Swinkels, Kathy Dr

Position: Lecturer
Study area: Primary and Early Childhood Education
Location: Berwick Campus, Room 901-130A 
Phone: 5327 9560
Email: k.swinkels@federation.edu.au


Doctor of Philosophy – Deakin University – 2016

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Hons) – Deakin University – 2010

Diploma of Children’s Services – Holmesglen TAFE – 2008

Certificate of Early Education: Infants and Toddlers (High Honors) – Oakton College – 2006

Certificate of Early Education: Preschool Ages 3-5 (High Honors) – Oakton College – 2006



  • Bachelor of Education (Primary)
  • Bachelor of Education (Birth to Year 6)
  • Bachelor of Education Studies


  • Introduction to Children’s Development (EDECE 1006)
  • Nutrition for Children (EDECE 1007)
  • Literacy and Numeracy (EDBED1011)
  • Effective Pedagogies: Integrating Curriculum and 21st Century Skills (EDBED 1010)
  • Learning and Teaching Mathematics A (EDBED1012)
  • Investigating Numeracy and Technology (EDBED2003)


Kathy has taught in early childhood centres in Australia and the United States for many years and made the transition to teaching educational students in 2010. She has been teaching in a large range of university courses from 1st year undergraduates to final year Master students. She enjoys the challenge of helping students see the connections between their university courses and building an understanding of their own pedagogical practices.

She moved from Deakin University to start at Federation University in 2017 as one of two Education academics at the new Berwick Campus. Kathy is looking forward to making strong connections with the Casey-Cardinia Shire and the early childhood centres and primary schools in the area to ensure the Federation students have many opportunities to put their academic learning into practice.

Areas of expertise

Kathy’s areas of expertise includes Early Childhood Mathematics. Her PhD – “Mathematically-Rich Interactions in Early Childhood Centres” explores the opportunities young children have in their everyday interactions with people and materials for exploring mathematics in a play-based environment.

Research interests

  • Mathematics in Early Childhood
  • Mathematics in Primary schools
  • Play-based pedagogy
  • Socio-cultural theory


Refereed academic journal articles

Swinkels, K. (2013). Mathematically rich interactions in early childhood. Every Child, 19(3), 17.


McLean, K., Edwards, S., Morris, H., Hallowell, L., & Swinkels, K. (2016). Community playgroups - Connecting rural families locally pilot project. Melbourne: Australian Catholic University.

Conference proceedings

Swinkels, K. (2011). Researching a community of practice in an early year's environment. Paper presented at the Summer Institute in Qualitative Research (SIQR), Manchester, UK 20 - 22 July.

Swinkels, K. (2012). Mathematically-Rich Interactions in Early Childhood Centres. Paper presented at the Early Childhood Australia Annual Conference, Perth, WA 3 - 6 October.

Swinkels, K. (2012). Using NVivo with video data. Paper presented at the Deakin University Symposium on Research Methods, Melbourne, VIC 29 - 30 November.

Swinkels, K. (2013). Mathematically-Rich Interactions in Early Childhood. Paper presented at the 23rd Annual European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA), Tallinn, Estonia 28 - 31 September.

Swinkels, K. (2013). Mathematically-Rich Interactions: An Australian study on early childhood mathematics in a play-based curriculum. Paper presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual Conference, Washington, DC, USA 20 - 23 November.

Swinkels, K. (2013). Using NVivo in Doctoral Study. Paper presented at the Deakin University HDR Peer Seminar, Burwood, VIC.