Dr Elise Alexander PhD, MPhil, MEd, BA (Hons) FHEA

Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies

Elise is Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies, teaching on the undertgraduate degrees in  Early Childhood Studies and Education Studies and also on the MA in Childhood Studies.  She joined the School of Education in September 2013.  Her particular academic interests include  the professionalisation of the early years workforce, quality in early years settings and the experience of early years students in Higher Education.





  • U70103 Families Culture and Context
  • U70104 Play and Pedagogy
  • U70199 Dissertation
  • U71714 Research Methods
  • U70170 Reflective Practice




  • P70803 Children and Young People’s Spaces and Places


Potential research students

Elise is keen to supervise research students and welcomes applications for projects on Early Years provision and policy, professional identity and aspects of early years practice


Elise has led an ESRC funded research project –ESRC grant RES-061-23-0012 Understanding Quality and Success in Early Years Settings: practitioners’ perspectives. Her current interests include the formation of identity in Early Childhood Studies students in higher education and professionalisation in the Early Years.


  • 1991- 1995 - University of Brighton  BEd (Hons with QTS) Early Years of Schooling
  • 1996-1998 - University of Cambridge MEd.  Dissertation:  The Experience of Boys in a Nursery Class in Essex
  • 1998 - 1999 University of Cambridge MPhil. Thesis: Constructions of Childhood in Early Years Documentation
  • 1999- 2003 PhD. University of Cambridge.  Thesis: An Examination of the Training of Childcare Workers.  
  • 2008 Principal Lecturer University of Roehampton
  • 2005 Senior Lecturer Roehampton University
  • 2004 – 2005  Research Associate  University of Cambridge
  • 2002-2004  Research Coordinator  Bedfordshire Schools Improvement Partnership (BSIP)
  • 1997 – 1998   Lecturer, Thurrock College, Grays
  • 1995 – 1998   Senior Lecturer   South East Essex College Southend on Sea


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • British Educational Research Asociation


  • Journal articles

Journal articles

  • Cottle, M and Alexander, E (2013) Parent partnership and ‘quality’ early years services: Practitioners’ perspectives.  European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, DOI:10.1080/1350293X.2013.788314
  • Cottle, M and Alexander, E (2011) Quality in Early Years Settings: Government, Research and Practitioners’ Perspectives. British Journal of Educational Research.
  • Alexander, E (2010) A Successful Child: Early Years Practitioners’ Understandings of Quality in Early Years Vol 30:2 pp 107-118.
  • Colleen McLaughlin with Elise Alexander (2005) Reframing Personal, Social and Emotional Education: relationships, agency and dialogue  www.napce.org.uk.
  • Adams, S, Alexander, E, Drummond, M J and Moyles, J (2004) Inside the Foundation Stage: Recreating the Reception Year London: Association of Teachers and lecturers.