Dr Amanda Niland

A35 - Education Building
The University of Sydney

Biographical details

Amanda has had a long career in the field of Early Childhood Education. She has taught in a range of early childhood, primary school and early intervention settings. Amanda taught in undergraduate and postgraduate programs at Macquarie University for more than 10 years, before joining the Early Childhood team at the University of Sydney in 2016.

Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy

Grad Dip (Music Studies)

MA (Hons)

MECh

Grad Dip (Children’s Literature)

Grad Dip (Montessori Education)

DipTeach (EC)

Research interests

Amanda’s particular areas of interest are in music and creative arts education, children’s literature, inclusive education and disability studies. She is also a children’s author.

Research interests

My research interests focus on the languages of childhood, in particular music and children’s literature, and the intersection of these with young children’s identities. I have combined my professional interests, knowledge and extensive experience in these aspects of Early Childhood, to undertake research projects into the role of music and picture books in children’s identity formation and social inclusion.

As a researcher I work mainly with qualitative methodologies, including practitioner inquiry, action research, participatory research with children, narrative and arts-informed research. These approaches are a natural extension of my skills as a reflective practitioner in Early Childhood, an experienced observer of young children and as a children’s book author. My focus is on conducting research that acknowledges central aspects of early childhood pedagogy – the relevance of socio-cultural contexts to children’s development and learning and the need to respect children as competent and capable, with rights to be honoured and protected.

Teaching and supervision

Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)

EDEC1004 Play and Learning in Early Childhood (2016)

EDEC1006 Learning Through Play in Early Childhood (2017)

EDEC1001 Early Childhood Settings and Communities

EDEC4002 Curriculum in Early Childhood

EDEC4003 Professional Experience in Early Childhood 3

EDEC2002 Professional Experience in Early Childhood 1

EDEC 2001 Creative Arts in Early Childhood

EDEC4004 Multi-literacies and Transitions

Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)

EDMT5685 Development in the Early Years

EDMT5687 Language and Communication in Early Childhood

EDMT5688 Professional Experience in Early Childhood 1

EDMT5696 History and Philosophy of Early Childhood

EDMT5690 Creative Arts in Early Childhood

Current research students

Project title Research student
Multiple-method approach in assessing learning outcomes in early years: Innovations in methodology and practice Dragana GNJATOVIC
Effects of Parenting Practices of Caregivers on Internalizing and Externalizing Problems of Children Taken Care of by Family Members Other Than Parents Vanora LIANG

Current projects

TITLE: Journeys towards empowerment: Educators sharing their musical cultural identities with children

This ongoing project involves a music educator and a researcher working with early childhood educators and children in two early childhood birth to five settings. The project, currently in its fifth year, combines a long-term music curriculum and professional development program with ongoing cyclical phases of practitioner inquiry. The purposes of the project are: firstly, to provide a rich music curriculum for the children, secondly to build the musical capacity of the educators, and thirdly, for the music educator to investigate the most effective ways to facilitate that capacity-building. In the most recent phase of the project, the focus is on building the early childhood educators’musical confidence and capacity through empowering them to share their musical cultural identities with the children.

Co-researcher: Ms Jill Holland, Macquarie University, Australia

TITLE:Deepening Educators’ understanding of Young Children’s Musical Journeys

This project will explore the theoretical background and literature that informed the development of the observation framework tool (Huhtinen-Hildén, 2017), and the development of a methodology for research into its impact on the development of pedagogical sensitivity in pre-service early childhood music educators.

The aim of this research will be to investigate the effectiveness of the observation framework as a reflective tool for enhancing early childhood music educators’ skills in supporting children’s creative agency. The project will take the form of action research for the researchers/authors, undertaken to enhance their teaching as university educators of pre-service and in-service teachers.

Co-researcher: Dr Laura Huhtinen-Hildén, Senior Lecturer, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland.

TITLE:Measurement of the Impact of Inclusion Support Programme (ISP) on the Capacity & Capability of Early Childhood and Childcare (ECCC) Services.

The aim of this research project is to investigate the impact of the ISP on the perceived capacity and capabilities of ECCC educators, in order to address participation barriers and embed quality inclusive practices into their delivery of early learning and care programmes. This project is being funded by the federal government's Department of Education and Training.

Co-researchers:Dr Kathy Cologon (lead researcher), Macquarie University; Dr Melissa Johnstone, Macquarie University; Dr Zinnia Mevawalla, Macquarie University

Associations

International Society for Music Education (ISME):

Commissioner, Early Childhood Music Education commission (ECME) 2010-2016.

Commission Chair (ECME) 2014-2016.
This involved co-ordination of planning for bi-annual international seminars, reviewing of papers, editing of refereed proceedings.

Editorial Committee, International Journal of Music Education

NSW Writers Centre

Australian Society of Authors

Children’s Book Council of Australia

Selected publications & creative works

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • Niland, A. (2016). Creativity and young children: Wondering, exploring, discovering, learning. Deakin West, ACT: Early Childhood Australia Inc.
  • Niland, A. (2015). Music and children (Everyday Learning Series). Deakin West, ACT: Early Childhood Australia Inc.

