Rosie Flewitt is Professor of Early Childhood Communication specialising in young children’s multimodal communication in a digital era. Her research is concerned with unravelling the complexities of early communication, language and literacy learning. She has led and co-led many studies funded by the ESRC, EU and charitable organisations, including:
Rosie has consistently engaged with new ideas, new problems and new methodological challenges when conducting visual ethnography and participatory research with children in their homes and early childhood education settings.
Rosie was nominated for UCL Student Choice Outstanding Teaching Award in 2016-17.
2016 – date: Sandra El Gemayel (PhD) “Young migrant children’s experiences of play during times of war and displacement”. 3-year PhD studentship, funded by The Froebel Trust, with Prof Phil Jones. Examination due Jan-Feb 2020.
Recent successful completions
2013 – 2019: Charlotte Vidal-Hall (PhD) (Part-time). “Transforming practice: developing pedagogy to support early years children's use of digital texts at home and school and its impact on reading development”, with Prof Dominic Wyse. Doctorate awarded June 2019 (minor corrections).
2013 – 2018: Kate Cowan (PhD) "Video-based research in learning and examining forms of transcription", funded by ESRC, with Dr Jeff Bezemer. Doctorate awarded March 2018 (no corrections)
2014 – 2017: Cary Bazalgette (PhD) “Children’s early relationship with moving image media”, with Dr John Potter. Doctorate awarded December 2017 (minor corrections).
2011 – 2014: Adele Creer (EdD) “Exploring the everyday and college literacy practices of young people”,
with Prof Theresa Lillis. Doctorate warded December 2014 (minor corrections).
Rosie’s research explores how young children use multiple modes of expression to make motivated choices in their meaning making, during face-to-face interaction (through their body movement, gaze, gesture, language etc), and in digital and paper-based texts (through drawing, writing, using emojis etc). Rosie also researches education provision for disadvantaged young children, children with cognitive and physical impairment, and working with vulnerable (and often silenced) children experiencing multiple disadvantage.
Methodologically, Rosie’s work brings an ethnographic lens to multimodality, developing innovative, rigorous approaches to data representation, embedding theory in transcription, and developing participatory research approaches that promote child voice. Rosie has also led international workshops with diverse stakeholders on children’s digital safety and security, and has developed online Research Ethics Resources and a blog site featuring innovative methodological approaches to researching the digital literacy lives of young children.
R. Flewitt, L. Ang (2020). Research Methods for Early Childhood Education. Bloomsbury Academic.
O. Erstad, R. Flewitt, B. Kuemmerling-Meibauer, I. Pires Pereira (2019). The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood (Eds). Routledge International Handbooks of Education.
T. Cremin, R. Flewitt, B. Mardell, J. Swann (2016). Storytelling in Early Childhood Enriching Language, Literacy and Classroom Culture. Routledge.
A. Clark, R. Flewitt, M. Hammersley, M. Robb (2013). Understanding Research with Children and Young People. SAGE Publications Limited.
N. Kucirkova, R. Flewitt (2020). The future-gazing potential of digital personalization in young children’s reading: views from education professionals and app designers. Early Child Development and Care. 190(2), pp.135-149.
R. Flewitt, K. Cowan (2019). Time to think. Nursery World.
S. Zhao, R. Flewitt (2019). Young chinese immigrant children’s language and literacy practices on social media: a translanguaging perspective. Language and Education.
R. Flewitt, S. Price, T. Korkiakangas (2018). Editorial: Multimodality: Methodological explorations. Qualitative Research. 19(1), pp.3-6.
T. Cremin, R. Flewitt, J. Swann, D. Faulkner, N. Kucirkova (2017). Storytelling and story-acting: Co-construction in action. Journal of Early Childhood Research. 16(1), pp.3-17.
R. Flewitt, P. Jones, J. Potter, M. Domingo, P. Collins, et al. (2017). ‘I enjoyed it because … you could do whatever you wanted and be creative’: three principles for participatory research and pedagogy. International Journal of Research & Method in Education. 41(4), pp.372-386.
