Aleksandra Acker is a lecturer in Early Childhood and Primary Education at RMIT, specialising in Languages and Literacies in Early Childhood; Inclusive Education in Early Childhood; and Music and Movement in Early Childhood.
Having studied both a Bachelor of Education and PhD at RMIT, Aleksandra Acker now shares her expertise with students in Early Childhood and Primary Education. Aside from lecturing in the School of Education, she also supervises Master and PhD students. She has conducted and published a number of studies concerning music and young children. In 2015, Aleksandra and her colleagues published a book with Routledge – Musical Childhoods: Explorations in the pre-school years.
Outside of teaching, as part of her creative research outputs, Aleksandra is the artistic director and vocalist of musical ensemble Anja & Zlatna. An accomplished ensemble performs traditional and contemporary melodies and sounds from the Balkans and beyond, fused with the structural architecture of baroque. Anja & Zlatna have performed for ABC Sunday Live, Melbourne Recital Centre, and a number of international and humanitarian concerts.
Influenced by the programs of Reggio Emilia she wants to see music as an integral part of mainstream curriculum and treated as one of the languages of childhood.
She is a council member of Music Council Australia where she represents Early Childhood Music Education.
Research projects and consultancy
Aleksandra has conducted a number of studies concerning music and diversity in early childhood settings. Her co-written book involved in ongoing research with her colleague Dr Berenice Nyland (RMIT), Dr Jill Ferris (RMIT) and Jean Deans, Suzana Klarin, Kyle Payman (The University of Melbourne). Our research aims to stimulate scholars, practitioners and a broader society to deeply consider and value the voices of young children as they exchange and promote their ideas, attitudes and values, including the identities ascribed to the children themselves especially in relation to how creativity and imagination are nurtured.
Previous projects include a multi-case study of three different music specialists. In 2010, the Magic Flute Project explored children's engagement with different types of musical experiences. In 2011, the children's and teachers' singing groups and their sustainability program were the main focus of the research. Aleksandra was involved in establishing the ELC children's choir (an ongoing project: The ELC Children's Chorus: Singing for the Earth). In 2018, 'Young children's multimodal expressions of custodial responsibility to Earth' project began.
Aleksandra collaborates with Family Services of Whittlesea Council, Melbourne, conducting workshops for early childhood professionals and families. These workshops highlight the benefits of music as a tool to explore diversity in early childhood settings. Aleksandra presents a repertoire of songs and chants that feature different languages and can be effectively used with young children. Future workshops will also explore inclusion of children with disabilities in general preschool settings.
- Bachelor of Education (RMIT University)
- Masters of Education (LaTrobe University)
- Doctor of Philosophy (RMIT University) – Doctoral Thesis: “Young Children, Music and Diversity”
- Nyland, B.,Acker, A. (2017). Early childhood teacher training: music and a transnational experience In: Proceedings of the 17th International Seminar of the International Society for Music Education Commission on Early Childhood Music Education, Ede, The Netherlands, 17-22 July 2016
- Acker, A.,Nyland, B. (2017). Music as a platform for intercultural understanding: early childhood curriculum and a growing neoliberal imperative In: Intercultural Studies of Curriculum Theory, Policy and Practice, Cham, Switzerland
- Acker, A.,Jobson, S.,Nyland, B. (2017). Revisiting video data to research children's involvement when engaged in purposeful musical activity In: Australian Journal of Music Education, 51, 29 - 40
- Nyland, B.,Acker, A.,Ferris, J.,Deans, J. (2015). Musical childhoods: Explorations in the pre-school years, Routledge, Abingdon, United Kingdom
- Acker, A.,Nyland, B.,Niland, A. (2015). The relationship between children's learning through music and the use of technology In: Australian Journal of Music Education, , 64 - 74
- Acker, A. (2015). Lullabies, wedding and funerals In: Melbourne Recital Centre Spotlights Southbank, Melbourne
- Niland, A.,Acker, A.,Nyland, B. (2014). Early childhood music education and young children's musical cultures in a digital age In: Music and media infused lives: Music education in a digital age, Canadian Music Educators' Association, Canada
- Nyland, B.,Acker, A. (2014). Collaborative music project: sharing our singing In: Proceedings of the 2014 International Society for Music Education: Early Childhood Commission Seminar 'Listening to Diverse Musical Beginnings', Brasilia, Brazil, 15-19 July 2014
- Acker, A.,Nyland, B. (2014). Choirs and cultural identity: a children's choir in Belgrade In: Victorian Journal of Music Education, , 30 - 37
- Acker, A. (2014). The Beautiful Balkans In: ABC Classic FM "Sunday Live" Southbank, Australia
2 PhD Completions3 PhD Current Supervisions