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Subject Leader (SL) (Undergraduate Education) with responsibility for leading developments relation to the student experience on the Undergraduate Framework, including implementing strategies to improve student satisfaction, achievement and retention within the Division of Academic & Professional Studies. I joined the University in 2004 and my first task was to design and implement the Sector Endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years. This role and course were absolutely key to the current suite of successful early years programmes we offer, not only at Huddersfield but with partners in Oldham, Barnsley and Wakefield. To build this suite of programmes has required me to work closely with a number of external agencies including CWDC, Local Authorities, FE Colleges, Schools, early years settings and an expanding team of tutors.I have been instrumental in growing the course from the first cohort of 25 students to more than 500 students and providing opportunities for many non-traditional students to access Higher Education. Testimony from the Local Authorities and many settings shows that these students are also practitioners who make a significant and positive difference to lives of children. I still teach many modules on these courses and retain lead responsibility for the course to ensure quality and equality across the provision.
Prior to joining the University I taught for ten years in a range of settings including Primary School, Pre-School and FE College.
Current Research Interests
The title of my Doctoral Thesis is Early Years Professional Status: A Narrative Study of Leadership and Contradictory Professionalism
Other research interests include children’s physical development and leadership in early childhood education and care
Dyer, M. and McMahon, S. (2017) ‘Development of the early years sector’. In: Work-based Practice in the Early Years: A guide for students. : Routledge. . ISBN 978-1138673656
McMahon, S (2017) ‘Leadership in ECEC’. In: Work-based Practice in the Early Years: A guide for students. : Routledge. . ISBN 978-1138673656
McMahon, S. and Dyer, M. (2017) Work-based Practice in the Early Years: A Guide for Students . London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-67365-6
Crow, A. and McMahon, S. (2017) ‘Working in partnership with placement’. In: Work-based Practice in the Early Years: A guide for students. : Routledge. . ISBN 978-1138673656
McMahon, S (2017) ‘Observation and assessment’. In: Work-based Practice in the Early Years: A guide for students. : Routledge. . ISBN 978-1138673656
Firth, N. and McMahon, S. (2017) ‘Listening to Practitioners: The Key to High Quality Inclusive Sustainable Practice in ECE’. In: Early Childhood Education: Beyond the Crisis, 29/08/17 to 01/09/17, Bologna, Italy
McMahon, S (2016) ‘'You have to be a leader but don't want to come across as taking over' : Leading Practice in Early Childhood Education and Care’. In: BERA Annual Conference 2016, 13th-15th September 2016, Leeds, UK
McMahon, S (2016) Early Years Professional Status: A Narrative Study of Leadership and Contradictory Professionalism Doctoral thesis, Sheffield Hallam.
McMahon, S. and Firth, N.(2016) Evaluating practitioners' experiences of developing fine motor skills for emergent writing. University of Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield (Unpublished).
McMahon, S (2016) ‘'You have to be aleader but don't want to come across as taking over': Leading Practice in Early Childhood Education and Care’. In: School of Education and Professional Development Post Graduate Research Festival 2016, 7th April 2016, University of Huddersfield
Harvell, J. and McMahon, S. (2016) ‘Observation’. In: The Early Years Handbook for Students and Practitioners. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 402-415. ISBN 9781138776395
McMahon, S., Dyer, M. and Barker, C. (2016) ‘Mentoring, coaching and supervision’. In: The Early Years Handbook for Students and Practitioners. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 433-447. ISBN 9781138776395
McMahon, S. and Dyer, M. (2014) ‘A narrative approach to professional identity’. In: EARLI SIG 14 Conference - Learning and Professional Development, 27th - 29th August 2014, University of Oslo
McMahon, S. and Percival, J. (2013) ‘Supervision and reflective practice’. In: Safeguarding and Protecting Children in the Early Years. : Routledge. pp. 180-193. ISBN 9780415527507
Marsden, F., McMahon, S. and Youde, A. (2013) ‘Inter-agency working, observation and assessment’. In: Safeguarding and Protecting Children in the Early Years. : Routledge. pp. 165-179. ISBN 9780415527507
McMahon, S (2011) ‘With the benefit of hindsight: Reflections of new researchers engaged in an externally funded, collaborative research project’. In: University of Huddersfield Research Festival 2011, 28th March-2nd April 2011, University of Huddersfield, UK
McMahon, S (2011) ‘A lasting Legacy: Higher Education and Work-based Learning Making a Difference in Early Years’. In: Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) Annual Conference, 20th-22nd March 2011, Stirling, UK
Daniels, C. and McMahon, S. (2010) ‘Professional identity in children and young people's workforce’. In: Personal & Public Lives Conference, 9th September 2010, University of Huddersfield
Daniels, C. and McMahon, S. (2010) ‘Professional identity and multi-disciplinary working: is there a crisis in the children and young people's workforce?’. In: University of Huddersfield Research Festival, 8 - 18 March 2010, University of Huddersfield
Other External Work
Collaborative project with ‘Teamworks’, an alliance of Teaching Schools and the LA in Calderddale on ‘Evaluating Practitioners’ Experiences of Developing Fine Motor Skills for Emergent Writing’
BERA/TACTYC Early Childhood Special Interest Group –Policy Advice and Research Agendas (2014)
Recent supervisions have included:
I am interested in supervising studies which primarily relate to early years policy, practice and pedagogy for example I recently supervised a study which focused on how the environment in a setting supports language acquisition for children with EAL. I also supervised a student who carried out an evaluative study on the implementation of Every Child a Talker.
Currently I am supervising a student whose focus is on childminders and their training and development needs and another who is evaluating technological applications for tracking children's progress.
Further information is available about Research Topics and Supervision within the School of Education and Professional Development.
Teaching and professional activities
In my teaching I focus specifically on how children learn and develop in Perspectives on Learning and Development, , work based learning and other professional issues in Professional Practice modules. I also deliver specialist sessions focusing on Leadership in ECEC at undergraduate and Masters level. I have responsibility for teaching The Major Study module to year 3 Early Years students.
Modules I teach:
I also supervise research studies at Honours,, Masters and Doctoral level.
In addition I provide personal and professional tutor support to part time and full time students.