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Margrain, Valerie, ProfessorORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-7113-647x
Biography [eng]

Valerie grew up and completed her education in New Zealand. In NZ, she taught in primary schools then early childhood education, at The Open Polytechnic of NZ, and at Massey University. She also worked as Senior Advisor: Assessment at the Ministry of Education. Valerie worked at an Australian university for 7 years before moving to Sweden late 2018.

Biography [swe]

My research includes the topics of young gifted children, gifted education, inclusion, early literacy, intercultural practice, and strength-based assessment. Through my research Iaim to share lived experiences of diverse children, and to support teacher practice. I am also interested in research that supports internationalisation in higher education, including interculturality, internationalisation@home, and comparative studies.

Publications (10 of 35) Show all publications
Gilmore, G., Margrain, V. & Mellgren, E. (2020). Intercultural literacy: International teacher educators engaging with assessment moderation of literacy in early childhood education.. Intercultural Education, 31(2), 208-227
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intercultural literacy: International teacher educators engaging with assessment moderation of literacy in early childhood education.
2020 (English)In: Intercultural Education, ISSN 1467-5986, E-ISSN 1469-8439, Vol. 31, no 2, p. 208-227Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This research reports intercultural dialogue of meaning making in literacy by lecturers, engaged with an assessment moderation process of early childhood education (ECE) preservice teacher education across Australia, New Zealand and Sweden. The purpose of the dialogue was to inform pedagogical and conceptual knowledge in their courses. The research question is: How does intercultural dialogue inform teacher education literacy practices? Methods include (1) a blind assessment review process using 30 examples from ‘high’ to ‘low’ exemplars of ECE students’ literacy assessment annotations, some from each country, and (2) textual analysis of intercultural student feedback and reflection from student forum comments and, semi-structured reflexive interviews with students about the assessment moderation process. Rich academic reflections on the data have led to our recommendations that the conceptual framework of intercultural praxis could be applied in early childhood preservice teacher education practice. Further, we suggest there are increased possibilities for the use of intercultural literacy with ECE preservice student teachers using virtual and explicit collaborations and texts as explained in this research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2020
Keywords
Intercultural literacy, intercultural praxis, assessment moderation, curriculum internationalisation, teacher educators’ reflexivity
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-77302 (URN)10.1080/14675986.2019.1702293 (DOI)000515304700001 ()
Available from: 2020-03-15 Created: 2020-03-15 Last updated: 2020-04-06Bibliographically approved
Margrain, V. (2019). Bell-curve outsiders: Perceptions of inclusion and exclusion from gifted children and children with other special needs.. In: : . Paper presented at 7th International Conference on Children’s Perspectives on Teaching and Learning, Los Angeles, 3-5 November..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bell-curve outsiders: Perceptions of inclusion and exclusion from gifted children and children with other special needs.
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Keywords
inclusion, exclusion, differentiation, special needs, gifted, school
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work; Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-77295 (URN)
Conference
7th International Conference on Children’s Perspectives on Teaching and Learning, Los Angeles, 3-5 November.
Available from: 2020-03-14 Created: 2020-03-14 Last updated: 2020-03-14
Margrain, V. & Löfdahl, A. (Eds.). (2019). Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagement in Changing Global Contexts. Singapore: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagement in Changing Global Contexts
2019 (English)Collection (editor) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This book explores how concepts and values of contemporary democracy are variously understood and applied in diverse cultural contexts, with a focus on children and childhood and diversity. Drawing on a range of methodological approaches relevant to early childhood education, it discusses young children's engagement and voice. The book identifies existing practices, strengths, theories and considerations in democracy in early childhood education and childhood, highlighting the democratic participation of children in cultural contexts. Further, it illustrates how democracy can be evident in early childhood practices and interactions across a range of curriculum contexts and perspectives, and considers ways of advancing and sustaining practices with positive transformational opportunities to benefit children and wider ecological systems.It offers readers insights into what democracy and citizenship look like in lived experience, and the issues affecting practice and encouraging reflection and advocacy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Singapore: Springer, 2019. p. 274
Series
International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development, ISSN 2468-8746, E-ISSN 2468-8754 ; 8
Keywords
early childhood education, preschool, democracy, global, challenge
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74442 (URN)10.1007/978-981-13-7771-6 (DOI)978-981-13-7770-9 (ISBN)978-981-13-7771-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-08-26Bibliographically approved
Löfdahl, A. & Margrain, V. (2019). Challenging the challenges: Democratic spaces and opportunities in ECE (1ed.). In: Margrain, V., & Löfdahl Hultman, A. (Ed.), Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagmement in Changing Global Contexts (pp. 265-274). Singapore: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenging the challenges: Democratic spaces and opportunities in ECE
2019 (English)In: Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagmement in Changing Global Contexts / [ed] Margrain, V., & Löfdahl Hultman, A., Singapore: Springer, 2019, 1, p. 265-274Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This volume started with expressing concerns of what might challenge democracy in early childhood education (ECE) settings of today  – all over the world. We have, throughout the work as authors and editors, been more and more aware of the different ways early childhood practices are challenged by the contemporary issues mentioned in Chap. 1 of this volume. We have learned not only the fact that there are challenges but also gained insights into how ECE practitioners, children and researchers deal with these challenges. The subtitle of this volume says Engagement in Changing Global Contexts, and in this concluding chapter, we will further elaborate the engagement expressed by the authors. By referring to the conceptual framework from Chap. 2, challenges will relate to the different but linked dimensions in the democracy model provided by Hägglund, Löfdahl Hultman and Thelander (2017). Our lessons learned and our conclusions deal with ideas about children and childhood, about the way policies structure children’s lives and the everyday life in preschool for teachers and for children. As already stated in the introduction, the democracy model takes the position that democracy in ECE is influenced from the ideas and actions in all four dimensions of the model: historical views, curriculum and other formal documents, intentional teaching practices, and children’s arenas. In addition, democracy is challenged by content in the same dimensions. Each chapter of this book has presented an individual discussion and analysis of empirical research, and our intention here is not to repeat what has already been written but to highlight synergies and connections. The structure for this analysis builds around three concepts that we use to highlight what is important to challenge the challenges: reciprocity, togetherness and empowerment. We also argue these three concepts form new core values of democracy especially in ECE and as such need to be considered and questioned

