Marissa McClure Sweeny is Professor and the Program Director of Early Childhood at Carlow University. She is committed to reconceptualizing images of historically marginalized groups of young children and to centering difference through collaborative scholarship, community-based pedagogy, and mentoring. Her forthcoming book, Children’s Digital Images, explores potentials of digital languages with young children and her collaborative photographic work with young children has been exhibited in national venues including the Phoenix Museum of Art. As Montessori-trained and Reggio-inspired early childhood educator, she has taught in schools, museums and community organizations throughout the United States. In 2017, she founded SQUAD Art Studio, an alternative, multi-site, community-based program dedicated to providing materials-rich creative experiences anchored by contemporary art and children’s literature for young children, their caregivers, and preservice educators. She lives with her family in Pittsburgh where she frequently collaborates with her three young children in art making, bird watching, gardening, baking and research. 


PhD, Art Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

MA, Art Education with an emphasis in Language and Literacy Education, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

BA, Literature + Culture, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 

Selected Publications

Transformative Motherscholarship in Art: Public Pedagogies of Childhood. London: Bloomsbury Feminist Thought in Childhood Research Series. Co-Editor with Drs. Georgina Badoni, Shana Cinquemani & Elizabeth Garber (Anticipated Fall 2024).

Postdevelopmental Approaches to Childhood Digital Arts. London: Bloomsbury Postdevelopmental Approaches to Childhood Series. Co-Editor with Dr. Mona Sakr (Anticipated December 2023).

Transformative Art Making and Caregiving with Young Children:

Motherscholarship with The Scribble Squad, Special Issue of Visual Arts Research 48(2) Co-Editor with Drs. Georgina Badoni & Christine Thompson. December 2022. University of Illinois Press.

2023. Storytelling and Error: Challenging Pioneer Ontologies in Early Childhood Education.

Pedagogy, Culture, and Society Special Issue Co-Edited by Jayne Osgood, Sidharth

Mohandas, Nathan Archer & Jo Albin-Clark. Co-author with Dr. Browning Neddeau


Selected Presentations

September 2023. Cinquemani, C., Lewis, L. & Thompson, C. Motherscholarship: Transformative

artmaking and caregiving with young children. 31st Reconceptualizing Early Childhood

Conference, Manchester, UK {Session Chair}.

July 2022. Brady-Nelson, M., Combe, J., Hofsess, B., Lewis, L., & McClure, M. Transformative

artist collaborations: Making with young children and their caregivers. 30th Reconceptualizing

Early Childhood Conference, Vancouver, Canada.

April 2023. Cinquemani, S., & McClure, M. Perspectives on Community Based Education for

and with Young Children. National Art Education Association Convention, San Antonio,


April 2023. Kaplan, H., McClure, M., & Thompson, C. Where are Children in Art Education’s

Vision for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion? National Art Education Association

Convention, San Antonio, TX

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