Staff profile - Andrea Nolan

Staff image

Prof Andrea Nolan

Position: Professor In Education (Early Childhood)
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts and Education
Department: SoE Arts & Ed
Campus: Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
Phone: +61 3 522 73435 +61 3 522 73435



Andrea Nolan is Professor of Education (Early Childhood) in the School of Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. She has had extensive experience teaching in early childhood education settings as well as in primary schools, and has taught in the Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and University sectors, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as supervision of higher degree research students. She has conducted research in both schools and preschools and has worked on a number of State, National and international projects concerning literacy development, program evaluation, and professional learning for teachers. Andrea was a member of the ‘Best Start’ State-wide Evaluation Team, a Victorian Government initiative that saw a major injection of funds into the early childhood years to develop initiatives to support the education, health and welfare of young children and their families. Recent projects include a large scale longitudinal study that aims to identify factors including the role of the teacher, home-life and child characteristics, which are positively associated with high outcomes in literacy in the first year of schooling; a study focusing on resilient students, families, schools & interagency collaboration in disadvantaged communities; an evaluation of teacher induction and  mentoring in New Zealand; a state-wide program focusing on mentoring new to the profession and professionally isolated early childhood teachers across Victoria, and the development and trialing of a NSW Transition to School Statement.


  • Diploma of Teaching, State College of Victoria, 1978
  • Bachelor of Education, Inst. of Early Childhd Dvlpmt, 1982
  • Master of Education, Deakin University, 1995
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Deakin University, 2000


ECA - Early Childhood Australia

AARE - Australian Association for Research in Education

AGECS - The Association of Graduates in Early Childhood Studies

ARACY - Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth

ISEI - International Society on Early Intervention

VECRC - Victorian Early Childhood Research Consortium


Knowledge areas

  • Early childhood workforce development including professional learning, reflective practice and mentoring
  • Early literacy
  • Early childhood pedagogy
  • Interprofessional practice


Research projects

2015 Making a Difference for Young Gifted and Talented Learners. Department of Education and Training (Vic). $49,250.

2013 – 2014 Development and trial of a ‘Transition to School’ statement. NSW Department of Education and Communities. $196,317.
2012 - 2014 Evaluation of the Guidelines for Induction and Mentor Teachers: a Three Year Longitudinal Study. Teachers Council, New Zealand. $596,540.
2011 - 2013 State-wide Professional Mentoring Program for Early Childhood Teachers. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Vic). $1,300,000.
2010 – 2012 Interagency Collaboration Supporting Resilient Students, Families, Schools in Disadvantaged Communities. Australian Research Council Linkage Grant. $406,857.
2010 Strategic Professional Development: Online Learning Communities for Rural & Remote Early Childhood Educators. Internal Research Grant University of New England. $4915.
2010 - 2011 Outcomes and Indicators of a Positive Start to School: Development of Framework and Tools. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Vic). $144,071.
2009 Outcomes of a Positive Start to School. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Vic). $39,600.
2009 Exploring an Innovative Kindergarten Model, City of Greater Geelong, Victoria. $9,990.
2008 - 2009 Developing and Sustaining Pedagogical Leadership in Early Childhood Education and Care Professionals. Australian Learning and Teaching Council. $148,151.
2008 Supporting  Early  Childhood  Early  Career  Teachers:  Recommendations, Foundation of Graduates in Early Childhood Studies, Victoria. $11,500.
2007 - 2011 The Young Learner’s Project, the Australian Scholarships Group. $500,000
2007 - 2008 Exploring and Enhancing Levels of Reflection in Pre-service Early Childhood Teachers, self-funded.
2005 Using Guided Reflection to Assist Pre-service Teachers to analyse their Developing Perceptions of Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Education Staff Competitive Research Grant, The University of Melbourne. $1,561.
2004 Perspectives on Mentoring in Early Childhood Settings, Faculty of Education Staff Competitive Research Grant, The University of Melbourne. $1,630.
2004 Professional Partnership Network Project. Department of Family and Community Services. $177,000.
2003 - 2006 Evaluation of Best Start, Department of Human Services, Victoria. $473,795.

Research interests

Andrea's personal research interests include exploring the use of mentoring within the early childhood field, early childhood pedagogy, literacy and the use of reflective practice as a way to enhance teachers’ professional growth.


