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Self-Regulation and Cognitive Development

Our research

Within the Self-Regulation and Cognitive Development (SRCD) theme, experts from Education and Psychology conduct interdisciplinary research to understand processes underlying early self-regulation and cognitive development, with the practical goal of informing practices to support children's development, learning and well-being.

The specific objectives of this group are:

  • To generate insights into early self-regulation development, including the diverse factors that influence its development, and the outcomes that are influenced by self-regulation
  • To create positive and productive changes in early childhood education and care practices that underpin children's learning and development
  • To contribute to Early Start’s program of community engagement through our focus on translational research
  • To make a significant contribution to the Early Start Engagement Frontier of monitoring and observation for development and early learning
  • To support the next generation of researchers (early career researchers, PhD students) in this area
  • To increase international awareness of our researchers, and promote understanding of Early Start as a place of innovation for the benefit of children and those who care for them

For established researchers, future or current research students, organisations, centres or groups interested in collaborating with any member(s) of the team, you can contact the Theme Leader, Associate Professor Steven Howard, or any of the theme members (below) directly.


Elizabeth Aylward

Heather Gan

Jo Grimmond

Faisal Mirza


Renae Pinazza

Stoo Sepp

Gerardo Sozio

Kim Stouse-Lee

Karel Strooband

Stephanie Varcoe

Elena Vasseleu

Lisa Webster




An Early Start to Self-Regulation: A Longitudinal Study

A major area of collective research for our group involves the longitudinal follow-up of 300+ children from their final year of preschool into the early years of primary school. This will help generate understandings of how early self-regulation (and related abilities) develop, ideal ways to understand a child’s self-regulatory development, and the outcomes associated with a child’s self-regulation development.

Monitoring to Optimise Development and Early Learning (MODEL)

Drawing from the expertise of a number of theme members, the Early Years MODEL seeks to develop, validate and disseminate tools to support early years practice, including monitoring children’s learning, development and wellbeing. The research and development priorities for the Early Years MODEL are the creation of valid and reliable tools for monitoring and intentional developmental assessment of children from 3 to 6 years of age in the foundational domains of (1) self-regulation, (2) language & communication, (3) social & emotional development, (4) numeracy & early STEM, and (5) physical development (initially fine motor skills). The tools are being developed in close consultation with educators and are designed to be playful, brief, valid and reliable in educators’ hands, and provide actionable information about children’s development, while at the same time being freely and easily available.