J. Rowsell, A. Burke, R. Flewitt, H-T. Liao, A. Lin, et al. (2016). Humanizing Digital Literacies: A Road Trip in Search of Wisdom and Insight. Reading Teacher. 70(1), pp.121-129.
R. Flewitt, D. Messer, N. Kucirkova (2015). New directions for early literacy in a digital age: The iPad. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. 15(3), pp.289-310.
R. Flewitt, K. Pahl, A. Smith (2015). Methodology matters. Literacy. 49(1), pp.1-2.
R. Flewitt, N. Kucirkova, D. Messer (2014). Touching the virtual, touching the real: iPads and enabling literacy for students experiencing disability. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy. pp.107-116.
N. Kucirkova, D. Messer, K. Sheehy, R. Flewitt (2013). Sharing personalised stories on iPads: a close look at one parent-child interaction. Literacy. 47(3), pp.115-122.
R. Flewitt (2013). Book Review: Paula Reavey (ed.), Visual Methods in Psychology: Using and Interpreting Images in Qualitative Research, Routledge: New York, 2011; 370 pp.: ISBN 978 0 415 48348 3 (hbk). Visual Communication. 12(2), pp.243-249.
M. Nind, R. Flewitt, J. Payler (2011). Social Constructions of Young Children in ‘Special’, ‘Inclusive’ and Home Environments. Children & Society. 25(5), pp.359-370.
R. Flewitt (2011). Bringing ethnography to a multimodal investigation of early literacy in a digital age. Qualitative Research. 11(3), pp.293-310.
B. Dicks, R. Flewitt, L. Lancaster, K. Pahl (2011). Multimodality and ethnography: working at the intersection. Qualitative Research. 11(3), pp.227-237.
S. Wolfe, R. Flewitt (2010). New technologies, new multimodal literacy practices and young children's metacognitive development. Cambridge Journal of Education. 40(4), pp.387-399.
M. Nind, R. Flewitt, J. Payler (2010). The social experience of early childhood for children with learning disabilities: inclusion, competence and agency. British Journal of Sociology of Education. 31(6), pp.653-670.
R. Flewitt, M. Nind, J. Payler (2009). `If she's left with books she'll just eat them': Considering inclusive multimodal literacy practices. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. 9(2), pp.211-233.
R. Flewitt, M. Nind (2007). Parents choosing to combine special and inclusive early years settings: the best of both worlds?. European Journal of Special Needs Education. 22(4), pp.425-441.
R. Flewitt (2006). Using video to investigate preschool classroom interaction: education research assumptions and methodological practices. Visual Communication. 5(1), pp.25-50.
R. Flewitt (2005). Is every child's voice heard? Researching the different ways 3‐year‐old children communicate and make meaning at home and in a pre‐school playgroup. Early Years. 25(3), pp.207-222.
R. Flewitt* (2005). Conducting research with young children: some ethical considerations. Early Child Development and Care. 175(6), pp.553-565.
R. Flewitt (2005). Using multimodal analysis to unravel a silent child's learning. Early Childhood Practice: The Journal for Multi-Professional Partnerships. 7(2), pp.5-16.
R. Flewitt (2019). Ethics and researching young children’s digital literacy practices. In: The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood. Routledge,
R. Flewitt, O. Erstad, B. Kümmerling-Meibauer, ÍS. Pires Pereira (2019). Introduction The emerging field of digital literacies in early childhood. In: The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood.
R. Flewitt (2017). Equity and diversity through story: a multimodal perspective. In: STORYTELLING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD Enriching language, literacy and classroom culture.
R. Flewitt, T. Cremin, B. Mardell (2017). Paley's approach to storytelling and story acting: Research and practice. In: STORYTELLING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD Enriching language, literacy and classroom culture.
R. Flewitt, T. Cremin, B. Mardell, J. Swann (2017). Introduction. In: STORYTELLING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD Enriching language, literacy and classroom culture.