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Singapore: Springer, 2019 Edition: 1
Series
Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education, ISSN 2468-8746, E-ISSN 2468-8754 ; 28
Keywords
democracy, challenge, early childhood education, reciprocity, togetherness, empowerment
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education; Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74467 (URN)10.1007/978-981-13-7771-6_18 (DOI)978-981-13-7770-9 (ISBN)978-981-13-7771-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-08-26Bibliographically approved
Popova, A. & Margrain, V. (2019). Democratic Discourses in Higher Education: Australian Preservice Student Teacher Perceptions of Quality Early Chilhdood Education. In: Margrain, V., & Löfdahl Hultman, A. (Ed.), Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagement in Changing Global Contexts (pp. 167-179). Singapore: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Democratic Discourses in Higher Education: Australian Preservice Student Teacher Perceptions of Quality Early Chilhdood Education
2019 (English)In: Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagement in Changing Global Contexts / [ed] Margrain, V., & Löfdahl Hultman, A., Singapore: Springer, 2019, p. 167-179Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter reports interview findings with preservice student teachers in Australia on aspects of quality in early childhood education (ECE). A total of 14 interviews were conducted with 5 interviewees in 2017 across a university semester, with 3 interview points for most participants, to capture the influence of higher education and professional practice practicum placement. The observations and reflections of preservice student teachers provide important evidence of how contemporary and historical views on children, childhood, and children’s rights as citizens are applied in contemporary early childhood practice. Our analysis of the interview recordings and transcriptions clarified that all the participants were in-between several concepts: certainty and uncertainty, plurality and uniformity, and personhood transformation. These reflections indicated tension between theory and aspirational conceptualisation of quality and the reality of experience and observation. The discussion of quality ECE indicated that the preservice student teachers intentionally searched for positive examples of specific practices and strategies, alongside their experience of varied quality in their practicum placements and their reflection of complexity in real-life practice. Positivity and responsiveness to diverse context are important in ECE professional practice; however, advocacy for children’s democratic rig

