SPEAKERS

Dr Nic Spaull

Dr Nic Spaull is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Research on Socioeconomic Policy (RESEP) group at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He has recently returned from Paris where he was a Thomas J Alexander Fellow at the OECD, and before that a Visiting Scholar in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University in the United States. Nic has a PhD in economics and has published numerous journal articles on education focusing on assessment, accountability, literacy and education policy in South Africa. Nic is currently working on the Funda Wande project which is developing a certificate to teach Foundation Phase teachers how to teach early grade reading in african languages, funded largely by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Endowment.  He advises numerous NGO’s, policy-makers and grant-making bodies, and also regularly updates his website (nicspaull.com) with new research and articles he finds interesting. 

Prof Oye Taiwo

Oye Taiwo, Director, Yorùbá Language Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria is a language activist and an advocate for the use of indigenous languages in early childhood literacy in Nigeria. The Yorùbá Language Centre, which he heads, is at the forefront in the encouragement of parents and guardians for the use of the Yorùbá language in the early child in the Nigerian society where the English language has a domineering influence over indigenous languages because of its influential status as the official language in Nigeria. Through the use of audio-visual learning aids such and cartoons, folktales, quizzes, home videos, etc., the Centre has embarked on the campaign in elementary schools, private nursery and primary schools, at motor parks and markets, and other outreaches, to encourage the Yoruba community to use the language. The Centre is also committed to the development and creation of Yorùbá terminologies in various domains and fields for effective use and development of the language.

Oye Taiwo is a professor of Linguistics and Yoruba language, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Jane Whinnett

Jane Whinnett MBE is head of two maintained nursery schools in Edinburgh. Her love of stories and reading led to studying English Language and Literature. Jane is committed to supporting training for all who work with young children through modern apprenticeships, initial training, the Froebel certificate course at the University of Edinburgh and most recently tutoring on the Masters course there. She is a founder member of the Edinburgh Froebel Network, organising 11 successful conferences and coordinating master classes for students who have completed the course. In 2014 Jane became a Trustee of the Froebel Trust and is currently the chair of the Education and Research Committee.
She was awarded the MBE in The New Years Honours list 2019 for services to Early Childhood Education.

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