Mr Philip Selbie

Mr Philip Selbie

Honorary Lecturer in Early Childhood Education

Plymouth Institute of Education (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Visiting Lecturer in Early Childhood Education - Faculty of Education, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic (2019 - present)

Honorary Lecturer in Early Childhood Education - University of Plymouth (2018 - present)

Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies - Plymouth University (2007- 2018)

Head of Early Years - English International School, Prague, Czech Republic (2004-2007)

Reception & Nursery Teacher - Riverside School, Prague, Czech Republic (1999-2004)

Infant & Reception Teacher - Southampton (1993-1999)


Mphil/PhD - Plymouth University (registered Oct 2010 - def. 2013)

Project title: The historical legacy of J.A Comenius (1592 - 1670): pedagogy, spirituality & young children’s early education

MA in Early Childhood Education - University of Sheffield (2004)

BEd. (Hons) (First Class) - University of Southampton (1993)

Management Diploma - Southampton College of HE (1982)

Professional membership

Member of Early Education (BAECE), International Association for Children's Spirituality (IACS), World Organisation for Early Childhood Education (OMEP UK), European Academic Network on Romani Studies (EANRS), Romani Early Years Network (REYN), Friend of International Step by Step Association (ISSA).

Roles on external bodies

Governor - Ham Drive Nursery School, Ham Drive, Plymouth (2007 - 2013)

Governor - Mayflower Community Primary School, Ham Drive, Plymouth (2008 - 2011)

Governor - Marine Academy Plymouth, Trevithick Road, St Budeaux, Plymouth (2011 - 2016)

Governor - St Peter's CE (VA) Primary School, Rendle Street, Plymouth (2016 - 2020)

Local Governing Board Member - St Peter’s CE Primary School/St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust, Exeter (2020 - current)



Teaching interests

Early Childhood Education and Care, Young Children's Social and Emotional Development, Comparative Perspectives in Early Childhood, Contemporary Issues in the Early Years, Leadership and Management in the Early Years, Historical Pioneers of Early Childhood Education.

University of Plymouth (2007 - 2018) Teaching undergraduate students for BEd (Hons) Primary; BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies and and post graduate students for MA in Early Childhood Studies. 

Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic - (2019 - current) Teaching Erasmus+ students for Young Children's Worlds, Primary Education, Teaching Practice I & II.

Staff serving as external examiners

External Examiner - Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC) for BA (Hons) Educational Studies with Early Childhood Studies (2010 - 2015)

External Examiner - University of South Wales for BA (Hons) Education (2018 - current)



Research interests

Historical Pioneers of Early Childhood Education, Young Children's Spirituality, Philosophy of Early Childhood Education, Comparative Perspectives in Early Childhood.

Grants & contracts

ERASMUS+ KA201 Strategic Partnership - University Practice Partnerships UPPScale: sustaining collaboration across learning environments (2020 - 2023).

ERASMUS+ KA220 School Education Partnership - European Culture Project / Projet Culturel Européen (2021 - 2024).



Key publications


Nutbrown C, Clough, P & Selbie, P (2008) Early Childhood Education: History, Philosophy & Experience, London: Sage

Nutbrown C, Clough P & Selbie P (2008) Early Childhood Education: History, Philosophy and Experience. Sage Publications Limited

Key publications are highlighted


Selbie, P & Clough, P (2005) 'Talking Early Childhood Education: Fictional Enquiry with Historical Figures', Journal of Early Childhood Research,3:2, pp.115-126 (Available here)

Selbie P & Clough P (2005) 'Talking Early Childhood Education: fictional enquiry with historical figures' Journal of Early Childhood Research 2, (3) 115-126 Author Site Publisher Site , DOI

Selbie, P (2015) ‘Spirituality and Young Children’s Well-being’ in R. Parker- Rees & C. Leeson, (eds) Early Childhood Studies: an Introduction to the Study of Children's Worlds and Children's Lives (4thEd). London:SAGE

Wickett, K & Selbie, P (2015) ‘Providing an Enabling Environment’ in R. Parker-Rees & C. Leeson (eds) Early Childhood Studies: an introduction to the study of children's worlds and children's lives (4th Ed). London: SAGE

Selbie, P (2015) ‘Britain: a complex mix of philosophy and politics’, in International Perspectives on Early Years Workforce Development: History, Philosophy and Politics, St Albans: Critical Publishing

Selbie, P & Držalová, A (2013) 'Early Childhood Education and Care in the Czech Republic: recent developments within a changing society', in J Georgeson & J Payler (eds) International Perspectives: Early Childhood Education and Care. Maidenhead:OUP

Selbie, P (2012) 'A Present State of Happiness: Teaching Young Children as Flow', in Jacobs, R (ed) Creative Engagements with Children:International Perspectives. Oxford: Inter-disciplinary Press, pp.53-61

Gabriel, N & Selbie, P (2010) ‘Children’s Health and Well-Being’ in R Parker-Rees & C Leeson (eds) Early Childhood Studies (3rdEd), Exeter: Learning Matters



Reports & invited lectures

'Young Children's Spirituality' Seminar at OMEP UK AGM, 21 November 2015, Thomas Coram Centre, London, UK 

'Jan Amos Comenius: a pioneer of play and early learning in 17th century Europe' Keynote presented at International Conference 'Play Around the World', May 2015. Faculty of Child and Adult Education, University of Debrecen, Hungary

‘The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart’: Jan Amos Comenius and Lessons in Spirituality for Today. Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality, May 2012, Northampton, UK

'A Present State of Happiness: Teaching Young Children as Flow'. Paper presented at the 'Seventh Global Conference: Creative Engagements - Thinking with Children', July 2011. Mansfield College, Oxford, UK

“On Giant’s Shoulders” - the contribution of the ‘greats’. Keynote Speech presented to Early Years and Practical Pre-School Conference 'The Contribution of Traditional and Contemporary Theorists', September 2010. London, UK

‘Child development and the effects of sexually explicit advertising', paper presented to ‘In Our Faces’ conference, September 2005, Prague, Czech Republic

Other academic activities

Editor for The Plymouth Student Educator, an electronic journal showcasing high quality coursework from students in the Plymouth Institute of Education. 

Recently peer reviewed articles for Journal of Educational Policy, History of Education, Gender & Education . (2013) 

Review of 'Quality in Early Childhood Services: An International Perspective' in Early Years, 33 (3), August 2013

Additional information

Nominated for the SSTAR Award for Outstanding Personal Tutor 2013

Nominated for the SSTAR Award for Outstanding Personal Tutor 2014

Nominated for the SSTAR Award for Outstanding Personal Tutor 2015

Nominated for the SSTAR Award for Inspirational Teaching 2015


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