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Institute of Early Childhood

Dr Kate Highfield

  • bio Highfield KateTitle: Doctor        
  • Position: Lecturer
  • Qualifications: B Ed (Primary), UTS; M Ed (Early Childhood), Macquarie; PhD, Macquarie.

Contact Details

  • Ph: 9850 9878
  • Email: kate.highfield@mq.edu.au
  • Fax: 9850 9890
  • Room: 266, Building X5B

Areas of Expertise

  • Educational technology
  • Simple robotics
  • Mobile technologies
  • Mathematics and Science curriculum
  • Pedagogy in primary schools

Profile

Prior to arriving at Macquarie University in 2006, Kate worked as classroom teacher and has spent over ten years teaching Kindergarten to Year Six. Kate is particularly interested in young children's use of technology in learning, problem solving and play. Kate currently lectures in the areas of Technology, Mathematics and Science.

 

Research Interests

Broadly Kate researches the impact of technology as a tool in learning and play, with young children, undergraduate students, parents and educators. Under this broad umbrella Kate has worked with teachers in rural and remote settings, parents and children.

Kate's PhD examined young children's technology plan and the use of programmable toys (simple robotics) in the development of early mathematical and meta-cognitive understandings. This work, with preschool and K-2 children, also investigated children's problem solving, gesture and drawn representations of learning. 

Kate's current research explores young children's learning and play with technology, with a focus on touch technologies, including mobile devices, Tablets, iPads and smartphones. This work examines digital play, in both home and educational settings, and focuses on the impact of interactive multi-media on learning and play. 

Community Outreach 

Kate is committed to high quality and engaging teacher professional development. She presents in a range of professional development forums including conferences, school based sessions and in online professional networks. Through this community outreach Kate's focus is on effective technology integration for learning and problem solving, with a focus on interactive technologies, interactive whiteboards, robotics and online tools.

Kate also acts as a referee for a number of research and professional journals and conferences.

