Dr Lorna Arnott

Senior Lecturer


Personal statement

Lorna Arnott is a Lecturer in the School of Education, specialising in Early Childhood Education.  The majority of my work focuses on children's exepriences before the age of five and therefore much of my research and teaching focuses on nursery provision.

Lorna trained as an economist graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2006 with First Class Honours.  Lorna went on to complete a Masters in Research (M.Res) in Education and Social Purpose at the University in Glasgow in 2007, during which she developed an interest in relationships and interaction.  Lorna then completed her Ph.D at the School of Education, University of Stirling in 2011, focusing on young children’s social interactions around technologies in preschool.



  • Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Academic Studies (Academic Practice) - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (2013)
  • PhD in Early Years Education. University of Stirling, Stirling (Full studentship) (2011)
  • Masters of Research in Education and Social Purpose (Fees Scholarship) University of Glasgow, Glasgow (2007)
  • BA (Hons) (1st Class) in Economics and Marketing, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow (2006). Award: Best Business Economics Student 2006.


Exploring the pedagogic culture of creative play in early childhood education
Arnott Lorna, Duncan Pauline
Journal of Early Childhood Research Vol 17, pp. 309-328 (2019)
Digital and multimodal childhoods : exploration of spaces and places from pedagogy and practice
Arnott Lorna, Palaiologou Ioanna, Gray Colette
Global Studies of Childhood Vol 9, pp. 271-274 (2019)
Internet of toys across home and early childhood education : understanding the ecology of the child’s social world
Arnott Lorna, Palaiologou Ioanna, Gray Colette
Technology, Pedagogy and Education Vol 28, pp. 401-412 (2019)
Parental perspectives of children's use of Internet Connected Toys
Palaiologou Ioanna, Arnott Lorna, Gray Colette
Crianças, famílias e tecnologias. Que desafios? Que caminhos? (2019) (2019)
Children's negotiation tactics and socio-emotional self-regulation in child-led play experiences : the influence of the preschool pedagogic culture
Arnott Lorna
Young Children's Emotional Experiences (2019) (2019)
Engaging young children in the research process
Minnis Helen, Crawford Karen, Lang Jason, Moya Nasreen, Karagiorgou Olga, Wall Kate, Arnott Lorna, Cassidy Claire, Theriault Virginie, Blaisdell Caralyn

more publications


Lorna’s teaching generally covers:

  • Early Years Education
  • Research Methods

Lorna most often teaches on the BA Childhood Practice, Master's of Education, PGDE and the BA Education.  Lorna is also interested in delivering research methods training, particularly in relation to qualitative approaches and contributes to both practice-based and academic research training. 

Lorna currently supervises PGR students at Masters, PhD and Ed.D level.


Research interests

Research Interests

Lorna’s research explores young children’s play experiences, typically in relation to technology, creativity and social play.   Her work attempts to understand how the preschool environment and culture, the children and the artefacts contribute to children’s interactions and social experiences.  She is interested in a broader definition of technology which moves beyond the computer towards exploring technological toys, both digital and non-screen based.  Lorna has a further interest in exploring perceptions of technological artefacts in early years settings and how they can be integrated into the playroom.  

Secondly, Lorna's other research focus focuses on innovative methods for consulting with children in early childhood (typically under 6 years old).  She's interesting in voice work broadly with young children.

Research Collaborators

  • Dr. Ioanna Palaiologou (University College London, Institute of Education); Dr. Colette Gray (Stranmillis University College, Belfast); Dr. Sarika Kewalramani (Monash University) and Maria Dardanou (UiT The Arctic University of Norway), on Internet-Connected Toys in Early Childhood.
  • Dr Elisabetta Biffi, (Universita degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca); Dr Ioanna Palaiologou (UCL); Dr Zenna Kingdon (University of Wolverhampton);Dr Alison Clark, Franca  zuccoli, (Universita degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca), on Inside-Outside: Using arts based method to document children's and teacher's perspections.

PhD Students

  • Zainab Attar (2017-present, part-time) Innovative methods with young children and literacy.
  • Loreain Martinez Lejarreta (2016-) Developing young children's critical thinking skills through teacher-children interactions in Early Childhood Education and Care settings.
  • Jennifer Zike (2017, RAE Studentship) Using Pupil Views Templates to investigate the development of thinking across children at point of school entry in Scotland.


