BiographyMary Dyer is currently Acting Head of Division for the Department of Academic and Professional Studies in the School of Education and Professional Development and a Senior Lecturer in Early Years at the University of Huddersfield. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has a BA Hons in Linguistics and Psychology and an MA in Educational Studies. She is currently studying for her EdD, exploring the professional identity of early years practitioners and how this is shaped by their professional experience and education.
Mary began her career teaching English and Mathematics in Adult Community Education, and GCSE and A Level English Language and Psychology in Further Education. She then specialized in teaching Social Sciences and Social Policy on vocational courses in Childcare and Health and Social Care, often supporting mature students who had returned to education after a substantial study break. A significant part of Mary’s teaching role was to help her students to develop the professional skills appropriate to early years and health and social care careers, and to support them in their work-based learning. This included working with local employers to establish three NVQ Assessment Centres in Childcare, Playwork and Health and Social Care, to offer work-based qualifications to their employees and the NVQ Assessor and Internal Verifier training needed to support this. By participating in this development work, Mary gained a thorough understanding of the needs of employers in these growing service sectors, as well as the needs of their trainees, and was able to make a positive contribution to the growth and development of the workforce.
Mary has also worked with the Open College Network (Yorkshire and Humber) as a moderator and staff development tutor, training and supporting assessors and moderators in adult education. She feels that this work has helped her to develop a clear understanding of the pedagogical needs of non-traditional learners, and how their learning can be supported and assessed.
Before joining the University of Huddersfield, Mary worked most recently as an Early Years Development Officer for a local authority in Yorkshire, then as Project Coordinator. Her role was to support early years settings in developing their staff and their provision, and latterly to co-ordinate funding for young children from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend early years provision.
Mary is a member of TACTYC (The Association for Professional Development in Early Years), the British Education Research Association and the European Early Childhood Education Research Association.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
• Work-based learning and the development of reflective practice
• Effective work place mentoring
• Communities of practice and work-based learning
• Ethical pedagogies in early years
• The EYFS and school readiness
Communities of practice and work-based learning
Ethical pedagogies in early years
Published: Sep 09, 2016 by BERA blog
Authors: Mary Dyer
My blog questions what the professionalization agenda for the early years sector has offered to practitioners, and how it has impacted on how they view themselves and with what agency they determine their role. Does it empower practitioners to claim a higher social status arising from specialised knowledge, and the agency to improve practice and raise quality, or has it instead reinforced compliance with an externally regulated, politically led conception of what early years practice should be?
Published: Oct 30, 2015 by TACTYC website
Authors: Mary Dyer
An investigation into how practitioners frame and present their professional identity in early years settings.
Published: Mar 04, 2012 by Reflective Practice: international and multidisciplinary perspectives, 2012, 13 (4)
Authors: M Dyer, and S Taylor
An investigation into how early years students use reflective processes to evaluate and develop their practice in the workplace.