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

I am a research fellow at the UCL Centre for Teacher and Early Years Education (CTEY) and a lecturer teaching on the MA Education and MA Early Years/Primary Education programmes at UCL Institute of Education. 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. 

My other academic roles include:

Editor, Children & Society (2021 - );

Editorial Board Member, British Educational Research Journal (2021 - );

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Childhood, Education & Society (2019 - );

Executive Committee Member & Membership Lead, Gender and Education Association (2019 - );

Convenor for Early Career Researcher Network, British Educational Research Association (BERA) (2015 - ).

Research Groups
Research Summary

In addition to CTEY projects (0-3 curriculum, school readiness, early reading, parenting), I am working on the following international research projects: 

1. Understanding young children's perspectives on and experiences of COVID-19 in China and the UK (as principal investigator, funded by UCL-ZJU Strategic Partner Fund, £10k, 2021-2022);

2. LGBT Educators’ Practices Concerning Diversity in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC): An Exploratory Study of Australia, England, Mainland China and Hong Kong, (as principal investigator, funded by IOE International Funds, £5k, 2021-2022);

3. Cross-cultural reflexivity and gender-sensitive teacher training in early childhood education and care (ECEC): Case studies in England, Germany, and Sweden (as principal investigator, funded by British Association for International and Comparative Education, £5k, 2019-2021); 

4. Young children’s perspectives on their male and female teachers: 9-country case studies (as co-principal investigator, 2020-2023); 

5. 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, 2018-2020); 

6. Child-centred diversity in quality early childhood education and care (as principal investigator, funded by Smart Vision, China, £11k, 2018-2020); 

7. 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, ¥80k, 2020-2021). 

Teaching Summary

PhD Supervisions:

I currently prioritise PhD applications in: gender, men and LGBT in ECEC, children's voices & agency, (gendered) parenting, teacher professional development, 0-3 care and education, early assessment (e.g. ECERS, CLASS), and play.


Lin Chen, Child agency & Chinese family relationships; 

Zeyi Liu, Female engineering students in Chinese universities;

Enze Guo, Global citizenship education in Chinese universities; 

Jiajie Liu, Academic identity of Chinese early career academics.

University of Queensland: 

Victoria Sullivan, Men in Australian ECEC.

Durham University:

Di Wang, Gender & drama education in Chinese ECEC. 

MA Education & MA Early Years/Primary Education

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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