Biographical Information

Professor Anne Smith obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Alberta in Canada in Educational Psychology in 1971, and taught in the Education Department at the University of Otago on her return to New Zealand in 1974. She took up her present position in 1995, as Director of the Children’s Issues Centre, an interdisciplinary children’s research and advocacy centre at the University of Otago. Anne was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1995, received the McKenzie Award for innovative research in Education in 1997, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Oulu Finland in 1998. She is the author of a well known book in child development Understanding Children’s Development, which is now in its fourth edition, and many other publications. Anne’s research is framed by sociology of childhood, children’s rights, and socio-ecological theoretical perspectives, and emphasises children as social actors, interpreters and participants in the events and experiences of their lives. Anne and colleagues at the CIC, have developed a variety of methodologies for observing or talking to children about their experiences in a variety of contexts, including family, school, early childhood centre, and the legal and social welfare systems. Anne’s particular interests in children include social cognition, friendships, situated learning, and how adults scaffold and support the development of children’s thinking and agency.