Debbie Albon

Debbie Albon


Former affiliation

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

  • Food and eating practices in early childhood settings
  • The co-construction of early childhood practice through the lens of ‘food events’ – young children’s playful participation in the ‘life’ of their settings
  • Issues of ‘risk’ and the ‘civilising’ of children’s bodies
  • Qualitative methodological approaches including ethnography and action research; and methods that involve eliciting young children’s perspectives
  • Sociology and history of childhood 

I am currently researching and writing about the work of Alice Gomme, who was pivotal in the formation of the English Folk Cookery Association as well as writing about children's games in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. I am also co-editing a special edition of the journal Ethnography and Education with Professor Christina Huf, which has an early childhood focus.


I began my career as a nursery nurse working as a maternity nanny and nursery nurse in a variety of early childhood settings. I later qualified as a teacher and worked as a nursery teacher, Foundation Stage coordinator and manager of an Early Years Centre.I have been a traveller liaison link teacher within a school, worked on family learning programmes, supported non-maintained early childhood settings within a local authority and have also coordinated curriculum areas such as science and design/technology.

I joined the Early Childhood team at Roehampton University in September 2016 having worked at London Metropolitan University for 13 years. I am a former student of Roehampton University (known as the Roehampton Institute) - as a BA, PGCE and MA graduate.



  • NNEB (National Nurseries Examination Board) – Clifton Nursery Nurses College, Bristol 1981-1983
  • DIPLOMA IN EARLY CHILDHOOD STUDIES – Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey 1991-2
  • BA (HONS) IN SOCIAL POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION AND EDUCATION STUDIES (1st class) - Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey, 1992-1995
  • PGCE (Primary/Early Years Specialism) – from University of Surrey (Roehampton) between 1995-6
  • MA EARLY CHILDHOOD STUDIES (distinction) - Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey, 2000-2003
  • PHD - London Metropolitan University, successfully submitted in 2010, Title: An Ethnographic Study Examining Food and Drink Practices in Four Early Years’ Settings

Professional affiliations

  • I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • I was external examiner at Liverpool John Moore’s University on their BA programme (2012-16), Glyndwr University (PhD in 2016), Bury St Edmonds (Suffolk) in 2019, and am soon to take up appointment as external examiner at Bath Spa for the BA ECS in September 2019
  • I regularly review articles for journals such as Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Childhood, Gender and Education etc... I also regularly act as reviewer for the publishers: OUP and Sage
  • Member of the British Sociological Association (special interest groups for childhood and food)
  • Member of the APPG 'Fit and Healthy Childhood'


Primarily, I teach on the BA and MA Early Childhood Studies. I am module convenor for the year two module: Children's Wellbeing: Health and Safeguarding. I also work with Sigrid Brogaard-Clausen and Michelle Cottle on developing the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies programme, working with students and early childhood settings.

Research projects

  •  My PhD research (An Ethnographic Study Examining Food and Drink Practices in Four Early Years’ Settings) was conducted between 2006-2010.
  •  I was involved in a project with a multi-disciplinary group of academics, public health officials, and voluntary organisations from New York and London. We investigated what London and New York can learn from each other in relation to tackling child obesity.  The report ‘A Tale of Two ObesCities’ (2010$FILE/a-tale-of-two-obescities.pdf) was presented at City Hall, London.
  •  I was joint-investigator on a research project looking at early childhood professionalism (2006)
  •  I was a practitioner researcher on the Froebel Blockplay Research Project in the late 1980s/early 1990s under the Directorship of Professor Tina Bruce. This book was influential on early childhood practice both through the published book (Exploring Learning 1992 edited by Pat Gura) and through the video materials and INSET activity.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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