Research at Leeds Beckett
About Yinka Olusoga
Yinka is a Senior Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education, specialising in early childhood education and in the history of education.
Yinka has particular interests in child-initiated play and early years pedagogy, and in the historical and current role of discourse in the social construction of childhood and of schooling. Her work examines themes of power and control, and of social class, gender and race, and their intersections.
Yinka began her career in education as a primary teacher. She taught in Key Stages 1 and 2 in Birmingham and Liverpool, gaining experience working in multi-ethnic communities and with children with additional needs. She then specialised in the early years, first in reception and then running a nursery class in London.
Yinka left the classroom to run a project based at the University of Leeds. From there she moved into Initial Teacher Education, teaching on primary and early years teacher training courses and on Education Studies and Childhood Studies degrees. Since 2006 she has led the PGCE Primary Education (Early Years, 3-7), leading to QTS course. She teaches modules on play, early years pedagogies, the history of early years education and international approaches to early childhood education. She is co-editor of the internationally published book 'Perspectives on Play: Learning for Life' and has also written on the subject of the inclusion of refugee children and teachers in schools.
Yinka is the course leader for the PGCE Primary Education (3-7). She also teaches modules on the BA (Hons) Primary Education (3-7), BA (Hons) Childhood Studies and MA Childhood Studies and Early Years. Her modules include:
- Level 5
- Historical and International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Care
- Perspectives on Primary Teaching
- Level 7
- Playful Learning and Playful Pedagogies
- Child Development: Assessment, Pedagogy and Curriculum
Yinka's doctoral research examines the social construction of the working class school child in key historical documents from the 18th and early 19th centuries, and the birth of the state education system. Drawing on the discourse-historical approach to critical discourse analysis, she investigates how groups are positioned and power is exercised in these pivotal documents and how this informed (and continues to inform) educational practice.
Yinka is also involved in research on child-initiated play and student teachers' experiences of implementing play pedagogies in schools. She contributes to the Story Makers Company, a partnership between Leeds Beckett University and a range of creative companies that explores the opportunities of story via drama, creative writing and play.