Dr Marianne Fenech

Dr MARIANNE FENECH PhD(Macquarie), MMgt Cty (UTS), BSW Hons(UNSW)Senior Lecturer and Program Director BEd &
MTEACH (Early Childhood)

A35 - Education Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 6375
Fax +61 2 9351 2606
Website Contact details

Biographical details

Marianne is passionate about quality early childhood education for young children. Her teaching and research focus on effective early childhood settings through strong management and leadership, and the development of a quality and equitable system of early childhood education in Australia through policy and industrial reform. Marianne has over 10 years’ experience managing and leading services for families and young children, and since 2004, has lectured and conducted research on quality early childhood education. Publications from her doctoral and postdoctoral research have been cited in numerous government reports and have contributed to improvements in state and federal government early childhood policy. She has strong established links with the early childhood sector, having delivered a number of keynote and conference presentations in Australia and internationally. Marianne is a strong advocate for children and the early childhood teaching profession. She has led a number of submissions to federal government departments on early childhood policy and is Chair of the NSW/ACT Early Childhood Teacher Education Council and the National Early Childhood Teacher Education Network. Marianne is the lead investigator of ARC Linkage grant What’s best for my child? Parents’ perspectives of childcare quality and early learning as contributors to childcare choice.

Research interests

Marianne’s program of research focuses on the establishing of a quality, equitable early childhood education system in Australia. Her specific research interests include: early childhood policy; the regulation of early childhood education settings; parents as consumers of child care; early childhood management and leadership; advocacy, and the industrial context within which early childhood teachers practice. Dr Fenech’s research is intentionally critical.She utilises multiple perspectives and mixed methods to promote alternative ways of thinking and doing early childhood policy and practice that furthers the rights of young children and the interests of the early childhood profession.

Teaching and supervision

Marianne's teaching, research, and higher degree research supervision focus on the following areas:

  • conceptualisations of quality in early childhood education
  • early childhood policy
  • child care choice
  • advocacy as teacher/leader professionalism
  • the leadership and management of early childhood services

Current research students

Project title Research student
Exceeding the National Quality Standard in Long Day Care settings: A behind the scenes study of the hidden work of educators in high quality services Alicia OLSEN
The Role of the Arts in Preschool Education - Music in Australia v. China Ivdis TAO

Current projects

Fenech, M., Hayes, D., & Skattebol, J.Supporting the authentic inclusion of marginalised children and families in early childhood education services: An exploration of teachers’ socially just practices. 2016 Faculty Research Programs Grants.$7000.

Fenech, M., Davis, B. & Hayes, D. Supporting the authentic inclusion of marginalised children and families in early childhood education services: An exploration of teachers’ socially just practices.2016 Dean’s Education Innovation Grants. $3000.

Fenech, M., Degotardi, S., & Sweller, N. What’s best for my child? Parents’ perspectives of childcare quality and early learning as contributors to childcare choice. ARC Linkage 2013-2016.

Fenech, M.Advocacy in the professional practice of early childhood teachers: A case study exploration. Supported by Community Chid Care Co-operative. 2014-2015.

Associations

Australian Early Childhood Teacher Education Network (Chair)

NSW/ACT Early Childhood Teacher Education Council (Chair)

ARACY

Community Early Learning Australia

Early Childhood Australia

NSW/ACT Independent Education Union

Social Justice in Early Childhood Group

Awards and honours

Fenech, M., Hayes, D., Davis, B. & Skattebol, J.Supporting the authentic inclusion of marginalised children and families in early childhood education services: An exploration of teachers’ socially just practices. 2016Faculty Research Programs Grants.$7000.

Fenech, M., Davis, B. & Hayes, D. Supporting the authentic inclusion of marginalised children and families in early childhood education services: An exploration of teachers’ socially just practices.2016Dean’s Education Innovation Grants.$3000.

ARC Linkage 2013-2017. M Fenech, S. Degotardi, N. Sweller. What’s best for my child? Parents’ perspectives of childcare quality and early learning as contributors to childcare choice. $163,000.

ARC Discovery 2008-2010. L Harrison, F Press, J Sumsion, J Bowes, M Fenech. A multi-modal investigation of current and proposed structures and processes determining and sustaining quality in Australian centre-based child care. $257,196.

In the media

Caines, K. (2017, March 20). Preschools offering luxury services continues to rise in the inner west.http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/inner-west/preschools-offering-luxury-services-continues-to-rise-in-the-inner-west/news-story/47bc53c501c8cb63b6d2b1dd0a1d8a09

Smith, L. (2016, August 23). Clinton's childcare policy trumps Australia's.http://www.earlylearningreview.com.au/clintons-childcare-policy-trumps-australias/

Graham, L. & Fenech, M. (2014). Keeping kids in school is not as simple as carrots and sticks. The Conversation, October 9. https://theconversation.com/keeping-kids-in-school-is-not-as-simple-as-carrots-and-sticks-31511.

