Multilingualism, equity, early childhood education and collaboration with communities and families, pedagogies
Research Degrees Coordinator; MProf/DProf Education Pathway Leader
Current research projects
ROM-tels - Erasmus+ funded project (2014-2017) on Roma languages and translanguaging enquiry learning spaces.
Theory and practice of child-initieated pedagogies in England, Finland, Estonia and the USA.
Kinos, J., Robertson, L., Barbour, N. and Pukk, M. (2016 in press) The Need For Child Initiated Pedagogy In The Context Of Participatory Democracy In Finland, Estonia, England and The USA. Childhood Education.
Robertson, L., Kinos, J., Barbour, N. Pukk, M.and Rosqvist, L. (2015) Child-initiated pedagogies in Finland, Estonia and England: exploring young children’s views on decisions. Early Child Development and Care. Special Issue: Early Childhood Pedagogy.Vol.185:11-12, pp1815-1827
Robertson, L. H. and Hill, D. (2014) Policy and Ideologies in Schooling and Early Years Education in England: Implications for and Impacts on Leadership, Management and Equality. Management in Education Special Issue: Early childhood education: participation in policy and practice. Vol. 28:4, pp. 67–174.
Robertson, L. H. and Drury, R. (2014) Silencing bilingualism: a day in a life of a bilingual practitioner International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.17: 5, September 2014, pp. 610-623 Online:10.1080/13670050.2013.864252.
Hill, D. and Robertson, L. H. (eds.) (2009). Equality in the Primary School: Promoting good practice across the curriculum. London: Continuum
Conteh, J., Martin, P. and Robertson, L. H. (eds.) (2007). Multilingual Learning Stories in Schools and Communities in Britain. Stoke-On-Trent: Trentham Books Ltd.
Leena's first language is Finnish; she speaks and writes it fluently.
Learning & Teaching Interests
Leena is has extensive experiences of many aspects of education. She has worked as a teaching assistant, playgroup leader, community school teacher and a primary school teacher in and around London. Currently she is an Associate Professor and coordinates research degrees in the department of education and supervises supervises a number of doctoral students.
Research Outputs & Interests
Leena is involved in collaborative writing with a number of partner institutions and researchers in Europe and the USA; all of her publications address social justice.
Robertson, Leena Helavaara (2015) Child-initiated pedagogies in Finland, Estonia and England: exploring young children’s views on decisions [conference item]. In: Early Years Research Festival, 17 Jun 2015, University of Northampton, Northampton, United Kingdom.
Robertson, Leena Helavaara (2014) Teaching for transformation, diversity and equality, in the teacher education system in England. In: International Conference on Transformative Education: Possibilities and Alternatives to the Educational Crisis, March 2014, South Asian University, Delhi, India.
Robertson, Leena Helavaara and Drury, R. (2014) Ethnography of an early years teacher – working with young multilingual children and their families in a nursery class in London. In: EECERA Annual Conference, Crete, Greece.
Robertson, Leena Helavaara and Kinos, J. and Pukk, M. and Barbour, N. (2014) Symposium: towards democratically appropriate practices in early childhood education: researching child initiated pedagogies in Finland, Estonia, England and the US. In: EECERA Annual Conference, Crete, Greece.
Roma Languages and translanguaging Enquiry Learning Spaces (ROM-tels)
Leena is a Principal Investigator on this Erasmus+ funded ROM-tels project (2014-2017) which involves People to People Foundation in Romania and four collaborating universities: Newcastle University, (UK), Univerity of Montpellier (France), Helsinki University (Finland) and Middlesex University (UK). The project arises from two long-standing, global and well documented educational challenges: firstly Eastern European Traveller, including Roma pupils' poor participation and persistently low achievement in education, and secondly the decline of home language use in primary classrooms (age 5-11) as a pedagogic tool to raise the academic achievement of pupils whose home language(s) differs from the official language of schools.
Theory and practice of child-initiated pedagogies
Leena leads this international project that examines the current early childhood education policies and pedagogical practices in four different countries, Finland, Estonia, England and the United States and constructs a theoretical framework of Democratically Appropriate Practices (DeAP) for child-initiated practices. The project involves a network of early years practitioners – 64 practitioners in four countries – who are researching their own practice and exploring their everyday child-initiated pedagogies. The network of practitioners collaborate with researchers from four universities, University of Turku (Finland), University of Tallinn (Estonia), James Maddison University (USA) and Middlesex University (UK).