About Dr Amanda Niland

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.

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. Amanda's 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. She has combined her 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 Amanda works 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 her skills as a reflective practitioner in Early Childhood, an experienced observer of young children and as a children’s book author. Her 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.


View Amanda's academic profile here

Selected publications

  • Cologon, K., Cologon, T., Mevawalla, Z., Niland, A. (2019). Generative listening: Using arts-based inquiry to investigate young children's perspectives of inclusion, exclusion and disability. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 17(1), 54-69. [More Information]
  • 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. (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]