Conference of Childhood, Education & Society


Prof.Dr. Zsuzsa Millei

Tampere University, Finland

Zsuzsa Millei (PhD) is a Professor of Early Childhood Education at Tampere University, Finland. Her research focuses on ‘child politics’: the many ways in which childhood and politics (power) intertwines, such as children being instrumentalised for politics, or their lives being governed in line with political agendas (mass schooling or educational, psychological or health and wellbeing policies; how children live with the unintended effects of politics (ideological regimes or war) and act as political subjects / agents. Her studies combine policy analysis, ethnography, collective biography and art methods and seek to gain insights into how children are subjected to power relations, how those create conditions for their life, and how children participate in and contest those. She sees childhood and early childhood education as a political and generational time and space, where power shapes relations, notions of childhood, what is ‘good’ and beneficial for children, and how to best raise, educate and care for children. Her decades long projects explore ‘Nationalism and Childhood’ (e.g. special issues in journals of Global Studies of Childhood and Children’s geographies, articles and edited collection), ‘Memories of childhoods lived in state socialist societies’ (edited book and special issues and articles, and forthcoming open access book titled ‘The anarchive of memories: Restor(y)ing Cold War childhoods’), and the ‘government of children and childhood’. In a more recent experimental project titled ‘Microbial childhoods’, she thinks together with multidisciplinary scholars about children and childhood and Earthly politics and children as biosocial beings and members of multispecies communities during our time of climate heating. She is also passionate about creating kind and caring academic cultures through her collegial relations. Professor Millei leads the research group ECEPP: Early Childhood Education Institutions, Policies and Practices and co-leads the subgroup Child Politics and Early Childhood.

Prof. Dr. Mathias Urban

Dublin City University, Ireland

Mathias Urban, PhD, is Desmond Chair of Early Childhood Education, and Director of the Early Childhood Research Centre (ECRC) at Dublin City University, Ireland, Professor (II) of Pedagogy at the University of Stavanger, Norway, and Affiliate Professor and Fellow at EDPolicyFORWARD: The Center for Educational Policy at George Mason University, USA. He works on questions of integrated early childhood systems, diversity and equality, social justice, and professionalism in diverse sociocultural contexts. Mathias has over 20 years’ experience in designing and leading international collaborative research projects. He was awarded the ‘Marianne Bloch Distinguished Career Award’ by the international Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education network in 2018, and the DCU President’s Research Impact Award 2020. 

Mathias is the lead author of the 2018 (Argentina), 2019 (Japan), 2020 (Saudi Arabia), 2021 (Italy), and 2022 (Indonesia) G20/T20 early childhood development, education and care policy briefs, and a member of the European Commission expert working group on Early Childhood Education and Care.

Prof. Dr. Hasina Banu Ebrahim

University of South Africa, South Africa

Hasina Banu Ebrahim is a research professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education at UNISA. She also holds the UNESCO Co-chair in Early Education, Care and Development. Her research coheres around Early Childhood at the Margins with special reference to policy, practice and workforce development. In her work she contests dominant framings of early childhood and show its fragility for addressing diversity and equity. She advocates for engagement with complexity and intersectionality in unpredictable times for early childhood.  Her work has earned her the status of a rated researcher with the South African National Research Foundation. She has also won prestigious institutional and national awards. She continues to be influential in the ECD field through her expansive publications, appointments on task teams and as the convener of the knowledge generation working group in the Early Childhood Cluster in the African Union. She served as a sector editor and is currently on editorial boards of leading international early childhood journals. She has led projects with international and national funding on knowledge transfer, professionalization and curriculum. Her current projects are on ECD workforce sustainability and systems for social justice and equity.