Emma Pearson


Emma recently joined the University of Sheffield as a senior lecturer in early childhood education, having worked previously at The University of Hong Kong, Macquarie University in Sydney, Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln.

Research Interests

Emma’s research is influenced by a range of theories and concepts; most profoundly by notions of culture and human development as inseparable and ‘mutually constitutive’. In recent years, her research has centred around working with colleagues, international and national non-government organisations, to document a range of unique early childhood programmes that reflect diverse daily life experiences for children and families primarily in ‘LMIC’ (Low to Middle Income Countries) contexts. Through this work, she seeks to promote the vital importance of understanding family and
community contributions to supporting young children’s early experiences, and to engage a range of key stakeholders in challenging universalized approaches to supporting young children’s learning and development.

Key Publications

Pearson, E., Hendry, H., Rao, N., Aboud, F., Horton, C., Siraj, I., Raikes, A. & Miyahara, J. (2017). Reaching expert consensus on training different cadres in delivering early childhood development at scale in low-resource contexts. UK Government Department for International Development. Available at https://www.gov.uk/dfid-research-outputs/reaching-expert-consensus-on-training-different-cadres-in-delivering-early-childhood-development

Pearson, E. C. (2016). Moving forward with early childhood care and education (ECCE) post-2015 in the Asia Pacific Region: an analysis of global and national policy goals. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, 9(1), 1-19.

Pearson, E. C. (2015). Achieving inclusion by targeting children and families in hard to reach communities: Innovations from Cambodia and the Philippines. Childhood Education, 91(6), 411-419.

Degotardi, S.  & Pearson, E. (2014). The relationship worlds of infants and toddlers. Open University Press: McGraw Hill

Degotardi, S., Sweller, N. & Pearson, E. (2013). Why relationships matter: parent and early childhood teacher perspectives about the provisions afforded by young children’s relationships. International Journal of Early Years Education, 21 (1), 1-18.

Rao, N., Pearson, E., Cheng, K.M., & Taplin, M. (2013). Teaching in primary schools in China and India: Contexts of learning. UK: Routledge.

Pearson, E & Tan, J. (2013). Fulfilling child rights through early childhood development. Background paper for High Level Meetings on South-South Cooperation, UNICEF. https://www.unicef.org/eapro/Working_paper_3_-_Early_Childhood_Development.pdf

Rao, N., Jin, S., Pearson, V., Pearson, E., Liu, Constas, M. & Engle, P.  (2012). Is something better than nothing? An evaluation of early childhood programs in Cambodia. Child Development, 83(3), 864-876.

Pearson, E. (2011).  Avoiding recolonisation in early childhood: promoting local values as mediators in the spread of globalisation. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 12 (3), 212-223