HDR supervisory theses titles

  • Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and young children’s learning: Classroom teachers’ perspectives and practices
  • Young children’s resilience and the impact on mother’s strategies
  • Effective family partnerships in early childhood education and care – an investigation of the nature of interactions between educators and parents
  • Mentoring in early childhood/primary pre-service teacher education: the Kinda Kinder Program
  • Problematising 'quality' in early childhood education and care policy reform in Australia
  • Enabling environments in early childhood education and care: The relational space
  • Children's educational experiences during war times: A Narrative Inquiry
  • Game changer or least valuable player? The shifting professional identity of minimally qualified educators in early childhood education and care
  • Implementing family/school partnerships: A case study in Victorian primary schools
  • Supporting parent-child relationships in early childhood to improve children's development
  • Children at risk of school exclusion: the role of NDPT within the support system
  • Engaging with the Early Years Learning Framework




Nolan,A. Cartmel,J. & Macfarlane,K. (2014) Professional partnerships in Children’s Services: working together for children. Early Childhood Australia Inc.:ACT.

Stevens,J. Raban,B. & Nolan,A. (2014) Storytelling and Storymaking. Teaching Solutions, Australia.

Nolan,A. Macfarlane,K. & Cartmel,J. (2013) Research in Early Childhood. SAGE, UK.

Nolan,A. & Reynolds,B. (2008) Portfolios: Documenting a Journey. Early childhood Australia Inc.:ACT.

Raban,B. Waniganayake,M. Nolan,A. Brown,R. Deans,J. Ure,C. (2007) Building Capacity: Strategic Professional Development for Early Childhood Practitioners.Thomson Learning Australia: Australia.

Nolan,A. Kilderry,A. & O’Grady,R. (2006) Children as Active Learners. Early Childhood Australia Inc.:ACT.


Nolan,A. (2013) The Early Years: Reconnecting families with preschool education. In T.McKenner, M.Cacciattolo & M.Vicars (Eds.) Engaging the Disengaged. Cambridge University Press. Chapter 3, 55 – 70.

Nolan,A. (2012) Quality Area 5 – Relationships with children, in B.Raban (eds.) The National Quality Standard: Towards Continuous Quality Improvement, Teaching Solutions, Australia.

Nolan,A. (2012) Science in the National Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), in C.Campbell,C. & Jobling,W (eds.) Early Childhood Science – an Australian Perspective, Cambridge University Press: Australia. Chapter 1.

Nolan,A. & Kilderry,A. (2010) Postdevelopmentalism and Professional Learning: Implications for Understanding the Relationship between Play and Pedagogy, in L.Brooker & S.Edwards (eds.) Engaging Play, Open University Press, Chapter 8.


Taket,A. Nolan,A. & Stagnitti,K. (2014). Family strategies to support and develop resilience in early childhood. Early Years: An International Research Journal,

Cartmel,J. Macfarlane,K. & Nolan,A. (2013) Looking to the future: producing transdisciplinary professionals for leadership in early childhood settings. Early Years: An International Research Journal, Vol.33, No.4, 398-412.

Nolan,A. & Nuttall,J. (2013) Integrated Children’s Services: re-thinking research, policy and practice. Early Years: An International Research Journal, Vol.33, No.4, 337-340.

Green,N. Noone,G. & Nolan,A. (2013) Contemporary paradigms of rural teaching: the significance of place. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, Vol.23, No.1, 91-115.

Nolan,A. Morrissey,A. & Dumenden,I. (2013) Expectations of mentoring in a time of change: views of new and professionally isolated early childhood teachers in Victoria, Australia. Early Years: An International Research Journal,Vol.33, No.2, 161-171.

Scull,J. .Nolan,A. & Raban,B. (2013) Young Learners: Interpreting literacy practice in the preschool years. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy. Vol.36, No.1,38-47.

Nolan,A. & Rouse,E. (2013) Where to from here? Career choices of pre-service teachers undertaking a dual early childhood / primary qualification. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, Vol.38, No.1, 1-10.

Scull,J. Nolan,A. & Raban,B. (2012) Young Learners: Teachers’ conceptualisation and practice of literacy in Australian preschool contexts. International Journal of Early Years Education. Vol.20, No.4, 379-391.

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