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Dr Yuwei Xu
Rm 767
20 Bedford Way
Tel: 02073315239
  • Research Fellow
  • IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment
  • UCL Institute of Education
UCL Subsidiary Supervisor

I am a research fellow at the Centre for Teacher and Early Years Education (CTEY), UCL Institute of Education. Prior to this, I worked as a lecturer in children and family studies at the University of Portsmouth, UK from 2016-2019. I am a convenor for British Educational Research Association (BERA)’s Early Career Researcher Network, serve as an editorial board member for British Educational Research Journal (BERJ) and Journal of Childhood, Education & Society, and sit on the executive committee for Gender and Education Association (GEA) as membership lead. I am also an incoming editor for Children & Society Journal from January 2021. 

As a sociologist of education, gender and childhood, I have particular research interests in the influences of gender on young children’s experiences in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings. My PhD project (2018) investigated how gender is embedded in the day-to-day interactions between practitioners and children, adopting a cross-cultural approach to engage with gender discourses in Scotland, Hong Kong, and Mainland China. 

So far, I have researched about topics such as gender balance and men in early childhood education, child agency, child-centred diversity and quality education, 0-3 curriculums, parenting, early reading, play-based pedagogy, and women in STEM. My research is cross-cultural and comparative, I have conducted projects in contexts such as the UK, China, Europe, Australia, and South Africa in collaboration with international researchers. 

Research Groups
Research Summary

Currently, I am working on the following international research projects: 

1. Cross-cultural reflexivity and gender-sensitive teacher training in early childhood education and care (ECEC): Case studies in England, Germany, and Sweden (as principle investigator, funded by British Association for International and Comparative Education, £5k, 2019-2020); 

2. The life trajectories of women PhD students in STEM: A Comparative Study of China, Serbia and the UK (as principal investigator, funded by University of Portsmouth Theme Research & Innovation Fund, £10K, 2018-2019); 

3. Child-centred Diversity in Quality Early Childhood Education and Care (as principal investigator, funded by Smart Vision, China, £11K, 2018-2020); 

4. Career Trajectories of Men in (and out of) Early Childhood Education and Care: A 12-country comparison (as co-investigator, 2017-2019); 

5. Exploring the Edge of Citizenship (as co-investigator, funded by University of Portsmouth Them Research & Innovation Fund, £16k, 2019-2021);

6. The Inward and Outward Mobilities of Chinese Academics who Obtained Their PhDs from Outside China (as co-investigator, funded by Ministry of Education, People's Republic of China). 

Teaching Summary

PhD Supervisions:

I currently prioritise PhD applications in those topics: gender, men and LGBT groups in ECEC, children's voices & agency, (gendered) parenting, teacher professional development, birth to three care and education, early assessment (with assessment tools like ECERS, CLASS, etc.), and play.


Lin Chen, Child agency and Chinese family relationships; 

Zeyi Liu, Female engineering students in Chinese universities;

Enze Guo, Global citizenship education in Chinese universities; 

Mohamed Mahgoub, Social justice and assessment in Egyptian secondary education.

University of Queensland: 

Victoria Sullivan, Men's participation in Australian ECEC.

Durham University:

Di Wang, Gender and drama education in Chinese ECEC. 

MA Early Years Education & MA Gender, Society and Representation: Dissertation supervisor.

External Examination: 

BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies, University of Derby (2018 - 2022). 

05-SEP-2016 – 12-AUG-2019 Lecturer in children and family studies School of Education and Sociology University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2018   Doctor of Philosophy University of Glasgow
2012   Master of Arts King's College London
2011   Bachelor of Education Shanxi University
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