Schneider, Karen

Position: Lecturer
Study area: Primary and Early Childhood Education 
Location: Berwick Campus, Room 901-130B 
Phone: 5327 9697


Master of Education specialising in Early Childhood Education– Monash University - 2014

Bachelor of Teaching (Birth to five years) – Charles Sturt University – 2008

Diploma of Community Services (Children’s Services) - Swinburne University of Technology – 2005



  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)
  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary)
  • Bachelor of Education (Primary)
  • Bachelor of Education Studies


  • Curriculum through Play (EDECE1019)
  • Social Justice and Agency in Early Childhood Settings (EDECE4004)
  • Identity, Language and Culture: Supporting Children and Families (EDECE3027)
  • Guiding Behaviour (EDECE3022)
  • Planning, Supporting and Assessing (EDECE1020)
  • Learning and Teaching (EDBED1016)
  • Responding to Challenge, Mental Health, Learning and Behaviour (EDBED3117)


Karen has over 20 years of experience teaching children and educators in a variety of settings including long day care, kindergarten, TAFE and University. Currently a lecturer at Federation University, Karen teaches in a range of subjects including early childhood play, diversity, social justice, behaviour, curriculum planning and documentation. From 2012- 2016, she was employed as a curriculum content developer and lecturer with Swinburne University. In her previous role, Karen was a kindergarten teacher and pedagogical leader at Monash University Children’s Centre, leading and mentoring a team of over 45 educators through the implementation of the NQF. Karen has designed and delivered professional development on a range of topics for early childhood educators in metropolitan and regional locations

Areas of expertise

Karen is a lecturer and researcher who works in education with a focus on early childhood. She has significant experience and expertise in working with culturally and linguistically diverse children, families and educators in the context of Australian early childhood education. Through her educational leadership and consultancy roles, Karen has worked with educators to identify issues related to power, race, social class, disability and gender with the aim of enhancing relationships and experiences - particularly for marginalised children and families.

Karen is known for her creative play spaces and use of improvised materials for learning with young children from birth to five years. She also seeks to engage pre-service teachers in learning through play-based approaches. Karen has extensive experience in curriculum and assessment development for online and face to face learning in initial teacher education programs. She has been recognised for teaching excellence in both early childhood and higher education settings.

Research interests

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Play and play spaces
  • Childhood, young children and families
  • Intra-active pedagogies


Invited speaker presentations

Schneider, K. & Swinkels, K. (Feb 21, 2020). Mathematics in play and everyday. Presented at Monash University Early Childhood Educators Professional Development Day, Clayton, Victoria.

Schneider, K. (Sept 16, 2015). Breaking down barriers: Collaborative approaches to support transitions to school. Presented to Waverley Monash Transition Network, Department of Education and Training, Glen Waverley, Victoria.

Schneider, K. (Jul 19, 2013). Story telling with props. Presented at Kinders Together Conference, Pakenham, Victoria.

Schneider, K. (Jul 8, 2013). You’re not the boss of me! Power and adult/child relationships in early childhood education. Presented at Monash University Early Childhood Educators Professional Development Day, Clayton Victoria.

Schneider, K. & Lindner, E. (Nov 16, 2012). We DO do theory here. Presented at Honouring child, Honouring Equity Conference. Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood, University of Melbourne.

Refereed conference proceedings

Emmett, S. Reader, L. & Schneider, K. (2019). ‘Think Equal’ in Early Childhood: An Australian randomised control trial to assess the impact of a targeted personal, social and emotional program. Presented at AARE Conference, Brisbane, December 4, 2019.

Schneider, K. & Swinkels, K. (2019). The potential of a partnership: supporting young children’s literacy learning and early childhood teacher preparation through reading, storytelling and play. Presented at AARE Conference, Brisbane, December 3, 2019.

Swinkels, K., Schneider, K. & Nekrasov, C. (2018). Pedagogical inspirations for practice. Presented at AARE Conference, Sydney, December 4, 201

Schneider, K. & van Vuuren, K. (2017). Rethinking infant placements in teacher education programs. Presented at AARE Conference, Canberra, November 28, 2019.


Emmett, S., Reeder, L., Schneider, K. (2019) Emma and Tom’s THINK EQUAL Randomised Control Trial. ($25,000)


2016 Teaching Excellence Award. For excellence in developing relationships in order to know, support and engage students in collaborative and authentic learning experiences in teacher education. Faculty of Health Arts and Design, Swinburne University of Technology.

2008 – McArthur/Early Childhood Australia ‘Future Leader award’. Presented at Early Childhood Australia National Conference, Canberra.


  • Early Childhood Australia
  • Australian Association for Research in Education
  • The Association of Graduates in Early Childhood Studies
  • Social Justice, Inclusion and Diversity in Education (SJIDE). Research Group, Federation University.