Dr. Margie Mayfield

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Dr. Margie Mayfield

Professor Emerita, Early Childhood Education, Language and Literacy

PhD (Early Childhood Education), University of Minnesota

MA (Early Childhood Education), University of Minnesota

BA (Elementary Education, Social Science (History)), Macalester College


My career in early childhood education began when I was 6 years old and taught my brother and his best friend to read. From 1977-2009, I taught early childhood education, and language and literacy at UVic. Before that, I taught children 3-9 years of age in North America, Europe and the Middle East. (I have also traveled extensively in South America, Asia, and the Pacific Rim). In addition, I have coordinated K-3 programs for school districts, directed preschool programs, been a demonstration teacher, and worked with special needs children. I have been an active member of the UVic Speakers Bureau since its beginning.
  • Early childhood education
  • Emerging literacy
  • Program evaluation
  • Comparative and historical early childhood education
  • Family literacy
  • Children's play and play spaces

The following are samples of my publications and presentations since 1977.

Programs for Young Children & Their Families

I have long had an interest in programs for both young children and their families such as family resource centres, toy libraries, early intervention programs, and children's museums.

Why Kindergarten for three-to five-year olds? UVic Masterminds Lecture Series. April 21, 2010.

Mayfield, M.I. (2007). Toy libraries, play, and play materials. In D.J. Sluss & O.S. Jarrett (Eds.). Investigating play in the 21st century (pp. 249-258). Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

Mayfield, M.I. (2005). Children's museums: Purposes, practices, and play? Early Childhood Development and Care, 175(2), 179-192.

Community play spaces. Paper presented at International Play Association Conference, Berlin, Germany. July 18-22, 2005.

Mayfield, M.I. (2001).  Early childhood education and care in Canada. Contexts, dimensions and issues. Toronto: Prentice-Hall.  (589 pages)

Family Resource Centres. Keynote address at Children and Families Today conference, Osaka, Japan, August 7, 1995.

Mayfield, M.I. (1993). Family support programs: Neighbourhood programs helping families. International Journal of Early Childhood, 25, 2, 45-50.

Mayfield, M.I. (1993). Work-related child care for hospitals: Selecting and planning programs. Victoria: B.C. Ministry of Women's Equality.

Mayfield, M.I. (1990). Work-related child care in Canada. Ottawa: Labour Canada.

Comparative and Historical Early Childhood Education

This area of interest and research combines my love of travel and other cultures with early childhood programs, curriculum and teacher education.

Maria Montessori: Advocate for women and children.  Paper presented at National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference, Dallas, TX, November 5-9, 2008.

Mayfield, M.I. (2007). Maria Montessori's contributions to early childhood education: 1907-2007. Early Childhood Education, 37(2), 3-8.

Mayfield, M.I. (2003). Continuity among early childhood programs: Issues and strategies from an international view. Childhood Education, 79(4), 239-241.

Mayfield, M.I. (1998). Kindergarten in the Czech Republic: Tradition and transition. Canadian Children, 23(2), 22-28. Mayfield, M.I. (1994). Boarding kindergartens in China. Canadian Children, 19(2), 28-31.

Mayfield, M.I. (1994). Primary education in Tibet. Prime Areas, 36(3), 112-115.

Mayfield, M.I. (1993). Toy libraries: Promoting play, toys, and family support internationally. Early Child Development and Care,87, 1-13.

Home-School Programs: An International Review. Paper presented at 12th World Congress on Reading, International Reading Association, Gold Coast, Australia, July 8, 1988.

Program Evaluation

For more than 35 years, I have conducted evaluations of early childhood programs including kindergarten, family support programs, special needs programs, and programs for First Nations families and children.

Mayfield, M.I. (1997). Handbook for external review teams. Victoria: Ministry of Children and Families.

Mayfield, M.I. (1996). Monitoring and self-assessment tool for early intervention programs. Victoria: Ministry of Health.

Mayfield, M.I.; Dey, J.D.; Gleadow, N.E.; Liedtke, W.; & Probst, A. (1981). Kindergarten Needs Assessment - General report. Victoria, B.C.: Ministry of Education. This was judged the Best Needs Assessment of 1981 by the American Educational Research Association.

Emerging Literacy & Family Literacy Programs

Early childhood education has long recognized the importance of the family in the development of young children and in programs such as family literacy programs.

Mayfield, M.I. (2005). Family literacy programs: Fostering early literacy. In M. Pardis, A. Ward, & S.R. Mathews (eds.). Reading, writing, thinking (pp 70-76) Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Family literacy programs: Fostering early literacy. Paper presented at 13th European Conference on Reading, Tallinn, Estonia. July 6-9, 2003.

Mayfield, M.I. (1999). Family literacy: Intergenerational and international International Journal of Early Childhood, 31 (2), 91-99.

Families 2000: Looking Back - Looking Forward. Keynote address at Annual North American Conference of NACCRRA, Victoria, April 1999.

Mayfield, M.I. (1998). Family literacy and the school library. School Libraries in Canada,18(34), 13-16.

Family Literacy: Children and Families Learning Together. Paper presented at 1998 National Conference of Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs, Montreal, June 1998.

Families as Partners: Literacy Programs for Young Children and Families. Paper presented at Literacy in the School and in the Home: Research and Practice Conference. International Development in Asia Committee, Brunei Darussalam, June 1997.

Mayfield, M.I. (1995). Family diversity and young children's literacy development. In M. Chapman & J. Anderson (Eds.), Thinking globally about language education (pp. 17-33). Vancouver: Research and Development in Global Studies Center.

Ollila, L.O. & Mayfield, M.I. (1992). Emerging literacy: Preschool, kindergarten, and primary grades. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Mayfield, M.I. & Ollila, L.O. (1992). Parent involvement in literacy programs. In A. Wilson (Ed.), The prevention of reading failure. Sydney: Thomas Nelson.

Mayfield, M.I. & Ollila, L.O. (1992). Home and school together: Helping beginning readers succeed. In S.J. Samuels & A.E. Farstrup (Eds). What research has to say about reading instruction(pp. 17-45). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Mayfield, M.I. (1990). Parent involvement in early childhood programs. In I.M. Doxey (Ed.) Child care and education: Canadian dimensions. Toronto: Nelson Canada.

I have made over 400 presentations internationally, nationally, provincially, and locally on a variety of topics.

Currently, I am available to speak on the following topics through the UVic Speakers Bureau:

  • Early Literacy Dveleopment of Young Children
  • Women Travellers Throughout the Ages
  • Travelling Lightly and Safely: Tips for Women Travellers

If you are interested to have me speak on any of these topics, please visit the UVic Speakers Bureau to make a booking.