Valerie Harwood is Professor and ARC Future Fellow. Her research is centred on a social and cultural analysis of access and participation in educational futures. This research includes: work on disadvantage, imagination and educational futures; the production of knowledge on child and youth psychopathology; critical disability studies; and child and youth exclusion. Her current research includes: Getting an Early Start to Education: Understanding how to promote educational futures in early childhood (ARC Future Fellowship); and partnership with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), funding from the ARC and Australian Government Department of Education and Training. Details of her Future Fellowship are provided below:

Getting an early start to aspirations: understanding how to promote educational futures in early childhood

Children from low socio-economic status (LSES) backgrounds are three times less likely to attend university than their high socio-economic status peers. For families without experience of higher education it is difficult to know how to encourage young children's aspiration for educational futures. This project aims to improve aspirations for educational futures in LSES early childhood settings. A social marketing intervention targeting parents, children and early childhood educators will be developed and longitudinal interviews will be conducted to understand the development of aspirations by LSES families with young children. The project will produce a unique 'education promotion' strategy for early childhood.


  • –present
    Professor, The University of Sydney


  • 2001 
    UNISA, PhD