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 Senior Lecturer on the MA Education Inclusive Practice route having started with the Open University in 2022.
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 MA Education and Early Career Development.
Tracey’s research explores issues relating to gender identity in the early years and gender equality of men in childcare. She is currently completing her PhD researching gendered spaces in the early years.
Tracey’s research expertise brings together her interests in early childhood education and gender equity. Her research has explored Men in childcare, what do children think? with the London Early Years Foundation. She is a member of the Special Interest Group for Gender and a member of the European Early Childhood Research Association (EECERA). Her PhD focus is on the use of indoor spaces and practitioners’ perceptions of gender-neutral play.
Her research expertise covers video as a means of capturing the child’s voice around gender identity; through the seen and heard. 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.
Tracey’s teaching primarily focuses 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 and is Module Team Accessibility Co-ordinator. Tracey has also designed and led on International student transition, academic support and success within Masters study.
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.
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