Publications

Publications

Year Link Citation
In press   Hadley, F., Cheeseman, S., De Gioia, K., Highfield, K., & Degotardi, S. (accepted, in press, 2016). Stories of pedagogical leadership: Collaborative professional learning. In A. Fleet, C. Patterson and K. De Gioia (Eds). Change Thinkers (chapter 8). London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
2015   Owens, K. & Highfield, K (2015). Visuospatial Reasoning in Contexts with Digital Technology. In K. Owens (Ed) Visuospatial Reasoning (pp. 275 - 289). Springer International Publishing. Switzerland
2015   Papic, M.M., Mulligan, J.T., Highfield, K., McKay-Tempest. J., & Garrett, D. (2015). The impact of a patterns and early algebra program on children's learning in transition to school in Australian Indigenous communities. In B. Perry, A. Gervasoni, & A. MacDonald (Eds.). Mathematics and transition to school: International perspectives, (pp. 217-236). NY: Springer.
2015   Highfield K., & Papic, M. (2015). Riding the wave of social networking in the context of preservice teacher education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 15(3). Retrieved from http://www.citejournal.org/vol15/iss3/currentpractice/article1.cfm
2015   Stevenson, M., Hedberg, J., Highfield, K. & Diao, M. (2015) Visualizing Solutions: Apps as Cognitive Stepping‑Stones in the Learning Process.  Electronic Journal of e-Learning (EJEL) 13, 5 pp. 365‑378
2015   Armstrong, A., Donohue, C. & Highfield, K. (2015). Technology Integration: Defining what is appropriate for young children. Exchange 225, pp. 28 - 33.
2015   Savard, A. & Highfield, K. (2015) Teachers' talk about Robotics: Where is the Mathematics? In M. Marshman, V. Geiger, & A. Bennison (Eds.). Mathematics education in the margins (Proceedings of the 38th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia), (pp. 540-546). Sunshine Coast: MERGA.
2015   Hedberg, J., Highfield, K., & Stevenson, M. (2015). Transforming the Education Digital Supply Chain (TtEDSC) Evaluation Report for the Australian Association of Independent Schools.
2014   Highfield, K. (2014). Stepping into STEM with young children: Simple robotics and programming as catalysts for early learning. In Donohue, C. (Ed.), Technology and digital media in the early years: Tools for teaching and learning (pp.150-161). New York: Routledge and Washington: the National Association for the Education of young Children (NAEYC).
2014   Gordon, C. & Highfield, K. (2014). Why does the moon change shape?: Inclusive Science and Technology in the early years. In Cologan, K. (Ed) Inclusive education in the early years: Right from the start. (pp. 422 - 438).  Melbourne, Australia, Oxford University Press.
2014   Hedberg, J., Stevenson, M., & Highfield, K. (2014). Evaluating the effectiveness of the ESA-ABC Splash website through user research and feedback. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281411815_Evaluating_the_effectiveness_of_the_ESA_-_ABC_Splash_website_through_user_research_and_feedback
2013   Goodwin, K & Highfield (2013). A framework for examining technologies and early mathematics learning. In L. D. English and J. T. Mulligan (Eds.), Reconceptualising early mathematics learning (pp 205-226). New York: Springer.
2013   Papic, M., Mulligan, J. T. & Highfield, K. (2013). Numeracy. In D. Pendergast & S. Garvis (Eds.). Reforming early childhood education (pp 86-107). Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
2013   Bower, M., Highfield, K., Furney, P. & Mowbray, L., (2013) Supporting pre-service teachers' technology-enabled learning design thinking through whole of programme transformation. Educational Media International, 50, 1. pp. 39 - 50
2013   Highfield, K., & Goodwin, K. (2013). Apps for mathematics learning: A review of 'educational' apps from the iTunes 378 App Store. In V. Steinle, L. Ball & C. Bardini (Eds.), Mathematics education: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia), (pp. 378 - 385), Melbourne: MERGA.
2013   Papic, M., Highfield, K., Mulligan, J., McKay-Tempest. J., Garrett, D., Mandarakas, M., & Granite, E. (2013). The implementation of the Patterns and Early Algebra Preschool (PEAP) Professional Development (PD) Program in Indigenous communities across New South Wales. In V. Steinle, L. Ball, & C. Bardini (Eds.), Mathematics education: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. (Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, p. 13). Melbourne: MERGA.
2013   Mitchelmore, M. C., Mulligan, J. T., Highfield, K., Goodwin, K., & Marston, J. (2013). Top Drawer Teachers: Pattern Drawer. ICT toolkit resources for teachers to support the Australian Curriculum- Mathematics. Adelaide: Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers/Education Services Australia.
2012   Goodwin, K., & Highfield, K. (2012).  iTouch and iLearn: An examination of "educational" apps. Paper presented at Early Education and Technology for Children Conference, March 14-16, 2012, Salt Lake City, USA.
2012 Book Chapter Warburton, W. A., & Highfield, K. (2012). Children, media and technology. In J. Bowes, K. Hodge & R. Grace [Eds.], Children, families and communities (pp. 142-161). London: Oxford University Press.
2011   Hadley, F., De Gioia, K., Highfield, K. (2011) Traversing the cultural and pedagogical divide: understanding complexities for international students completing school based professional experience. Proceedings of the Australian Association for Research in Education Conference (2011: Hobart, Tasmania). Australia: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE). Retrieved from: http://www.aare.edu.au/publications-database.php/6166/traversing-the-cultural-and-pedagogical-divide-understanding-complexities-for-international-students
2010   Highfield, K. (2010).Robotic toys as a catalyst for mathematical problem solving. Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 15, 22-27.
2010

Highfield, K. (2010). Possibilities and pitfalls of techno-toys and digital play in mathematics learning. In M. Ebbeck & M. Waniganayake (Eds.) Play in early childhood education: Learning in diverse contexts (pp. 177-196). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

2009

Highfield, K. (2009) Mapping, Measurement and Robotics. Reflections, Journal of the Mathematical Association of New South Wales, Inc. Vol.34, Number 1. pp 52 - 55

2009

Highfield, K. & Goodwin, K. (2009) Interactive Whiteboards. Reflections, Journal of the Mathematical Association of New South Wales, Inc. Vol.34, Number 1. pp 49-52

2009

Highfield, K., & Mulligan, J. T. (2009). Young children's embodied action in problem-solving tasks using robotic toys. In M. Tzekaki, M. Kaldrimidou, & H. Sakonidis (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 2, pp. 273-280). Thessaloniki, Greece: PME.

