Louise is currently co-principal investigator of Civic Action and Learning with Young Children: Comparing Approaches in New Zealand, Australia and the United States (funded by the US Spencer Foundation), leading the Australian investigation of preschoolers’ civic capabilities.

This comparative ethnographic study focuses on how young children from marginalized communities in New Zealand (Maori), Australia (Aboriginal) and the United States (Latino Immigrant) use their own resources and understanding to negotiate coexistence with others (civic learning).

The purpose of the study is to a) identify the types of civic action understanding(s) that children bring with them to preschool from their homes and communities, b) identify a range of principles that enable young children and teachers to engage in authentic, meaningful, capacitybuilding activities around civic action and c) explore preschool teachers’ pedagogies that foster children’s capacity for civic participation and engagement.

Louise is one of eight Australians to be granted a prestigious Spencer Foundation major grant in the last ten years.

See also The walking neighbourhood hosted by children.