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International Research in Early Childhood Education Conference

14 - 16 September 2018
Northeast Normal University - China

About the conference

Northeast Normal University logo
Dates: 14 - 16 September 2018
Theme: Relations between play, learning and development
Venue: Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China
(see how to apply for visa for China)
Languages: Both Chinese and English

In 2018, the International Research in Early Childhood Education (IRECE) conference will revisit and re-assess our research and knowledge of child development and education in a context of global changes and challenges.

  • What are the relations between play and learning?
  • Is it learning through play, or play through learning, or both?
  • What are the dynamic processes of play, learning and development?
  • How does a play-based program engage children with everyday and scientific knowledge to transform their thinking about their world?
  • How is early childhood education developing within the context of global changes and challenges?

This year the IRECE conference will focus on inquiry into relations between play and learning in early childhood education from the perspective of scholarly and policy influences.

The conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners from across the world who work in early childhood fields and promote international exchanges and collaborations through discussion of global issues, challenges and innovations in early childhood education.

Keynote speakers

We are proud to present our Keynote speakers for this year:

  • Professor Marianne Hedegaard
  • Professor Seth Chaklin
  • Professor Marilyn Fleer
  • Professor Elin Eriksen

Professor Marianne Hedegaard

Marianne Hedegaard

Professor Emerita in Developmental Psychology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Professor II at the Western Norwegian University of Applied Sciences.

Marianne is doctorate honoris causa at the University of Pablo Olavide in Seville, Spain and she holds a senior research fellowship at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, UK.

Mariane has authored and co-edited 25 books, of which 11 of them are in English. These include Radical-local Teaching and Learning; Vygotsky and Special Needs Education; Motives in Children’s Development; Learning, Play and Children’s Development; and Children, Childhood and Everyday Life.

She has also written a number of articles in journals such as Mind, Culture and Activity; Outlines: Critical Social Studies; Culture & Psychology; and Learning, Culture and Social Interaction.

Professor Seth Chaklin

Seth Chaklin

Seth Chaiklin has conducted research in a variety of practical settings, primarily in relation to teaching and learning for primary and secondary school, but also in relation to preschool and nursing practice. The primary research focus is development of psychological capabilities, development of activity, and development of practice.

Cultural-historical theory is the main conceptual framework.

He also writes about the methodological foundations of this theoretical perspective, often seeking to clarify origins and interpretations of key concepts in the theoretical perspective.

He has worked in universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, and Greenland. He has also lectured or conducted doctoral courses in Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Brazil, and China.

Professor Marilyn Fleer

Marilyn Fleer

Marilyn Fleer holds the Foundation Chair of Early Childhood Education and Development at Monash University, Australia, where she has been the research leader since 2001 for Child and Community Development.

She was a former President of the International Society of Cultural-historical Activity Research (ISCAR).

Currently she holds the positions of an honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Education, University of Oxford, and a second professor position in the KINDKNOW Centre, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Significant publication is: Fleer, M. (2014). Theorising play in the early years. Cambridge University Press: New York.

Professor Elin Eriksen

Elin Eriksen

Professor Elin Eriksen Ødegaard is head of KINDKNOW - Kindergarten Knowledge Centre for Systemic Research on Diversity and Sustainable Futures at Western Norway University of Applied Science, and a visiting professor at University of Tromsø - The Artic University of Norway.

She has lead several research projects and networks and has collaborated with staff in kindergartens, municipalities, counties and the Norwegian Ministry of Education.

She has published extensively on children’s cultural formation through studying children as meaning-makers, children with an urge to explore, play and learn. Her research interest embraces cultural historical ideas, global and local perspectives and teachers’ practices. Her work impacts the National new Framework for Kindergarten in Norway with its emphasis on social and ecological values aiming towards equality, quality education and sustainable futures.

Abstract submissions

Please email your 250-word abstract to It can be either in English or Chinese.

Submission dates

20 May Abstract submissions open
10 July Abstract submissions close
15 July Notification of acceptance of abstracts
20 August Final paper submission deadline

Conference strands

  1. Play and learning
  2. Philosophy for children and child studies
  3. Curriculum reform in early childhood teacher education
  4. Early childhood education policy and development
  5. Infants-toddlers education
  6. Management and leadership in early childhood education
  7. Early childhood education in multicultural contexts
  8. The theory and practices of STEM and sustainability in early childhood education
  9. Curriculum and pedagogy in early childhood education and care
  10. The transition to primary school education
  11. Inclusive practices in early childhood education and care
  12. PhD symposium


Registrations closed on 31 August 2018.

  Closing date Standard fee Full-time student concession
Early Bird registrations 19 June AUD $170
RMB 800
AUD $130
RMB 500
Full Fee registrations 31 August AUD $250
RMB 1000
AUD $150
RMB 700

Conference organisers

Conference Convenor Prof. Marilyn Fleer, Foundation Chair of Early Childhood Education, Monash University
Conference Organiser Dr Liang Li, Monash University
Local Organising Committee
(Northeast Normal University)
Prof. Lijie Lv, Head of Department of Education, Northeast Normal University
Prof. Zhonglian Yan, Northeast Normal University
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