Two new fully funded PhD students join CREC


CREC in Birmingham (Charitable Trust) is pleased to announce that it has selected two new students who they will support to complete a PhD in conjunction with University of Wolverhampton.

The Board of Trustees have selected to fund Menna Godfrey, a Nursery Manager from York, and Liz Rouse, a former Children’s Centre leader from Northampton to begin their studies in February 2014, supporting the organisation to meet its charitable objectives of promoting and carrying out, for the public benefit, research into issues relevant to Early Childhood provision.

Menna’s proposed research will look at children’s learning and development in relation to the use of ‘mud kitchens’. Inspired by observing children in her setting whose ‘deeply engrossed play has fascinated staff and visitors alike, [to the extent that] visiting tutors have commented on the complexity of the ideas and language they observed children engaging in whilst at play in the kitchen

Liz has proposed to undertake research into the benefits of infant massage with particular reference to more vulnerable families. Baby Massage is a course almost universally offered by children’s centres and readily accessed by many families with young babies, however, there is a paucity of high-quality research into its impact. At a time of severe economic constraint in EY services and a necessary focus on targeting the most vulnerable, Liz will be exploring whether baby massage can be an effective tool to improve attachment and communication within those vulnerable families where enabling environments do not otherwise exist.

Menna and Liz will join Faye Stanley and Helen Lyndon, who have already begun their research, as the four CREC funded PhD students being jointly supported alongside the University of Wolverhampton.


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