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Jaclyn completed her BA (Hons) in Anthropology at Rhodes University in her native South Africa. Following this she worked in the early childhood development non-profit sector in Cape Town where she served as project and advocacy manager. Realising her interest in academic research and teaching she then moved to Barcelona to complete her Master's and PhD in Education at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. Her PhD centred on intercultural education with a specific focus on social justice and identity formation in early childhood. Using an ethnographic research approach she explored the complexities of how young children construct and perform their ‘race’ identities in early schooling. Set within the broad framework of transformation and integration within the education system, key aspects such as diversity, difference and identity were examined in order to understand how dominant ideological and discursive frameworks serve to structure socially constructed categories and imbue them with power. 

Jaclyn then moved to the United Kingdom where she joined the University of Winchester as Senior Lecturer in Education and Early Childhood Pathway Leader within the Education Studies programme. Her responsibilities include leading a number of modules and engaging with colleagues through presenting her work at international conferences and publishing in academic journals. At different times Jaclyn has worked as a consultant to evaluate various and diverse early childhood initiatives that have been implemented in South Africa. Taken together, these experiences in international contexts have helped develop and strengthen her teaching skills, the ability to conduct rigorous and specialised research within the field of early childhood care and education and an in-depth knowledge and experience of early childhood issues in both academic and organisational settings.

Areas of expertise

Jaclyn's main areas of expertise and interest are early childhood education (theory, policy and practice), intercultural education, the anthropology of education, the sociology of childhood and international development with an early childhood focus.


Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Murray, J. (2012) Learning to live together: An exploration and analysis of managing cultural diversity in centre-based early childhood development programmes. Intercultural Education 23(2): 89-103

Book chapters

  • Murray, J. (2014) Identity concepts and early childhood development: An ethnographic study of identity discourses and cultural diversity in a South African primary school. In P. Cucalón Tirado (ed.) School ethnography and interseccionality, pp. 55-61. Madrid: Traficantes de Sueño

Professional publications

Research and consultancy reports

  • Murray, J. (2013) An evaluation of language and literacy practices in the Foundation Phase. Get Ahead Project, Whittlesea, Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • Murray, J. (2007) An evaluation of the Senza Umahluko project located in the Chris Hani Municipal District of the Eastern Cape Province. Centre for Early Childhood Development, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Murray, J. (2006) An evaluation of the Edutainer Programme for the Zoë Carss Education Trust. Centre for Early Childhood Development, Cape Town, South Africa


  • Murray J. (2015) Identity concepts and early childhood education: An ethnographic study of identity discourses and cultural diversity in a South African primary school. 25th European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Conference. Barcelona, Spain.
  • Murray J (2015) Troubling 'race', power and preschool in post-apartheid South Africa. 23rd International Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education Conference. Dublin, Ireland.
  • Murray J (2013) Identity concepts and early childhood development: An ethnographic study of identity and cultural diversity discourses in a South African primary school. III International Conference of Ethnography and Education. Madrid, Spain
  • Murray J (2009) Celebrating cultural diversity in early childhood: Constructing an innovative intercultural education programme for practitioners working in early childhood development centres. Pan-African Early Childhood Development Conference: Advancing Early Childhood Development. Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Murray J (2004) English - Liberation or Liability? Preschool experiences in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Anthropology Southern Africa Conference. Bloemfontein, South Africa
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