2008   Highfield, K. & Mulligan, J. T. (2008). Young children's engagement with technological tools: The impact on mathematics education. Paper presented to the International Congress of Mathematical Education (ICME 11): Discussion Group 27: How is technology challenging us to re-think the fundamentals of mathematics education? Retrieved December 1, 2008 From http://dg.icme11.org/tsg/show/28
2008 Mulligan, J., Mitchelmore, M., Marston, J., Highfield, K. & Kemp, C. (2008) Promoting mathematical pattern and structure in the first year of schooling; An intervention study. In O. Figueras, J.L. Cortina, S. Alatorre, T. Rojano & A. Sepulveda (Eds.) Proceedings of the Joint Meeting of PME 32 and PME-NA XXX. Vol 4. pp. 1 - 8. Mexico: International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education Psychology of Mathematics Education
2008 Goodwin, K. & Highfield, K. (2008) A Meta-analysis of recent research in early mathematics learning and technology. In O. Figueras, J.L. Cortina, S. Alatorre, T. Rojano & A. Sepulveda (Eds.) Proceedings of the Joint Meeting of PME 32 and PME-NA XXX. Vol 1. pp. 343. Mexico: International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education Psychology of Mathematics Education
2008 Highfield, K. & Goodwin, K. (2008) A Review of Recent Research in Early Mathematics Learning and Technology. In M. Goos, R. Brown & K. Makar (Eds.) Navigating Currents and Charting Directions (Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia) Vol. 1 pp 259 - 264. Adelaide; MERGA
2008 Highfield, K., Mulligan, J., & Hedberg, J. (2008). Early mathematics learning through exploration with programmable toys. In O. Figueras, J. L. Cortina, S. Alatorre, T. Rojano, & A. Sepulveda (Eds.), Proceedings of the joint meeting of PME 32 and PME-NA XXX (Vol. 3., pp. 169-176). Mexico: International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education.
2008 /28 Highfield, K. & Mulligan, J. (2008) Young Children's engagement with technological tools: the impact on mathematics learning. International Congress of Mathematics Educators: Discussion Group 27: How is technology challenging us to re-think the fundamentals of mathematics education? Retrieved on July 5, 2008 from http://dg.icme11.org/tsg/show/28.
2008 Mulligan, J., Mitchelmore, M., Kemp, C., Marston, J. & Highfield, K. (2008) Encouraging Mathematical Thinking Through Pattern and Structure; an Intervention in the First Year of Schooling. Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom,13 (3) pp.10 - 15
2008 Highfield, K. & Goodwin, K. (2008) ICT in K-2 Mathematics Classrooms. Reflections, Journal of the Mathematical Association of New South Wales, Inc. Vol.33, pp 2-4
2007 Highfield, K. (2007) Using ICT to develop Early Patterning and Algebraic Reasoning Skills with Young Children. Reflections, Journal of the Mathematical Association of New South Wales, Inc. Vol.32, pp 24-26
2007 Highfield, K. & Mulligan, J. (2007) The role of dynamic interactive technological tools in preschoolers' mathematical patterning. In J. Watson & K. Beswick (Eds.) Mathematics: Essential Research, Essential Practice, (Proceedings of the 30th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia) Vol. 1 pp 372-381. Adelaide: MERGA.
2007 Mulligan, J., Mitchelmore, M., Kemp, C., Marston, J. & Highfield, K. (2007) The impact of an intervention on the development of mathematical pattern and structure in the first year of schooling. In J. Watson & K. Beswick (Eds.) Mathematics: Essential Research, Essential Practice, (Proceedings of the 30th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia) Vol. 2 pp 920. Adelaide: MERGA.

 

Grants 

Grants

Year Source Title Amount
2013 Education Services Australia Evaluation of the ABC Splash Website. (Hedberg, Highfield & Stevenson).  
2013 Australian Association of Independent Schools Independent Schools and the NBN The Transforming the Education Digital Supply Chain (TtEDSC). (Hedberg, Highfield & Stevenson).  
2010 Australian Research Council ARC Linkages Grant: Improving numeracy outcomes for young Indigenous children through the Patterns and Early Algebra Preschool (PEAP) Professional Development Program. (Papic, Highfield & Mulligan). $170,000
2010 Macquarie University Learning and teaching Grant Enabling a theory practice nexus for international students in professional experience. (DeGioia, Highfield & Hadley). $9,994
2009 Macquarie University Emergent Technology Grant Examination of the tools available in the social networking platform, NING, to facilitate discussion and reflection in Mathematics, Science and Technology learning. (Highfield & Papic). $9,464

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Teaching

Session 1

  • ECH335: Young Children's Mathematics, Science and Technology 2
  • ECH431: Teaching and Learning Mathematics
  • ECHP323: Reflective Practice 3
  • ECHE455: Literacy and Numeracy across the Primary Curriculum (Stage 2 and 3)

Session 2

  • ECED827: Learning Through Mathematics, Science and Technology in Early Childhood Settings
  • ECH430: Teaching and Learning Science and Technology
  • ECHE455: Literacy and Numeracy across the Primary Curriculum (Stage 2 and 3)
  • ECH232: Young Children's Mathematics, Science and Technology 1
  • ECHP324: Reflective Practice 4