Rossmanith, A. (2011, July). Quality Time. Sydney’s Child, pp. 12-13 (and other syndicate ‘Child’ papers). Expert opinion sought on the Australian Government’s regulatory reforms.

Letter to the editor (2010): Long-term benefits from high quality care. Sydney Morning Herald, August 16.

Selected grants

2013

  • Enhancing student engagement with management and leadership in early childhood through a hybrid model of problem-based learning; Fenech M; Macquarie University/Learning and Teaching Priority Grant.

2012

  • What is best for my child: How parents in Australia think about and choose quality childcare; Sweller N, Fenech M; Macquarie University/Partnerships Seeding Grant.

2011

  • 'What is best for my child’: Parents’ views about quality in childcare; Sweller N, Fenech M; Macquarie University/Faculty Grant Writing Support Scheme.

Selected publications

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Books

  • Waniganayake, M., Cheeseman, S., Fenech, M., Hadley, F., Shepherd, W. (2012). Leadership: Contexts and complexities in early childhood education. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

  • Brennan, D., Fenech, M. (2014). Early education and care in Australia: Equity in a mixed market-based system? In L. Gambaro, K. Stewart & J. Waldfogel (Eds.), An equal start?: Providing quality early education and care for disadvantaged children, (pp. 171-192). Bristol: Policy Press.

Journals

  • Fenech, M., Sweller, N. (2017). Problematising Australia's Nanny Pilot Program as evidence-based policy: A reconstruction of the problem of childcare. Australian Journal of Social Issues, Early View. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Wilkins, D. (2017). Representations of childcare in the Australian print media: An exploratory corpus-assisted discourse analysis. Australian Educational Researcher, 44(2), 161-190. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Lotz, M. (2017). Systems advocacy in the professional practice of early childhood teachers: From the antithetical to the ethical. Early Years, Online first. [More Information]
  • Mackenzie, M., Cologon, K., Fenech, M. (2016). 'Embracing everybody': Approaching the inclusive early childhood education of a child labelled with autism from a social relational understanding of disability. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 41(2), 4-12.
  • Fenech, M. (2013). Quality early childhood education for my child or for all children?: Parents as activists for equitable, high-quality early childhood education in Australia. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(4), 92-98.
  • Fenech, M., Giugni, M., Bown, K. (2012). A critical analysis of the National Quality Framework: Mobilising for a vision for children beyond minimum standards. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(4), 5-14.
  • Fenech, M. (2012). Discerning childcare quality: Parents as potential informants of policy beyond regulation. Critical Studies in Education, 53(3), 327-345. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M. (2011). An Analysis of the Conceptualisation of 'Quality' in Early Childhood Education and Care Empirical Research: promoting 'blind spots' as foci for future research. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 12(2), 102-117. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Harrison, L., Sumsion, J. (2011). Parent users of high-quality long day care: Informed consumers of child care? Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 36(1), 95-103.
  • Fenech, M., Sweller, N., Harrison, L. (2010). Identifying high-quality centre-based childcare using quantitative data-sets: what the numbers do and don’t tell us. International Journal of Early Years Education, 18(4), 283-296. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Shepherd, W. (2010). Promoting Early Childhood Teacher Professionalism in the Australian Context: the place of resistance. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 11(1), 89-105. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Waniganayake, M., Fleet, A. (2009). More than a shortage of early childhood teachers: Looking beyond the recruitment of university qualified teachers to promote quality early childhood education and care. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 37(2), 199-213. [More Information]
  • Grace, R., Llewellyn, G., Wedgwood, N., Fenech, M., McConnell, D. (2008). Far from Ideal: Everyday experiences of mothers and early childhood professionals negotiating an inclusive early childhood experience in the Australian context. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 28(1), 18-30. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2008). Regulation and risk: Early childhood education and care services as sites where the 'laugh of Foucault' resounds. Journal of Education Policy, 23(18), 35-48. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Robertson, G., Goodfellow, J. (2008). The regulatory environment: A source of job (dis)satisfaction for early childhood professionals? Early Child Development and Care, 178(1), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J. (2007). Early childhood teachers and regulation: Complicating power relations using a Foucauldian lens. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 8(2), 109-122. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J. (2007). Promoting high quality early childhood education and care services: Beyond risk management, performative constructions of regulation. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 5(3), 263-283. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Robertson, G., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2007). Working by the rules: Early childhood professionals' perceptions of regulatory requirements. Early Child Development and Care, 177(1), 93-106. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M. (2006). The impact of regulatory environments on early childhood professional practice and job satisfaction: A review of conflicting discourses. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 31(2), 49-56.
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2006). The regulatory environment in long day care: A 'double-edged sword' for early childhood professional practice. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 31(3), 49-58.