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Singapore: Springer, 2019
Series
International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development, ISSN 2468-8746, E-ISSN 2468-8754 ; 8
Keywords
student teacher, quality early childhood education, democracy
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work; Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74466 (URN)10.1007/978-981-13-7771-6_12 (DOI)978-981-13-7770-9 (ISBN)978-981-13-7771-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-08-26Bibliographically approved
Margrain, V. (2019). Early Childhood Education (ECE) Philosophies and Services. In: Michael A. Peters (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Teacher Education: Living Edition (pp. 1-6). Singapore: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Early Childhood Education (ECE) Philosophies and Services
2019 (English)In: Encyclopedia of Teacher Education: Living Edition / [ed] Michael A. Peters, Singapore: Springer, 2019, , p. 6p. 1-6Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Singapore: Springer, 2019. p. 6
Keywords
early childhood education, philopsophies, services, preschool, teaching
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-75772 (URN)10.1007/978-981-13-1179-6 (DOI)978-981-13-1179-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-11-18 Created: 2019-11-18 Last updated: 2019-11-22Bibliographically approved
Margrain, V. & Schultheis, K. (2019). Global discussion online: IPC student teachers in seven countries. . In: : . Paper presented at Presentation to Interculturality in Teacher Education and Training: Methodologies, Criticality, and Sustainability Conference,Karlstad University, Sweden, 17-19 June..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Global discussion online: IPC student teachers in seven countries. 
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This presentation shares how student teachers in seven countries came together online to share intercultural perspectives and experiences on a range of topics of relevance to education systems, policy, teacher education, and childhood. In 2017, participating countries were: Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Japan, Spain, Sweden and the USA. Through the process of discussing and documenting diverse cultural and educational practices – for example the age children start school, the involvement of parents in education, uniforms, daily routines, inclusion, and technology - student teachers reflected on values, beliefs, traditions and aspirations. The experience also developed their verbal and visual communication skills – for most students in a second language. Swedish and Australian student teachers synthesized global findings as presentations, which informed local course learning of all participants. The global discussion is part of the broader International Project (http://www.internationalproject-ipc.com/en/).

Keywords
Global, intercultural communication, intercultural education, intercultural perspective, online, teacher education.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-77299 (URN)
Conference
Presentation to Interculturality in Teacher Education and Training: Methodologies, Criticality, and Sustainability Conference,Karlstad University, Sweden, 17-19 June.
Available from: 2020-03-15 Created: 2020-03-15 Last updated: 2020-03-15
Margrain, V. (2019). How it’s right to write: Capital or lower case letters in Australasian and Swedish preschools. . In: : . Paper presented at Conference presentation to Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), Brisbane, December 1-5..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How it’s right to write: Capital or lower case letters in Australasian and Swedish preschools. 
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This research investigates traditions and theories guiding early childhood education (ECE) use of capital and lower-case letters in Australasia and Sweden. Nine higher education academics were purposefully recruited and interviewed about their writing practices, beliefs and theories: five interviews in Sweden, two in Australia, and two from New Zealand. Australian National and Swedish Research Council requirements for ethical practice were followed, including pseudonymisation.

 

Findings indicated consistent difference between Australasian and Swedish perspectives on how both adults and children should use capital and lower case letters (for example writing the name Ella or ELLA). Each group thought their own way was the right and usual way. All Australasian respondents indicated that use of a capital letter was to only be used at the start of a name or start of a sentence, even for and by very young children. They used terms such as ‘appropriate’, ‘conventional’, ‘right’, ‘correct’ and ‘obvious’, taking the view that ECE should follow school traditions to support children’s transition, and written text must follow the model of book-reading. However, Swedish participants all indicated that the full use of capitals was the more common way text was used in Swedish preschools, both as modelled by teachers and used by children. Rationale included that it is physically easier for children to write in block strokes, that teachers followed the way preferred by children, and that there were many examples of capital letter word use in wider society, especially in advertising. These contrasting perspectives can be connected to theories of literacy as social practice (Barton & Hamilton, 2010), and ECE/school traditions. 

The study has relevance for socially-just and inclusive teaching as we reflect on differing cultural traditions, assumptions about what is usual (or right?) in literacy traditions, how we enculturate children and families into writing, how we accept differing preferences and support individual learning. Increasing globalisation means that families enter preschools and schools with culturally diverse literacy traditions and it is useful that we critically examine our literacy practices to ensure that there is a focus on participation and inclusion rather than to limit right ways to write.

