About this blog

Hello, I am Dr. Louisa Penfold and I work in children’s art education!

I run Art Play Children Learning – a blog for parents that helps to make art fun and meaningful for kids.

I also work at Harvard University as a Post-Doctoral Researcher in Early Childhood Education.

Check out the video below to hear what Art Play Children Learning is all about…

This blog features ideas for how parents can cultivate children’s creativity at home.

To find your way through the posts, I have created a ‘Directory’ of six different sections. These are art, materials, play, learning, children’s creative spaces as well as a section on my academic research.

I love connecting with others who share my enthusiasm for art and education so sign up to the mailing list to stay in touch!

A little about me 

Aside from nerding out about art and children’s learning on this blog, I also do some other things.

I am originally from Melbourne, Australia but have lived a very international life.

From 2015-2019 I lived in England while doing my PhD in Art Education. My research looked at the design of children’s creative learning environments in art museums. This work was run as a partnership between the University of Nottingham, Tate and the Whitworth Art Gallery. A big part of this was looking at how children’s creative learning can be supported by artist’s experimentation with materials. You can read more about this in my article ‘Material matters in children’s creative learning’ which was published in MIT’s Journal of Design and Science in 2019.

My PhD supervisors were Professor Pat Thomson (School of Education, University of Nottingham) and Dr. Emily Pringle (Head of Learning Practice & Research, Tate). The research was funded by the University of Nottingham, Brisbane City Council, The Ian Potter Cultural Trust and The Graduate Women of Queensland Fellowship Fund.

I have also worked as a Children’s Curator at The Ipswich Art Gallery and as an Exhibitions Assistant at Artslink Queensland (Australia). More recently, I have was a Research Fellow on Serpentine Galleries’ Changing Play programme (UK).

In 2012, I also spent time researching intergenerational learning approaches in American art museums as part of my Master thesis. This research was undertaken in the education departments at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Smithsonian and the Museum of Modern Art.

In February 2020 I moved to Boston to take up my current position as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Early Childhood Education at Harvard University. I am currently working on a research project looking at the roll out of universal pre-K across community preschools. I am also working on writing my first book for parents on children’s art education.

Please feel free to send me an email to say hello!

Louisa x

P.S. Thanks to Stefan Zander for filming the video.

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Art Play Children Learning by Louisa Penfold is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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