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Mrs Karen Douthwaite

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in Early Childhood
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
  • Childhood, Youth and Sport
  • k.douthwaite

Professional biography

Karen is a lecturer in Early Childhood at The Open University, joining the central academic team following 10 years as an associate lecturer, tutoring a number of modules within the Childhood and Youth degree pathway. Karen came into higher education following a career in service provision for children and families, most notably as a manager of a Sure Start Children's Centre delivering multi-agency provision to children under the age of five and their families, and as a manager of family services at a Northamptonshire prison. Prior to these posts, Karen spent a number of years in practice in early childhood settings.

Karen has engaged children and families in developing supportive play environments in community and setting contexts, and has a particular interest in engaging with the aspirations of fathers, and their constructions of parenting identities. 

Teaching interests

Karen has been involved in the following Early Childhood modules:

E109: Exploring perspectives on young children's lives and learning.

  • Author: Chapter 7: Play: a context for learning and participation.
  • Author: Chapter 16: Roles and provision in early childhood.

E110: Young children's play and creativity.

  • Author: Chapter 6: The context of children’s play.
  • Author: Chapter 18: The influences of policy on play and creativity.

E229: Listening to young children living and learning: critical reflections (in production)

E210: Extending professional practice in the early years: Module team member




Improving wellbeing through digital games

Dr Hannah R. Marson, Research Fellow in the Health & Wellbeing Priority Research Area, and organiser of the upcoming Digital Health & Wellbeing Conference, was interviewed by to discuss how research using digital games and associated technologies has been investigated in the area of health and wellbeing. Read the full article: Technology and Gaming for the Elderly: Improving Wellbeing.

20th November 2017
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