Book Chapters

  • Cologon, K., Niland, A., Salvador, A., Mackenzie, M., Artinian, V. (2016). Embracing diversity: Early childhood education and children who experience disability. In R. R. Scarlet (Eds.), Anti-bias approach in early childhood (3rd edition), (pp. 69-80). Sydney: Multiverse.
  • Higgins, L., Akuno, E., Bartleet, B., Chong, E., Chrysostomou, S., DeVito, D., Kaikkonen, M., Kerchner, J., Niland, A., Schmidt, P. (2016). International co-operation in music teaching and learning: Perspectives from the International Society of Music Education. In T. De Baets, G. Sammer & A. de Vugt (Eds.), European Perspectives on Music Education 5, (pp. 117-128). Esslingen, Germany: Helbling Verlag.
  • Niland, A., Acker, A., Nyland, B. (2014). Early childhood music education and young children's musical cultures in a digital age. In S. ONeill (Eds.), Music and media infused lives, (pp. 39-53). Waterloo, ON: Canadian Music Educators' Association.

Journals

  • Niland, A. (2017). Singing and playing together: A community music group in an early intervention setting. International Journal of Community Music, 10(3), 273-288. [More Information]
  • Niland, A., John, P. (2016). Special issue on early childhood music education. Research Studies in Music Education, 38(1), 3-7. [More Information]
  • Niland, A. (2015). "Space is a really big place": Life cycle of a song. Perspectives: Journal of the Early Childhood Music & Movement Association, 10(2), 3-9.
  • Niland, A. (2015). 'Row, row, row your boat': singing, identity and belonging in a nursery. International Journal of Early Years Education, 23(1), 4-16. [More Information]
  • Acker, A., Nyland, B., Niland, A. (2015). The relationship between children's learning through music and the use of technology. Australian Journal of Music Education, 2015 (1), 64-74.
  • Niland, A. (2013). Waiting for Hugo: Writing picture books about children with Autism. Write4Children, 4(2), 36-44.
  • Niland, A. (2012). Exploring the Lives of Songs in the Context of Young Children's Musical Cultures. Min-ad: Israel Studies in Musicology Online, 10, 27-46.

Textual Creative Works

  • Niland, A. (2013). Waiting for Hugo (Picture book, illustrated Claire Richards). Picture book, Melbourne, Australia: Windy Hollow Books.
  • Niland, A., Booth, C. (2012). I wish there were dinosaurs (Picture book, illustrated Christina Booth). I wish there were dinosaurs, Melbourne, Australia: Windy Hollow Books.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Niland, A. (2014). Sing with me: Belonging, being and becoming through song in infant/toddler child care settings. Every Child, 20(2). [More Information]

2017

  • Niland, A. (2017). Singing and playing together: A community music group in an early intervention setting. International Journal of Community Music, 10(3), 273-288. [More Information]

2016

  • Niland, A. (2016). Creativity and young children: Wondering, exploring, discovering, learning. Deakin West, ACT: Early Childhood Australia Inc.
  • Cologon, K., Niland, A., Salvador, A., Mackenzie, M., Artinian, V. (2016). Embracing diversity: Early childhood education and children who experience disability. In R. R. Scarlet (Eds.), Anti-bias approach in early childhood (3rd edition), (pp. 69-80). Sydney: Multiverse.
  • Higgins, L., Akuno, E., Bartleet, B., Chong, E., Chrysostomou, S., DeVito, D., Kaikkonen, M., Kerchner, J., Niland, A., Schmidt, P. (2016). International co-operation in music teaching and learning: Perspectives from the International Society of Music Education. In T. De Baets, G. Sammer & A. de Vugt (Eds.), European Perspectives on Music Education 5, (pp. 117-128). Esslingen, Germany: Helbling Verlag.
  • Niland, A., John, P. (2016). Special issue on early childhood music education. Research Studies in Music Education, 38(1), 3-7. [More Information]

2015

  • Niland, A. (2015). "Space is a really big place": Life cycle of a song. Perspectives: Journal of the Early Childhood Music & Movement Association, 10(2), 3-9.
  • Niland, A. (2015). 'Row, row, row your boat': singing, identity and belonging in a nursery. International Journal of Early Years Education, 23(1), 4-16. [More Information]
  • Niland, A. (2015). Music and children (Everyday Learning Series). Deakin West, ACT: Early Childhood Australia Inc.
  • Acker, A., Nyland, B., Niland, A. (2015). The relationship between children's learning through music and the use of technology. Australian Journal of Music Education, 2015 (1), 64-74.

2014

  • Niland, A., Acker, A., Nyland, B. (2014). Early childhood music education and young children's musical cultures in a digital age. In S. ONeill (Eds.), Music and media infused lives, (pp. 39-53). Waterloo, ON: Canadian Music Educators' Association.
  • Niland, A. (2014). Sing with me: Belonging, being and becoming through song in infant/toddler child care settings. Every Child, 20(2). [More Information]

2013

  • Niland, A. (2013). Waiting for Hugo (Picture book, illustrated Claire Richards). Picture book, Melbourne, Australia: Windy Hollow Books.
  • Niland, A. (2013). Waiting for Hugo: Writing picture books about children with Autism. Write4Children, 4(2), 36-44.

2012

  • Niland, A. (2012). Exploring the Lives of Songs in the Context of Young Children's Musical Cultures. Min-ad: Israel Studies in Musicology Online, 10, 27-46.
  • Niland, A., Booth, C. (2012). I wish there were dinosaurs (Picture book, illustrated Christina Booth). I wish there were dinosaurs, Melbourne, Australia: Windy Hollow Books.

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