Dr Kathy Cologon lectures in Inclusive Early Childhood Education at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University. Kathy has a particular interest in research and practice relating to the development and support of inclusive education, with a view towards greater recognition of the rights of all children.
Prior to entering academia, Kathy worked in mainstream school and prior to school settings and developed and implemented early intervention and inclusive early childhood programs. In these roles, Kathy collaborated with families, teachers and therapists to support the inclusion of young children who experience disability. In her research, Kathy continues to work closely with families, early childhood professionals and policy makers across a range of different services in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
Kathy's current research projects focus on three key areas:
Understandings of, attitudes towards and experiences of inclusion and inclusive education
Facilitating learning through developing effective educational strategies
Building inclusive communities.
Taken together, these research areas contribute to a holistic approach to increasing opportunities and outcomes for young children.
Inclusion in early childhood has the capacity to enable all children to flourish. However, inclusive education is yet to become a reality for many children across the world. In current research Kathy is seeking to generate discussion about notions of 'exclusion', 'inclusion' and 'inclusive education' and the factors that break down barriers to the realisation of inclusion in education. This research contributes evidence to inform policy and practice in early childhood education.