Associate Professor and CYS Department Chair


PhD (2018) University of Toronto – Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)

M.Ed (1986) University of Cincinnati, (Early Childhood Education)

B. Ed (1984) Acadia University (Special Education)

Bachelor of Child Study (1983) Mount Saint Vincent University (Developmental Disabilities)



Level IV Child Care Services Certification, Newfoundland and Labrador

Level 3 ECE, Nova Scotia


  • CHYS 2208 Play and Development: Infancy through to Early Childhood
  • CHYS 2204 Observation and Documentation in Child and Youth Study
  • CHYS 3314 Guiding Children’s Learning, Behaviour and Development

Research Interests

  • Pedagogical Documentation
  • Play-based Learning
  • Reflective Practice

Selected Publications

McLean, C. McIsaac, JLD, Mooney, O., Morris, S., Turner, J. (2022). A Scoping Review of Quality in Early Childhood Publicly Funded Programs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 

McIsaac JLD, Smith ME, Turner J, McLean C, Harkins MJ. (2022). The perceived value of a universal early learning program: A parent perspective. Journal of Child and Family Studies, (2022).

McLean, C. (2022). An Examination of Factors related to the Co-construction of Pedagogical Documentation in Early Learning Settings. Early Childhood Folio 26(1), 16-22. 

Sampson, M.J., McLean, C. (2021). Shifting from a rules-based culture to a negotiated one in emergent curriculum. Journal of Childhood Studies. 46(1), 34-50.

Carolan, P.L., McIsaac, JLD., Richard, B., Turner, J., McLean, C. (2020). Families’ Experiences of a Universal Play-based Early Childhood Program in Nova Scotia: Implications for Policy and Practice. Journal of Research in Childhood Education. DOI: 10.1080/02568543.2020.1773588

McLean, C. (2019). Co-constructed Pedagogical Documentation in Early Learning Settings: A Parent Perspective, Exceptional Education International, 29, 113-134.

McLean, C., Black, L., Ezekiel, F. (2015) Supporting Language in the Early Years, International Journal of Holistic Early Learning and Development, Vol.2 2015 pp. 77-90.

McLean, C. (2011). Identical Ladybugs, Interaction, Canadian Child Care Federation, 25(1) p.17-19.

McLean, C. (2009). What’s Wrong with Colouring Books? Interaction, Canadian Child Care Federation, 23(1) p.10-11.

Book Chapters

Reddington, S. & McLean, C. (2021). Inner city youth ‘building their own foundation’: From art appreciation to enterprise. In D. Price, J. Carter & B. McGill (Eds.), Youth on the edge: Arts, power and educational futures. Palgrave MacMillan.

Selected Presentations

Reddington, S. & McLean, C. (2022). Inner city youth building renewed community connections via art practice and enterprise. 38th Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference and Couch-Stone Symposium, June 22-24, 2022.

McLean, C. (2021). Including the Child’s Voice in Pedagogical Documentation. Canadian Association for Research in Education (CAREC) Post Conference, June 4, 2021.

McLean, C. (2020). Documenting Children’s Play: Including the Child’s Voice. US Play Coalition 2020 Online Conference, Clemson University, South Carolina, June 2020.

McLean, C. & Bertrand, J. (2016) Promoting Language and Literacy during the Early Years, CHANCES Professional Development session, Charlottetown, PEI.

McLean, C. (2016). Remember Play? (keynote) Maximize ELCC Conference, Red Deer, AB

McLean, C. (2016)) Being a Reflective Early Childhood Educator 6th annual Alberta Resource Centre for Quality Enhancement conference, Edmonton, AB

McLean, C. (2015) Remembering P.L.A.Y. Keynote Address: ECE Provincial Conference Nova Scotia Child Care Association Halifax, NS

McLean, C. (2015) Becoming a More Reflective Practitioner Presentation to Early Childhood Educators for ECE Week, Association of Early Childhood Educators of Newfoundland and Labrador (AECENL)St. John’s, NL

McLean, C. (2015) Supporting Language Development during the Early Years Panel Presentation: First Global Conference on Holistic Early Learning, Lakehead University, Orillia, ON

McLean, C. (2014) Co-constructing documentation with children. Conference Presentation ECE faculty Forum, Winnipeg, MB

McLean, C. (2014) Quality Assurance in ELCC Panel Presentation with C. Japel (Montreal) and M. Vandenbroek (Belgium)

Child Care 2020 National Conference, Winnipeg, MB

McLean, C. (2014) Remembering P.L.A.Y. Keynote Address: Churchill Falls ECE Conference Churchill Falls, NL

McLean, C. (2014) P.L.A.Y. Keynote Address: Early Childhood Educators of British Columbia Provincial Conference, Vancouver, BC

McLean, C. (2014) The Role of the Adult in Play-Based Learning keynote Address: Regional AECENL Conference, Gander, NL

McLean, C. (2013) Remembering PLAY Keynote Address: Manitoba Child Care Association Provincial Conference, Winnipeg, MB

McLean, C. (2013) Emergent Curriculum as a Tool for Inclusion Presentation: Manitoba Child Care Association Provincial Conference, Winnipeg, MB