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Announcing our Conference Keynote Speaker: Professor Louise Paatsch

Presentation Title: It’s Children’s Play: fostering learning in the classroom

Professor Louise Paatsch is the Deputy Director of Deakin University's Strategic Research Centre in Education - Research for Educational Impact (REDI), and a Chief Investigator at the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child. Her research focuses on children's communication, language, pretend play, digital play, and literacy development, with a strong focus on metapragmatic and pragmatic language use and the link to social communication. She also investigates teachers' talk patterns and intentional teaching practices in supporting children's and young people's communication, language, and play abilities. Louise also undertakes research that focuses on the communication, spoken language and literacy abilities of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and young people. She also works with teachers and educators to explore their own practices as reflective researchers to support positive outcomes for children, young people, and their families.

Louise employs mixed methods approaches including survey development, case studies, interventions, and video methodology. She also has extensive experience in presenting professional learning programs for early childhood educators, teachers, education support officers, and allied health professionals. Many of these programs include the use of participatory methodologies to support educators to research and reflect on their own practices, and to plan for future oral language, literacy and play teaching and learning.

Louise has published widely in high quality outlets including books, book chapters, refereed journal articles, commissioned research reports and conference proceedings. She has been invited to present keynotes and featured talks at various national and international conferences, workshops and community forums on key issues related to communication, language, play and literacy in children and young people.

Louise is currently the Associate Review Editor for Deafness Education International and Associate Editor for the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education.