Jenny Dwyer

Proposed Title

Children’s universal right to play, learn and express opinions: A cross cultural study of the cultural construction of STEM.


It has been established that all children need to play, learn and express their opinions in order to be acknowledged and valued within their communities, to become competent in learning, communicate with others and become future-change makers of the world. This research will discover young children’s perspectives and cultural variations on the right to play and learn as expressed through everyday Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) play-based experiences and their views on the role of the adult in their play. The research project will highlight and value children’s voices and opinions, and the right for children to have their say within scholarly research literature as a point of reference for teaching in early childhood programs. Digital visual research methodology and digital tools (e.g., video and still camera) will be used in this study to collect data from children’s everyday play contexts in early childhood settings. The children’s perspectives of everyday STEM play-based experiences will be articulated through simulated recall discussions of videos of their play and represented through visual arts such as drawing, with materials that are familiar and easily accessible to the children. The stimulated discussions will also include the children’s perspective of role of the adult in their play.

Why I Chose Charles Sturt

I have been employed by Charles Sturt University over the past ten years as both a lecturer for early childhood and have completed my research studies (Grad Cert Educational Research and Bachelor Educational Research (Hons) through Charles Sturt. I have also many wonderful Charles Sturt colleagues who have supported  on my research journey.


  • Harrison, L., & Dwyer, J. (2019).Programming and planning for Australian early childhood education and care. In S. Garvis, S. Phillipson, S. Clarke, L. Harrison, J. McCormack & D. Pendergast. Child development and learning, (pp. 512-548). Docklands, Australia: Oxford University Press.
  • Wang, C., Cumming, T., Murray, E., Dwyer, J., & Harrison, L. (2017).  The preschool experience of children in disadvantaged communities: Tracking progress towards school readiness. Report for CareWest. Bathurst, Australia: Charles Sturt University.
  • Dwyer, J. (2003). The emergent curriculum programme and its benefits for children with additional needs. Early Childhood Intervention Australia Inc 10(2) 14-15.
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