the findings of research from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children to the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Indigenous Advisory Committee. She has over 20 years experience in the university sector, first in Indigenous Studies and since 2008, in early childhood education. Since coming to Griffith University in 2012, Karen has written, convened and taught courses in the Bachelor of Education: Early Childhood; Master: Early Childhood Education; Graduate Diploma: Early Childhood and Graduate Certificate: Early Childhood. 

Associate Professor Karen L Martin

School of Education and Professional Studies

Early Childhood Education

Fields of Expertise

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Development and Learning
  • Aboriginal Knowledge and Cultural Components
  • Research Methodology

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Karen has delivered presentations at my forums, seminars and conferences in Queensland, Australia and internationally. Recent highlights include:

  • Where are we now and what does it really mean? Indigenous learners, families and communities in the 21st Century. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Catholic Education Conference Rockhampton QLD May 2016
  • Aboriginal early childhood education in Australia: Identify + Knowledge + Voice = Vision. He korero, he kaupapa, he whariki - Kia tipu whakaritorito: Re-weaving theories and practices to reconstruct critical questions, new imaginings and social activitison. Taupo. New Zealand Oct 2016

Industry Experience

Karen has developed professional development programs for educators of young Indigenous Australian children at the centre level, to regional, state and national levels. This was interspersed with writing curriculum and developing policy for various industry partners.

Advisory Roles:

  • Deupty Chair: Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (Department of Social Services)
  • Deputy Chair: Griffith University Human Research Ethics Committee

Industry Partnerships:

  • The Creche and Kindergarten Association Limited (C&K)
  • Logan Together

Research Expertise

Karen's research expertise include early childhood education; aboriginal knowledge; aboriginal early childhood; aboriginal studies pedagogy and curriculum; and aboriginal research methodology. Karen's recent research highlights include:

  • Voices and Visions: Aboriginal early childhood education in Australia. 

Year: 2016                            Publisher: Pademelon Press

  • Book Chapter: Playing along and playing it up: how play is experienced and understood in Aboriginal Australian contexts of the past, the present and the future. 

Year: 2016                            Book: Children's play in early childhood education: facilitating learning in diverse contexts (2nd Edition) (pp201-214).

  • "Looking for the X Factor": contextualised learning and young Indigenous Australian children. 

Year: 2016-17                       Research Partner: Education Horizons Research Grant


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