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Karen Barr BA (Hons), EYPS, PGCLTHE, FHEA

Senior Lecturer In Early Years


Karen graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a first class honours degree in Early Childhood Studies before going on to achieve Early Years Professional Status. She joined Sheffield Hallam in 2008 and during her first year she gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education as well as Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. She is currently studying for a PhD.


In her current role, Karen teaches BA Hons. Early Childhood Studies and FdA Early Years. She has previously led Early Years Teacher Status pathways, and before teaching at Sheffield Hallam she worked with children in schools, nurseries and out-of-school clubs in various management and practitioner roles. She is currently researching for a PhD, with the aim of exploring how affect, materiality and space shape students' experiences in Early Childhood Studies placement assemblages.

Specialist areas of interest

Posthuman research and ethics

Philosophical inquiry (P4C)

Inclusion and participation

Students' experiences in spaces for practice

Concepts of professionalism in early childhood

Reflective practice


Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion

Karen currently teaches the following modules:  Childhood Stories; Leadership in Early Years Contexts; Working with Families in the Early Years; Inclusive Practice in the Early Years; and Participation in the Early Years.


Bath, C. Barr, K. and Haynes, M. (2014) ‘Building a community of enquiry with students on a foundation degree in early years.’ Journal of Vocational Education and Training. 66 (2) Pp. 249-262.

Barr, K. and Borkett, P. (2015) 'Play with Children from Diverse Cultures.' Moyles, J. (ed.) The Excellence of Play. (4th ed.) Maidenhead, Open University Press.

Barr, K. and Truelove, L. (2015) 'Play and the Achievement of Potential.' Moyles, J. (ed.) The Excellence of Play. (4th ed.) Maidenhead, Open University Press.

Barr, K. (forthcoming) 'Becoming Professional: Entanglements and Learning in Early Childhood.' Fitzgerald, D. and Maconachie, H. (eds.) Early Childhood Studies. London, Sage.

Hardy, K. (2012) 'Growing and Developing.' In: Kay, J. (ed.) Good Practice in the Early Years.(3rd ed.) London, Continuum.

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