Staff profile

Judith Szenasi

Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies

Judith Szenasi


Education, Childhood and SEND


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


Institute of Education

Research centre

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a senior lecturer with the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies. I have been with the University for a number of years and have taught on several different programmes: Health and Social Care, Community Regeneration and Development, Social Work, Education Studies, Sociology, and Youth and Community work.

My research interests are focused around new arrivals, refugees and migrants and inclusion. I have worked for a number of years in community settings with families and children and I am keen to promote issues of equality and social justice within marginalised communities.

Teaching responsibilities

I am responsible for teaching the following modules:

Professional interests

My professional interests are centred around promoting positive change in policy and communities of practice. In particular, how the process of change can bridge the gap between social justice and exclusion and forge sustainable, inclusive and just communities. Community development is one such approach which I value as a way of working with communities in local neighbourhoods around issues that are most important to pre-school children and parents. I support the key principles of genuine participation and collaborative working, these require conscious practice constructed around issues such as social justice and self-determination.

Research interests

I am interested in researching how newly arrived parents from the global south adopt or resist childcare practices from the global north. I am particualrly interested in issues concerned with parents and children's agencies and identity. Within neighbourhood communities these are constantly changing, reconstructed and repositioned within the hegemonic discourses of 'vulnerability' and the 'excluded other'.

Membership of professional bodies

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

I have worked for a number of years in a local Sure Start Children's Centre as a Community Development Practitioner, managing a team of Early Years professionals and Community Development workers. I have worked in many different statutory and third sector organisations and have over 20 years of experience of working with children and their families in rural and urban contexts.

International experience

I worked in the Sultanate of Oman for a short period of time on an inclusive practice undergraduate degree programme for Omani students. This was a partnership with the University of Nizwa and The Institute of Education in London.

Additional interests and activities

I am a stage 2 tutor for the BA (Hons) Early Childhood programme and help students with their practice placements. I have worked with colleagues and students with 120 KS1 children on an innovative and creative collaborative ceramics arts project. We are planning an Arts exhibition for children their families and cultural institutions of the completed work together with photos and children's drawings in October 2018 at the Arboretum Orangery in Derby. The project will be written up in several research publications.

Recent publications