Ed.D Students

  • Marion Burns (2013-, part time) Early education with a specific focus on transitions.
  • Gordon Miles (2018-) Lego Therapy and Austistic Children.



Professional activities

European Early Childhood Educational Research Association Annual Conference
The power of arts-based research methods in early years
4th Strathclyde Early Years Educational Research Conference
External Examiner on BA (Hons) Professional Practice: Early Childhood Studies (LTU and Barnsley College); BA (Hons) Professional Practice: Education Studies (LTU and Barnsley College); BA (Hons) Professional Practice: Supporting Children, Young People and Families (LTU and Barnsley College).
External Examiner
Learning through play with Internet-Connected Toys in Early Childhood Education
Invited speaker
An Ecological Exploration of the Internet of Toys in Early Childhood Everyday Life

more professional activities


Socially Innovative Interventions to Foster and to Advance Young Children’s Inclusion and Agency in Society through Voice and Story
Beaton, Mhairi (Principal Investigator) Wall, Kate (Visiting Academic) Arnott, Lorna (Visiting Academic) Cassidy, Claire (Visiting Academic)
The AdVoSt -project will take into practice the theoretical guiding principles for facilitating and enhancing young children’s voice in specific contexts (Wall et al., 2017). This will be done in close cooperation with practitioners working with indigenous children in Finland, marginalized, indigenous, and immigrant children in Canada, and children with diverse ethnical and cultural backgrounds in the UK. Previous literature indicates that young children are often viewed as ‘becomings’ rather than ‘beings’ within their communities. This is especially the case with children from non-mainstream communities, where ‘becoming’ might also mean to become a mainstream citizen, meaning simultaneously compromising identity, culture and language (e.g. von Benzon & van Blerk 2017; Sköld & Vehkalahti 2016). The AdVoSt-project will enhance educators' knowledge of multiple storytelling pedagogies including perspectives of land-based learning. The research-based development of composing narratives with young learners through art, writing, photography, performance and digital representations privilege young children’s voice enabling their full citizenship. These research-based initiatives will contribute to the development of child centred learning that is focused in land-based pedagogy and play. Play helps children to gain positive learning experiences (Tang & Adams 2010). Children’s varied play engagements often use culturally relevant toys and ephemera which help them to narrate their stories and facilitate hearing the voices of young children. However, educators, administration, local communities and parents do not always know how to promote such play to enhance children’s literacy engagements. Additionally, the digital delivery of early childhood education with distance management sets diverse challenges for educational activities. The AdVoSt-project recognizes the challenges concerning minority and indigenous children and will facilitate knowledge sharing between the participating countries and beyond. Using a community-based qualitative, comparative case study approach, the project will ensure that local cultural contexts play a key role in all research activities.
An Ecological Exploration of the Internet of Toys in Early Childhood Everyday Life
Arnott, Lorna (Principal Investigator) Palaiologou, Ioanna (Principal Investigator) Gray, Colette (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2019
Capita PhD Studentship Application Awarded: Open World Gaming for Young Children's Creative Play
Arnott, Lorna (Academic) Levine, John (Academic)
01-Jan-2015 - 01-Jan-2019
Enhancing Early Years KE in Research and Practice
Arnott, Lorna (Principal Investigator) Grogan, Deirdre (Principal Investigator)
Seminar and webinar series for early years professionals with leading scholars presenting from across the world.
01-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2016
BTG- Piloting Self-Initiated Video Reflections for Exploring Creativity in Playful Environments
Arnott, Lorna (Principal Investigator) Weston, Alia (Principal Investigator) Grogan, Deirdre (Principal Investigator)
This Bridging the Gap (BTG) study investigates creativity through the concept of play. It aims to understand how creativity emerges through playful environments and will compare early years children (aged 3-5) in formal educational settings with adults in the work place. It offers two unique perspectives. First, it compares the creativity of adults with early years children, which has not been achieved before. Second, it explores how new interactive technologies (user-friendly self-initiated video diaries for individuals of any age) can be used for collecting data about creativity. This pilot study will inform a larger project, which will develop a conceptual framework for understanding how creativity emerges through play.
01-Jan-2013 - 31-Jan-2013

more projects