2017

  • Fenech, M., Sweller, N. (2017). Problematising Australia's Nanny Pilot Program as evidence-based policy: A reconstruction of the problem of childcare. Australian Journal of Social Issues, Early View. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Wilkins, D. (2017). Representations of childcare in the Australian print media: An exploratory corpus-assisted discourse analysis. Australian Educational Researcher, 44(2), 161-190. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Lotz, M. (2017). Systems advocacy in the professional practice of early childhood teachers: From the antithetical to the ethical. Early Years, Online first. [More Information]

2016

  • Mackenzie, M., Cologon, K., Fenech, M. (2016). 'Embracing everybody': Approaching the inclusive early childhood education of a child labelled with autism from a social relational understanding of disability. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 41(2), 4-12.

2014

  • Brennan, D., Fenech, M. (2014). Early education and care in Australia: Equity in a mixed market-based system? In L. Gambaro, K. Stewart & J. Waldfogel (Eds.), An equal start?: Providing quality early education and care for disadvantaged children, (pp. 171-192). Bristol: Policy Press.

2013

  • Fenech, M. (2013). Quality early childhood education for my child or for all children?: Parents as activists for equitable, high-quality early childhood education in Australia. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(4), 92-98.

2012

  • Fenech, M., Giugni, M., Bown, K. (2012). A critical analysis of the National Quality Framework: Mobilising for a vision for children beyond minimum standards. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(4), 5-14.
  • Fenech, M. (2012). Discerning childcare quality: Parents as potential informants of policy beyond regulation. Critical Studies in Education, 53(3), 327-345. [More Information]
  • Waniganayake, M., Cheeseman, S., Fenech, M., Hadley, F., Shepherd, W. (2012). Leadership: Contexts and complexities in early childhood education. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

2011

  • Fenech, M. (2011). An Analysis of the Conceptualisation of 'Quality' in Early Childhood Education and Care Empirical Research: promoting 'blind spots' as foci for future research. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 12(2), 102-117. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Harrison, L., Sumsion, J. (2011). Parent users of high-quality long day care: Informed consumers of child care? Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 36(1), 95-103.

2010

  • Fenech, M., Sweller, N., Harrison, L. (2010). Identifying high-quality centre-based childcare using quantitative data-sets: what the numbers do and don’t tell us. International Journal of Early Years Education, 18(4), 283-296. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Shepherd, W. (2010). Promoting Early Childhood Teacher Professionalism in the Australian Context: the place of resistance. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 11(1), 89-105. [More Information]

2009

  • Fenech, M., Waniganayake, M., Fleet, A. (2009). More than a shortage of early childhood teachers: Looking beyond the recruitment of university qualified teachers to promote quality early childhood education and care. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 37(2), 199-213. [More Information]

2008

  • Grace, R., Llewellyn, G., Wedgwood, N., Fenech, M., McConnell, D. (2008). Far from Ideal: Everyday experiences of mothers and early childhood professionals negotiating an inclusive early childhood experience in the Australian context. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 28(1), 18-30. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2008). Regulation and risk: Early childhood education and care services as sites where the 'laugh of Foucault' resounds. Journal of Education Policy, 23(18), 35-48. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Robertson, G., Goodfellow, J. (2008). The regulatory environment: A source of job (dis)satisfaction for early childhood professionals? Early Child Development and Care, 178(1), 1-14. [More Information]

2007

  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J. (2007). Early childhood teachers and regulation: Complicating power relations using a Foucauldian lens. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 8(2), 109-122. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J. (2007). Promoting high quality early childhood education and care services: Beyond risk management, performative constructions of regulation. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 5(3), 263-283. [More Information]
  • Fenech, M., Robertson, G., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2007). Working by the rules: Early childhood professionals' perceptions of regulatory requirements. Early Child Development and Care, 177(1), 93-106. [More Information]

2006

  • Fenech, M. (2006). The impact of regulatory environments on early childhood professional practice and job satisfaction: A review of conflicting discourses. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 31(2), 49-56.
  • Fenech, M., Sumsion, J., Goodfellow, J. (2006). The regulatory environment in long day care: A 'double-edged sword' for early childhood professional practice. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 31(3), 49-58.

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