Dr Kay Owen

Kay Owen

Position: Lecturer in Childhood Studies

College: College of Arts, Humanities and Education

Department: Education and Childhood

Subject area: Early Years

Research Centre: Centre for Psychological Research

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I trained as an Early Years teacher but then spent many years teaching in inner-city Comprehensive schools. My MEd focussed on proactive strategies for dealing with young people who demonstrated particularly challenging behaviours. Whilst my own children were young, I completed a BSc in Psychology and developed a particular interest in early cognitive development. My PhD was entitled "Automaticity and the development of categorisation in preschool children: Understanding the importance of play". My research demonstrated that sex and socio-economic status both impact the development of semantic memory in early childhood. I worked as an Associate Lecturer in the Psychology Department at the University of Derby before moving across to teach on Childhood programmes within the College of Education.

Teaching responsibilities

Foundation: Psychology in Education

BA: Early Language and Communication

Play and Creativity

Family Dynamics

The Early Years Researcher

MA: Children's Relationships and Emotional Health

Supervision of PhD and EdD students

Research interests

Development of Automaticity and Memory structures during the pre-school period.

Factors influencing cognitive development during the pre-school period, particularly sex, socio-economic status and play.


Membership of professional bodies

Member of the British Psychological Society

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


PhD "Automaticity and the development of categorisation in preschool children: Understanding the importance of play". (University of Derby)

PG Cert HE (University of Derby)

BSc (First Class Hons). Psychology. (Open University)

MEd Action Enquiry "Main stream strategies for working with young people who demonstrate the most challenging behaviours" (University of Nottingham)

BEd (Hons) Early Years Education / Religious and MOral Philosophy. (University of Nottingham)

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