 Larson, J., & Marsh, J. (2016). Making literacy real: Theories and practices for learning and teaching. Los Angeles: SAGE.

 Mellgren, E., & Margrain, V. (2015). Student teacher views of text in early learning environments: Images from Sweden and New Zealand. Early Child Development and Care, 185(9), 1528-1544.

Keywords
literacy, writing, early childhood, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-77300 (URN)
Conference
Conference presentation to Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), Brisbane, December 1-5.
Available from: 2020-03-15 Created: 2020-03-15 Last updated: 2020-03-15
Margrain, V., Gilmore, G. & Mellgren, E. (2019). Intercultural Literacy Dialogue: International Assessment Moderation in Early Childhood Teacher Education. Intercultural Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intercultural Literacy Dialogue: International Assessment Moderation in Early Childhood Teacher Education
2019 (English)In: Intercultural Education, ISSN 1467-5986, E-ISSN 1469-8439Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

This research offers opportunities for intercultural dialogue of meaning-making in literacy by international early childhood, teacher educator (TE) staff, engaged with an assessment moderation process. The purpose of the dialogue was inform pedagogical and conceptual knowledge in their courses. The research question is how does intercultural dialogue inform TE literacy practices? Few studies offer the opportunities to examine literacy assessment across such diverse Western contexts as Sweden, New Zealand and Australia. Sweden and New Zealand are valuable early childhood in that they are both regarded as leaders in early childhood practices. Methods include a TE blind assessment review process using 30 examples from ‘high’ to ‘low’ exemplars of early childhood education (ECE) students’ literacy assessment annotations, some from each country,Textual analysis of intercultural student feedback by reviewing student forum comments and, semi-structured reflexive lecturer interviews on the assessment moderation process to elaborate on themes emerging from the paper. Literacy development contexts were examined and analysed against a moderation framework. Rich staff reflections have led to our recommendations that the conceptual framework of intercultural praxis could be applied in early childhood preservice teacher education practice (Sorrells 2016). Further, we suggest there are increased possibilities for the use of intercultural literacy to the attention of ECE preservice student teachers using virtual and explicit collaborations and texts as explained in this research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019
Keywords
intercultural literacy, intercultural praxis, assessment moderation, curriculum internationalisation, teacher educators’ reflexivity
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-70837 (URN)
Available from: 2019-01-29 Created: 2019-01-29 Last updated: 2019-01-31Bibliographically approved
Margrain, V. & Löfdahl Hultman, A. (2019). Introduction: Content and Context. In: Margrain, V., & Löfdahl Hultman, A. (Ed.), Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagment in Changing Global Contexts (pp. 3-12). Singapore: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Introduction: Content and Context
2019 (English)In: Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagment in Changing Global Contexts / [ed] Margrain, V., & Löfdahl Hultman, A., Singapore: Springer, 2019, p. 3-12Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This book is an edited text of chapters, connected by a focus on contemporarydemocracy and on what challenges democracy in early childhood educationof today. Contemporary issues such as migration, refugees, changes in teacher education,early childhood regulations, transition and assessment expectations provideboth opportunities and challenges for early childhood education (ECE).Sociopolitical influences may mean that there can be a gap between democraticaspirations and experiences, including tension, dissent and power relations. Theseare challenges we are all aware of and often speak about as influencing implementationof democratic aims, children’s rights and agency espoused in curriculum andpolicy. As Peter Moss stresses in the foreword of this book, one of the main challengesto democracy is largely invisible and deals with political and economicregimes. From this view, the image of the child is a potential human capital, and theaim of ECE is to realise and fulfil sociopolitical ideas and images. A liberalistagenda manipulates the role of the ECE teachers from an adult focused on relationshipto a technical implementer of human capital development. Such challengesneed to be more visible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Singapore: Springer, 2019
Series
International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development, ISSN 2468-8746, E-ISSN 2468-8754 ; 28
Keywords
early childhood education, preschool, democracy, global, challenge
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education; Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74464 (URN)10.1007/978-981-13-7771-6_1 (DOI)978-981-13-7770-9 (ISBN)978-981-13-7771-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-08-26Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-7113-647x

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