Dr Helen Edwards

Lecturer, Early Childhood Education - School of Education; Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education

Helen Edwards

Phone: +61 2 6773 2078

Email: helen.edwards@une.edu.au


Helen Edwards has been a lecturer in the School of Education since 2003 as part of the Early Childhood Team. She also lectured in Research Methodology in the cross faculty Masters (Honours) program for a number of years.


PhD (UNE); Grad Dip ContEd (UNE); MEd (UNE); B OccThy (UQ)


Action Learning Action Research Association Inc. [ALARA]
Australians for Native Title and Recociliation [ANTaR]
Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association [AVETRA]
Classics Vetran Womens Hockey Club – Life member
Early Childhood Australia [ECA]
The Ascent Group
UNE Armidale Alumni Association – Executive Committee & Life Member (#1966)

Teaching Areas

Research Interests

Research interests include Aboriginal education and family history; inclusion across the lifespan; adult education; life long learning; living and learning in rural and remote environments; young children’s motor development; developmental disabilities; early intervention; quality assurance in early childhood settings.

PhD thesis: 2004 ‘Quality assurance in Aboriginal early childhood education: a participatory action research study’.  This thesis documented and analysed the implementation of a quality assurance program in an Aboriginal preschool in a narrative form.

MEd thesis: a quantitative study of three Kindergarten physical education curricula.

Current research

Evaluation of the implimentation of the revised Australian quality assurance tool in Aboriginal early childhood settings.
Collaborating with several Aboriginal families to record their family histories.


Currently I am supervising two postgraduate students who are applying phenomenological or case study approaches to their Masters (honours) or doctoral studies. I have supervised 15 doctoral theses (PhD, EdD, DHSM) and five Masters (honours) students to completion. I commenenced supervision in 2004 when my PhD was submitted for examination.

Other Achievements

Jean Denton Memorial Scholar 2002.

My experience in early childhood includes preschool, early intervention, sensory integration, physical education, family day care, and toy libraries. In tertiary education I taught for almost a decade in the NSW TAFE Child Studies program (face-to-face and externally) and more recently have worked as a university lecturer and researcher.


Recent Publications

Wark, S., Hussain, R., & Edwards, H. (accepted for publication 04.12.2015). The main signs of ageing in people with intellectual disability. Australian Journal  of Rural Health,[awaiting details of the final proofs and issue number.]

Wark, S., Hussain, R., & Edwards, H. (2015). Assisting individuals ageing with learning disability: Support worker perspectives. Tizard Learning Disability Review, 20(4), 213-222. doi: 10.1108/TLDR-02-2015-0008

Nye, A., Foskey, R., & Edwards, H. (2014). Collegial reflection on the meaning of metaphors in learning: Emerging theory and practice. Studies in Continuing Education, 36(2), 132-146. doi: 10.1080/0158037X.2013.796921

Wark, S., Hussain, R., & Edwards, H. (2014). Impediments to community-based care for people ageing with intellectual disability in rural New South Wales. Health and Social Care in the Community, 22(6), 623-633. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12130

Wark, S., Hussain, R., & Edwards, H. (2014). The training needs of staff supporting individuals ageing with intellectual disability. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 27(3), 273-288. doi: 10.1111/jar.12087

Bartik, W., Maple, M., Edwards, H., & Kiernan, M. (2013). Adolescent survivors after suicide: Australian young people's bereavement narratives. Crisis: Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 34(3), 211-217. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000185

Bartik, W., Maple, M., Edwards, H., & Kiernan, M. (2013). The psychological impact of losing a friend to suicide. Australasian Psychiatry, 21(6), 545-549. doi: 10.1177/1039856213497986

Green, N., Wolodko, B., Stewart, C., Edwards, H., Brooks, M., & Littledyke, R. (2013). Collaborative self-study of online teaching in early childhood teacher education. International Journal for Academic Development, 18(2), 166-177. doi: 10.1080/1360144X.2012.677747

Maple, M., Edwards, H. E., Minichiello, V., & Plummer, D. (2013). Still part of the family: The importance of physical, emotional and spiritual memorial places and spaces for parents bereaved through the suicide death of their son or daughter. Mortality, 18(1), 54-71. doi: 10.1080/13576275.2012.755158

Wark, S., Hussain, R., & Edwards, H. (2013). Rural and remote area service provision for people aging with intellectual disability. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 10(1), 62-70. doi: 10.1111/jppi.12017

Wolodko, B., Stewart, C., Green, N., Edwards, H., Brooks, M., & Littledyke, R. (2013). Shifting mindsets within: Self-study of professional learning Global Challenges and Perspectives in Blended and Distance Learning (pp. 191-201).

Stewart, C., & Edwards, H. (2012). Online collaboration: Using roleplay to develop skills in resolving conflict. International Education Studies, 5(6), 1-10. doi: 10.5539/ies.v5n6p1

Green, N. C., Edwards, H., Wolodko, B., Stewart, C., Brooks, M., & Littledyke, R. (2010). Reconceptualising higher education pedagogy in online learning. Distance Education, 31(3), 257-273. doi: 10.1080/01587919.2010.513951

Maple, M., Edwards, H., Plummer, D., & Minichiello, V. (2010). Silenced voices: Hearing the stories of parents bereaved through the suicide death of a young adult child. Health and Social Care in the Community, 18(3), 241-248. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2524.2009.00886.x

Maple, M., Plummer, D., Edwards, H., & Minichiello, V. (2007). The effects of preparedness for suicide following the death of a young adult child. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 37(2), 127-134. doi: 10.1521/suli.2007.37.2.127