In Conversation… Professor Kathy Sylva

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This is part of the “In Conversation…” series, these are live and recorded webinar and podcast discussions with the leading players in child and adolescent mental health. 

Hear from Professor Kathy Sylva OBE on her research which has explored early education and children’s development, parenting interventions, and the impact of children’s centres on families.

Kathy is a Professor of Educational Psychology and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, as well as ACAMH President.

Listen on SoundCloud or iTunes now.

Professor Kathy Sylva is Professor of Educational Psychology and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. She has carried out many large scale studies on the effects of Early Childhood Education and Care on children’s development. She also studies ways to help parents to support the development of their children. She has published 7 books and more than 200 papers, most on early childhood, early literacy, interventions and ways to support families. A dominant theme throughout her work has been the impact of education and care not only on ‘academic knowledge’ but on children’s behaviour, self-regulation, and disposition to learn. A related theme in her research is the impact of early intervention on combating social disadvantage in both high and low income countries. Kathy has been specialist advisor to Select Committees in the House of Commons and also the House of Lords.


This is a really good insight into Prof Kathy Sylva’s important work on early years education and play. It fits in well with the current Wellcome Collection exhibition in London on ‘Why Play Matters?’. It is just a pity that educational research such as Kathy’s work is not referenced in that exhibition.

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