Dr Julie Kirkham

MSc Family and Child Psychology Programme Leader, Senior Lecturer

Julie is Programme Leader for the MSc Family and Child Psychology. Julie’s research integrates aspects of developmental, cognitive and educational Psychology, looking at the relationships between language and other areas of cognition during early and middle childhood. Her main research focus is upon the development of, and relationships between, language, symbolic play and graphic symbolism. She has also researched the influence of alternative educational systems upon symbolic development.

Qualifications

Julie gained a first class degree in Psychology and Criminology at Staffordshire University. Following this she completed an M.Res degree in Psychological Research Methods at the University of Manchester for which she was awarded a distinction. Julie also completed a PhD in developmental psychology at Manchester University which investigated the relationship between development in graphic, language and symbolic play domains during early and middle Childhood. Julie’s postgraduate study was funded by an ESRC research scholarship.

During the course of her PhD Julie taught modules relating to developmental psychology and childhood studies at Edgehill University. After completion of her doctorate, she lectured for a year on the Education and Childhood Studies undergraduate degree schemes at Aberystwyth University, specialising in modules relating to research methods and children’s play. Julie joined the Psychology department at Chester in October 2011.

Overview

Julie’s research considers systems of symbolic representation during childhood from a developmental and educational perspective. She is particularly interested in children’s drawing development and educational practices in alternative schooling systems such as Steiner and Montessori education. Julie is developing a research profile and has presented at both national and international conferences including those of the British Psychological Society and the Society for Research in Child Development.

Email: j.kirkham@chester.ac.uk

Teaching

Julie is Programme Leader for the MSc Family and Child Psychology and also module leader for PS7304 Child and Adolescent Development on this course. At undergraduate level Julie contributes to the teaching on PS4005 Research Methods and Skills, PS4020 Psychology of the Arts, Media and Culture, PS4016 Applications of Psychology in Education, PS4204 Introduction to Child Psychology and the Psychology of Learning, PS6002 Developmental Psychology, PS6007 Psychopathology and PS6011 Understanding Developmental Disorders modules. She is also a dissertation supervisor at Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels on both the Family and Child MSc and the Psychology Conversion MSc.

Research

Julie has research interests in the following areas:

  • Children’s development in language, graphic symbolism and symbolic play, and the inter-relationships between these representational systems.
  • The influence of alternative educational approaches (specifically Steiner and Montessori schooling) upon symbolic development.
  • Children’s understanding and production of expressive drawings.
  • The role and status of play during early years education.

Published work

Schepman, A., Rodway, P., & Kirkham, J. A. (2017). Shared meaning in representational and abstract artworks. Paper presented at the Visual Science of Art Conference, 25– 27th August, Humboldt Graduate School, Berlin

Rodway, P., Kirkham, J., Schepman, A., Lambert, J & Locke, A. (2016). The development of shared liking of representational but not abstract art in primary school children and their justifications for liking. Frontiers in Human NeuroScience. 10 (21)

Hallam, J., Egan, S., & Kirkham, J. A. (2016). An investigation into the ways in which art is taught in an English Waldorf Steiner school. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 19, 136-145.

Schepman, A., Rodway, P., Pullen, S. J., & Kirkham, J. A. (2015) Shared liking and association valence for representational art but not abstract art. Journal of Vision, 15 (5), 1-10. 

Kirkham, J. A., & Kidd, E. (2015). The effect of Steiner, Montessori and National Curriculum education upon children’s pretence and creativity. The Journal of Creative Behaviour, Vol. 0, 0, pp. 1–20.

Kirkham, J. A., Stewart, A., & Kidd. E. (2013). Concurrent and longitudinal relationships between development in graphic, language and symbolic play domains from the fourth to the fifth year. Infant and Child Development, 22, 297-319.

Submitted Manuscripts

Carroll, J, Kirkham, J, A., Yilmaz, M & O’Neill, L. Enhancing learning and teaching through technology: Promoting student engagement through electronic voting systems using mobile phones. (Studies in Higher Education)

Conference Presentations

Kirkham, J, A.  & Fletcher, L. (2016). Relationships between the cognitive and affective aspects of pretend play and creativity and expressive language in 4-5 year old children. Paper to be presented at the BPD Developmental Section Annual Conference, 14-16th September, Hilton, Belfast.

Kirkham, J, A., Rodway, P., Schepman, A., Locke, A., & Lambert, J. (2015). The development of aesthetic judgments of abstract and realistic artworks from 4 to 10 years. Paper presented at the BPS Developmental and Social Section Annual Conference, 9- 11 September 2015, Palace Hotel, Manchester

Hallam, J., Kirkham, J. A, & Egan, S. (2015) . An investigation into the ways in which art is taught in an English Waldorf Steiner school. Paper accepted at the BPS Developmental and Social Section Annual Conference, 9- 11 September 2015, Palace Hotel, Manchester

Kirkham, J, A., Rodway, P., Schepman, A., Locke, A., & Lambert, J. (2015) The development of aesthetic judgments of abstract and realistic artworks from 4 to 10 years. Paper accepted at the BPS Developmental and Social Section Annual Conference, 9- 11 September 2015, Palace Hotel, Manchester

Hallam, J., Kirkham, J. A., & Egan, S. (2015) . An investigation into the ways in which art is taught in an English Waldorf Steiner school. Paper presented at the Applied Qualitative Research in Psychology Conference, 23rd July 2015, University of Derby.

Lloyd, J., Rohner, R. P., Kirkham, J, A., & Yilmaz, M. (2014). The PARQ-AO: A valid and reliable tool for assessing perceived parental acceptance in parent-adult offspring relationships. 5th International Congress on Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection,  Chisinau, Moldova, 24-27 June, 2014.

O’Neill, L., Carroll, J., Yilmaz, M., & Kirkham, J. A. (2014) Enhancing the student experience through electronic voting systems using mobile phones. Paper presented at the HEA STEM Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, University of Edinburgh, 30 April – 1 May 2014).

Kirkham, J, A., Kidd, E, J., & Stewart, A, J. (2009). The relationship between development in graphic, language and symbolic play domains during the fourth year. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Conference, 1- 4 April 2009.

Kirkham, J, A., Kidd, E, J., & Stewart, A, J. (2009). The effect of Steiner, Montessori and Mainstream education upon children’s graphic, language and pretend play development. Paper presented at the BPS Educational Psychology Conference, 30 October – 1st November 2009.

Kirkham, J, A., Kidd, E, J., & Stewart, A, J. (2008). The relationship between development in graphic, language and symbolic play domains during the fourth year. Paper presented at the BPS Developmental Psychology Conference, 1-3 September 2008.