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Alexandra Scherer

Lecturer in Childhood Studies, University of Portsmouth

I am a Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies at the University of Portsmouth, where I have worked since 2014. Before that I completed a PhD in Sociology with a focus on the Sociology of Childhood at the University of Surrey. My PhD research was about children learning to read in Primary school and what they made of the books they learnt to read with. I drew on children's voices, something I became interested in while working as a Primary School teacher in an inner city London school. I developed a research interest in children's voice through another topic after finishing my PhD, which is infant sleep. This interest grew from trying to manage my own low-sleep needs baby, and reading a lot of parenting books and advice, none of which resonated with my child, or my experience, much of which seemed terribly harsh but also made me feel a failure (how would it ever work in my home?). I was lucky enough to stumble over a kind and wonderful corner of the internet, The Beyond Sleep Training Project, where evidence-based, tried and tested approaches were shared by volunteer admins with a gentle and child centred approach. I became interested in how the voice of the child did, or did not surface in narratives about their sleep. I conducted research with children aged 2-5 and their parents from this group about how they managed sleep, and this is an ongoing research interest of mine.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Childhood Studies, University of Portsmouth