Top honour for Monash researcher dedicated to improving early childhood education

Monash University Laureate Professor Marilyn Fleer has been recognised for her leadership in collaboration at the Business Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) Awards.

Professor Fleer, from the Faculty of Education, was awarded the prestigious BHERT Ashley Goldsworthy Award for Leadership in Collaboration for her work in building Australia’s capacity in early childhood education over the last 25 years. Professor Fleer has established deep partnerships with Australian Government, Victorian Government, Early Childhood Australia, and many schools.

The BHERT Awards recognised the best – the highest impact and most innovative – university partnerships in Australia. Professor Fleer, who has spent more than 30 years researching play-based education, was awarded the top honour.

Earlier this year Professor Fleer launched Australia’s largest study into play-based education – unveiling the Conceptual PlayLab – a five-year investigation into how ‘play-based’ education can deliver essential cognitive and learning outcomes for infants, toddlers and preschoolers in STEM.

This research will position Australia as a research leader in this field, developing high levels of teacher quality and 21st century thinking skills in young minds.

Professor Fleer holds the Foundation Chair in Early Childhood Education and Development at Monash, where she's also a Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow.

She researches in the areas of early childhood science, engineering and technologies, with particular attention on digital visual methodology framed through cultural-historical theory.