Keynote Speaker

Dr Sonya Gaches Lecturer
Early Childhood Programmes Coordinator 
University of Otago College of Education. 
Dunedin Aotearoa, ​New Zealand

Dr Sonya Gaches, EdD is currently a Lecturer and Early Childhood Programmes Coordinator at the University of Otago College of Education in Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand.  Prior to this she was an Assistant Professor of Practice in Early Childhood Education in the College of Education at the University of Arizona and an early childhood classroom teacher of toddlers and early primary grades for over twenty years.  

Sonya’s teaching and research interests include the lived experiences of teachers and children as well as children’s rights, participation and well-being.  Sonya’s teaching and research also investigates how teachers’ and children’s rights and experiences interact with social and education policies.  Her most recent research has focused on addressing ethical issues while consulting and researching with young children and how children’s rights are situated within proposed new early childhood policy matters.  Sonya has held leadership positions in the Critical Perspectives in Early Childhood Education (CPECE) SIG of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education (RECE) Conferences. ​