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Mrs Tracey Edwards

Profile summary

Professional biography

Tracey Edwards (BA Hons CYP Open, MA CYP Open and MA Ed Open, PGCE PCE, Wolverhampton) is Senior Lecturer in Education at the Open University in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education, and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2016. She currently holds the role of Programme Lead for Childhood and Youth Studies.

Tracey started her working life as an Early Years Manager before moving to Primary as a Higher-Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) in 2000. Following a degree with the Open University she trained to teach in Further and Higher Education in 2009. She started teaching in a Further Education college teaching Level 1-5 and became Head of the Care Department in 2011. Tracey moved to the University of Wolverhampton in 2013 where she became Course Leader for the Family and Community degree and Senior Lecturer in Early Years. In 2019 she was appointed Head of Department for MA Education and Early Career Development.

Tracey’s PhD research explored gender in gender-neutral spaces in the early years and extended her research around children's perceptions of  male and female practitioners in Men in childcare, what do children think? with the London Early Years Foundation.

Research interests

Tracey’s research expertise brings together her interests in early childhood education and gender equity. She is a member of the Special Interest Group for Gender and a member of the European Early Childhood Research Association (EECERA). Her research expertise covers video as a means of capturing the child’s understanding of gender in early years settings Tracey has made use of video as a means of capturing adult and child intra-actions, as well as engaging practitioner researchers in reflection. She is currently representing the UK in an International research project ‘Children’s Perspectives on their Teachers (CPT) Who Identify as Men or Women’. Tracey has co-led on the development of a methodology manual that supports international data collection for child’s voice.


Teaching interests


Tracey’s teaching has primarily focused on Inclusive practice, leadership, and management in education, and she has successfully revalidated Taught MA Education provision at Wolverhampton University, been External Consultant at Edge Hill University as well as External Examiner for the Early Years Cluster at the Open University. She contributes to EE814, EE815 through presentation and EE844 and EE845 in production and her teaching expertise extends to delivery of National Professional Qualifications and Early Career Teacher training. Tracey has expertise in designing and delivering CPD as well as supporting production of new modules as Module Team Accessibility Co-ordinator. Tracey has also designed and led on International student transition programmes, as well as academic support and success within Potgraduate level study. Her current focus is Undergraduate study with a focus on inclusive practices, student engagement and mentoring.

Impact and engagement

Research completed in 2019 with  colleagues Helen Perkins, and June O'Sullivan, Men in childcare: Does it matter to children, what do they say? (stage 2), London Early Years Foundation was the foundation for the international research project due to be published in 2024. This project engages 10 countries across the globe in engaging children in sharing their perceptions of the male and female teaching. It draws cultural comparision and similarities to gender and the role of male teachers within the early years.





External collaborations

2023- 2027 External Examiner University of Worcester BA(Hons) Advancing Practice (BAAP) and shortcourses  Autism and Complex Needs and Therapeutic Approaches to Supporting Children Experiencing Adversity

2020-2022  External Examiner Open University WELs ECYS Early Years Cluster

2022 External Advisor Edge Hill  University MA Education Revalidation

Current research with  Professor David Brody, Dr Yuwei Xu and Dr Kari Emilsen on  Children’s Perspectives on their Teachers (CPT) Who Identify as Men or Women an international study spanning 10 countries across 6 continents


The placement journey: Do year one placement modules support Childhood Studies students’ professional development? (2017)
Brown, Zeta; Edwards, Tracey and Perkins, Helen
Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 23(2) (pp. 162-177)

Review of A Critical Companion to Early Childhood, by Michael Reed and Rosie Walker (2016)
Edwards, Tracey and Williams-Brown, Zeta
Educationalfutures, 7(2)

[Book Review] Handbook of Self-Regulation of Learning and Performance (Educational Psychology Handbook Series) (2013)
Edwards, Tracey
International Journal of Lifelong Education, 32(6) (pp. 837-839)

Child and young person development: Biological, environmental and interpersonal influences (2017)
Bennett, Kay; Brown, Zeta and Edwards, Tracey
In: Brown, Zeta and Ward, Stephen eds. Contemporary Issues in Childhood: A Bio-ecological Approach (pp. 17-31)
Publisher : Routledge

Post-16 education and issues of inclusion (2016)
Edwards, Tracey and Jones, Graham
In: Brown, Zeta ed. Inclusive Education: Perspectives on pedagogy, policy and practice (pp. 27-33)
Publisher : Routledge

Men in Childcare: Does it matter to children, what do they say? (Stage 2) (2018)
Perkins, Helen; Edwards, Tracey and O'Sullivan, June
London Early Years Foundation and University of Wolverhampton