R. Flewitt, T. Cremin (2017). Laying the Foundations: Narrative and early learning. In: STORYTELLING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD Enriching language, literacy and classroom culture.
R. Flewitt, J. Maybin (2016). From crib talk to YouTube. In: Narrative, language and creativity: contemporary approaches.
R. Flewitt, L. Lancaster (2015). Distributed cognition in early literacy. In: Learning from Picturebooks. Perspectives from Child Development & Literacy Studies.
R. Flewitt, L. Ang (2015). Embracing diversity in the early years and primary classroom: a cross-cultural perspective. In: Exploring Education and Childhood: From current certainties to new visions.
R. Flewitt, G. Roberts-Holmes (2015). Regulatory Gaze and ‘Non-sense’ Phonics Testing in Early Literacy. In: Negotiating Spaces for Literacy Learning.
R. Flewitt (2014). Early Literacy Learning in the Contemporary Age. In: Early Years Foundations: Critical Issues.
R. Flewitt, M. Nind, F. Theodorou (2014). Play and inclusion. In: Inclusive Education in the Early Years: Right from the Start.
S. Fraser, R. Flewitt, M. Hammersley (2013). What is research with children and young people?. A. Clark, R. Flewitt, M. Hammersley, M. Robb. In: Understanding Research with Children and Young People. Sage,
R. Flewitt (2013). Interviews. A. Clark, R. Flewitt, M. Hammersley, M. Robb. In: Understanding Research with Children and Young People. Sage,
R. Flewitt, R. Hampel, M. Hauck, L. Lancaster (2013). What are multimodal data and transcription?. In: The Routledge Handbook of Multimodal Analysis.
R. Flewitt (2012). Multimodal Perspectives on early Childhood Literacies. In: The SAGE Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy.
R. Flewitt, M-N. Lamy (2011). The multimodal negotiation of semiotic resources in an online conversation. In: Décrire la conversation en ligne : le face à face distanciel.
R. Flewitt (2009). Reading Transformations. J. Maybin, NJ. Watson. In: Children's Literature: Approaches and Territories. Red Globe Press,
R. Flewitt (2008). Multimodal Literacies. In: Desirable Literacies, Second Edition: Approaches to Language and Literacy in the Early Years.
ED. Dobson, RS. Flewitt, K. Littleton, D. Miell (2011). Studio Based Composers in Collaboration: a Socioculturally Framed Study. In: Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference 2011. pp.373-376.
R. Flewitt, K. Cowan (2019). Valuing young children’s signs of learning: Observation and digital documentation of play in early years classrooms. The Froebel Trust, The Froebel Trust.
J. Gillen, J. Marsh, J. Bus, T. Castro, M. Dardanou, et al. (2018). Digital Literacy and young children: towards better understandings of the benefits and challenges of digital technologies in homes and early years settings. , DigiLitEY and European Early Childhood Research Association (EECERA).
R. Flewitt, T. Cremin, J. Swann, D. Faulkner, N. Kucirkova Evaluation Report of MakeBelieve Arts Helicopter Technique of storytelling and story acting.
R. Flewitt (2011). Multimodal Literacies in the Early Years Summary for practitioners and policy makers. , ESRC.
R. Flewitt, S. Wolfe (2008). Multimodal Literacies in the Early Years Report for participants. Open University
Rosie’s public engagement activity includes radio and TV interviews (eg ‘Radio 5 Live’, BBC World News ‘Click’ programme feature, interviews with practitioner and parent journals). Rosie has advised EU and UK policy on early literacy in a digital age, and is currently a member of a DfE Expert Panel on apps to promote early talk, literacy and communication. Rosie has advised on the development of Early Years Teacher Trainer materials in Ghana, the design of a Commonwealth Secretariat Early Years Toolkit as a policy and education sector resource for developing countries, and on the development of a short course for the UK National Literacy Trust ‘Children’s Reading On and With Screens’.