Field of Research (FoR)
Jennifer Skattebol, Dip Ed (EC), B.Ed., PhD, explores issues of economic inequality and how they are experienced by children and their families. She is primarily a qualitative and mixed method researcher grounded in the disciplines of education, sociology and social policy. Her methodological expertise is designing research with children, young people and their families in contexts of disadvantage. She has worked extensively with...view more
Jennifer Skattebol, Dip Ed (EC), B.Ed., PhD, explores issues of economic inequality and how they are experienced by children and their families. She is primarily a qualitative and mixed method researcher grounded in the disciplines of education, sociology and social policy. Her methodological expertise is designing research with children, young people and their families in contexts of disadvantage. She has worked extensively with government and non-government bodies on issues related to early years education, child and youth poverty and how service systems might better meet the needs of these young Australians and their families. She is interested in how constructions of family are lived and experienced and how the nexus of the family is a site where inequalities and power focus, operate, are resisted and transformed. This work includes consideration of how young people manage tensions between family and school (and other services) and how services might be more responsive to the needs of disadvantaged citizen. Current research projects include equitable access to early childhood education and care, of child wellbeing in the middle years and an investigation of the lifecourses of young poeple using multiple service systems.
Jennifer Skattebol's research interests include children and young people's experiences of poverty, education in underserved and/or under resourced communities, child/youth-centred methodologies, and participatory methodologies.
Teaching HDR Supervision:
Jennifer Skattebol welcomes enquires from prospective Higher Research Candidates interested in children and young people’s experiences, families with young children, services for low income and culturally diverse communities.
Inara Walden: Participation in Indigenous policy making
Jan Idle: Talking and Listening in Primary School
Kabirul Islam: Food Security and Social Safety Net Programs: A Study of Bangladeshi Rural poor Households
ARC Linkage grant (LP180100142) Engagement in early childhood education in the context of disadvantage.
September 2019-September 2022
with Dr Megan Blaxland, Dr BJ Newton, Dr Marianne Fenech, Ass Prof Christine Woodrow, Prof Frances Press, Ms Penelope Markham; Dr Sandra Cheeseman.
Industry Partners: KU children's services; Family Day Care Australia; Early Childhood Australia; Goodstart Early Learning, Creche and Kindergarten Association Queensland.
This research responds to enduring inequalities in children’s participation in high quality early childhood education and care (ECEC). Contemporary families face precarious labour markets and a childcare system with stringent workforce participation requirements. This project will illuminate the affordances of everyday life for families most challenged by these emergent conditions and develop understandings of how to calibrate services accordingly. Findings will support universal ECEC access through knowledge translation about contemporary disadvantage to policy and practice forums. A strong Indigenous component contributes to researcher training and knowledge about effective practice for Indigenous children and their families.
ARC Discovery Program: Social Exclusion in Adolescence.
with Prof Gerry Redmond (lead CI); Professor Fiona Brooks; Prof Colin Macdougal, Ass. Prof Pammi Raghavendra; Ass Prof Gill Main
March 2019-March 2022
This project aims to investigate social exclusion among young people (aged 8-17) – the risks of exclusion they face, the assets mobilised to support their inclusion, their lived experiences in the context of these risks and
assets, and outcomes that matter for their overall life chances. Applying a social exclusion framework to existing cross-sectional and longitudinal survey data, and informed by in-depth qualitative research with young people, the
project will investigate which risks, assets and experiences are most closely related to outcomes, and how these vary age and gender. The project will provide a new understanding of the relationship between social exclusion
and outcomes in adolescence, and entry points for policy intervention.
Gonski Institute or Education: Equitable Access to High Quality Early Childhood Education
July 2019-Dec 2019
with Dr Megan Blaxland, Dr Elizabeth Adamson
Industry Partners: Early Learning and Care Council of Australia; The Front Project; Early Childhood Australia; KU Children's Services.
The Council of Australian Government 2008 plan to ensure all children have access to 15 hours of preschool in the year before school has seen increasing numbers of children utilising Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services. However, there remains a persistent minority of children who still do not access ECEC. These children are likely to live in disadvantaged contexts and have the most to gain from ECEC. The Australian Early Development Census shows that nearly 40% percent of Indigenous children and 35 percent of children living in low-income areas (Q1 and Q2 on the SEIFA index of disadvantage) do not attend ECEC (O’Connor, 2016) and do not accrue the advantages that a high quality ECEC experience offers. Furthermore, they are more likely to live in areas where there is little high quality ECEC provided in both regional and urban areas. This project will coalesce the evidence on the barriers to ECEC take-up, identify communities where there are better than expected (‘off-diagonal’) patterns of service use among families who share the characteristics of families who do not use ECEC services, generate evidence on effective ECEC initiatives in different contexts of local area disadvantage.
Gonski Institute or Education: What does sucess mean for Aboriginal children in NSW preschools?
July 2019-July 2020
with Dr Megan Blaxland (lead CI) and Wendy Jopson
High quality early education has been identified by SNAICC (2019) as a key strategy for ensuring equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are helped by their family and communities to start school through strong family support, strong cultural identity, good health and a positive self-identity. But the desire of Indigenous families for their children to be well-engaged and well-supported in school and learning is not always successfully met by the educational institutions, including preschools, that children attend. This project will adopt a strengths-based, co-design research model, in which research plans and methods are developed collaboratively with participating communities. With a view to co-designing a proposal for research on what success looks like for Aboriginal communities and families, this project will undertake scoping and relationship building as the foundation for future research.
Industry Partners: Cages Foundation
Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood), B. Ed., PhD, UWS
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
Dr Jennifer Skattebol is available to be a principal supervisor for doctoral projects on Early Childhood Education and Care policy and ECEC practice in high poverty contexts. She also has expertise in inequality and social policy, children and young people's participation, and families.
Dr Skattebol has been a member of the UNSW Human Research Ethics Committee.
Jennifer is also a regular reviewer for academic journals including Discourse: Cultural Studies in the politics of Education; Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Australian Educational Researcher, Qualitative Studies in Education, Child Indicators Research.
Dr Skattebol is a company director of KU Children's Services.
Jen Skattebol welcomes enquires from prospective Higher Research Candidates interested in children and young people’s experiences, families with young children, services for low income and/or culturally diverse communities, practitioner or participatory research methods.
Dr Skattebol is currently supervising Inara Walden, Jan Idle and Kabir Islam