Associate Professor Maryanne Theobald

Associate Professor Maryanne Theobald is an interaction analyst who applies the interactional approaches of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis to study children’s experiences such as disputes and friendships in the home, school, playground; interactions with digital technologies and in multilingual contexts. Maryanne is pioneering the use of video-stimulated participatory approaches that enable children to contribute their perspectives of their childhood, to research. As Research Fellow, Maryanne is interested in co-designing research with children to investigate their experiences online. Her research has practical application for real world educational and social matters, including children’s rights, children’s view on play, social interaction, friendships, disputes, children’s digital experience, and communication in education, therapy and culturally and linguistically diverse settings. Maryanne aims to codesign and report on research that positions children as active participants, recognising children’s rights to have a say and voice an opinion within digital spaces.

Children’s engagement in the digital world has been a focus of Maryanne’s research. She led a Queensland Department of Education project that investigated how educators can guide young children to be critical thinkers as they interact with information they access on the web. Maryanne was part of the project team Helping young children find their voice: Apps, e-therapy, and technological innovation, funded by QUT’s Engagement and Innovation Grant. She is currently investigating children’s celebrations in early childhood settings, funded by a Margaret Trembath Scholarship. The project will produce a collection of digital stories showcasing children’s voices and experiences of what and how celebrations are enacted in their everyday lives.

Earliest digital memory
Playing the video game, The Hobbit, as a teenager. It had to be hooked up in an elaborate process to the TV set. The ongoing challenges were addictive – and I recall such a feeling of accomplishment on completion! This experience gives me a window into understanding the pull of gaming.

More People

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child acknowledges the First Australian owners of the lands on where we gather and pay our respects to the Elders, lores, customs and creation spirits of this country.

The Centre recognises that the examples we set in diversity and inclusion will support young children to respect and celebrate differences in all people. We embed diversity, inclusivity and equality into all aspects of the Centre’s activities and welcome all people regardless of race, ethnicity, social background, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and national origin.