Staff profile

Dr Ruby Oates

Associate Professor of Childhood


Working with Children and Young People


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


Institute of Education

Research centre

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am an Associate Professor within the Centre of Educational Research and Innovation part of the Institute of Education. 

Teaching responsibilities

Childhood Studies undergraduate and post graduate  programmes; sociological and psychological perspectives. Research methodologies and early childhood studies.  Doctoral supervision.

Professional interests

Professionalisation of early childhood workforce.

Research interests

Professionality and professionalism in the early childhood workforce; power and politics in the construction of the early childhood worker; reflective practice; relational pedagogy; the social construction of childhood; gender, power and education.

Membership of professional bodies

  • British Sociological Association.
  • European Early Childhood Education Research Association.
  • Early Childhood Studies Degree Network.
  • Gender & Education Society
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • TACTYC: Association for Professional Development in Early Years


Recent conferences

Most recent:

Experience in industry

School Teaching. Human Relations. Youth Work.

International experience

Led the development of the European collaborative in two regions of Greece for the Department of Education and Childhood.

Additional interests and activities

Scuba diving and marine conservation.

In the media

Two appearances on BBC Radio Derby's Breakfast Show discussing issues in relation to topics such as childhood, gender and toy choices, commercialisation of childhood, children and TVs in bedrooms. Previously, BBC TV East Midlands Today on an item on men working as practitioners in early childhood settings.

Recent publications

Blog Posts

Head of Childhood Studies at the University of Derby, looks at what the staffing crisis in nurseries means for the sector