Dr Melanie Mackinder

Melanie is currently a course tutor on the Foundation Course at Bishop Grosseteste University, where she teaches full time on all modules. She has been teaching Bishop Grosseteste University since 2013. Initially as a visiting tutor, Melanie has taught on a range of programmes including Early Childhood Studies, Education Studies and Professional Studies undergraduate degrees. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Melanie’s career history includes over 20 years of teaching. In her early career she taught in culturally and socially diverse primary schools across England and Scotland, including children with EAL. She has also worked with children with Special Educational Needs in a Special School environment. With her specialism in early years education, she set up a state funded nursery school and was a founding member of the Norfolk Early Years Forum. Melanie also has experience of a range of school-based leadership roles, including being Deputy Head where she was instrumental in leading the school out of Special Measures in 4 terms.

Melanie’s research interests have focused on early learning, creativity, alternative pedagogies, outdoor learning environments and the socio-cultural context of learning. Her Masters research explored the impact of socio-cultural factors on the development of language and literacy in young learners. Melanie worked on the EU funded research project ‘Creative Little Scientists’, examining the teaching of Science and Mathematics, across 9 European countries, through the lens of creativity. She presented ‘Creative Little Scientists: Using digital technology for the first time in research’ at the CARN study day, BGU (January 2015). In 2017, Melanie published ‘Footprints in the Woods: ‘tracking’ a nursery child through a Forest School session’. Melanie has recently completed her doctoral thesis ‘Degrees of Difference: A case study of Forest School in England and Denmark’. Using a Vygotskian social constructivist approach, Melanie explored the similarities and differences in Forest School pedagogy in England and Denmark. She is now working on publishing these findings and looking forward to taking her research in exciting, new directions.