Doing Your Early Years Research Project: A Step by Step Guide

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Paul Chapman Educational Publishing, Apr 23, 2005 - Education - 176 pages
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`This book provides an excellent foundation for anyone about to begin a small-scale research project for a diploma or first degree, not only in early years education, but in any educational phase. As its subtitle suggests, it is a step-by-step guide but it goes beyond this in the issues it tackles in several chapters, as well as being a valuable source of information including a glossary of research terminology, and an annotated list of early years journals. It has several strengths, in particular the 'personal research stories' which show the reader how several of the author's students tackled each stage of the research process. A second strength is the use of numerous thought provoking and pertinent activities throughout each chapter which encourage 'interaction' with the text. Guy Roberts-Holmes' accessible book should be on every reading list for people doing their undergraduate dissertations, or about to begin action research or small-scale research projects with children' - Early Years

'The book is written with a keen sensitivity to the needs of the novice researcher in ECEC, managing to demystify the concept of research without degrading it. Reading the excellent guidance on formulating a research question brought back for me the excitement of discovering that a simple, pared down question can yield big and complex answers. Magic! Case-study material from the work of students lends transparency to the discussion and makes real the research experience' - Early Education

`This book will provide invaluable for all those embarking on research of any kind in the filed of early childhood research. The author, an experienced researcher and lecturer in this field, has produced a clear, thorough and informative book which balances theoretical background with lots of practical examples and case studies’ – Foundation Stage

`This new step-by-step guide will prove valuable to anyone completing an early years project. All aspects are covered from designing your research questions to writing your conclusion' - Practical Professional Child Care

`Doing Your Early Years Research Project is an ideal resource to help you through from start to finish. It will help students doing Early Childhood Studies Degree, Teacher Education, Nursing, Social Sciences and a range or CACHE awards' - Nursery Education

'This is an excellent resource for all those undertaking research in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care. It will be particularly valuable for students on Early Childhood Studies Degree Courses! Guy Roberts-Holmes has succeeded in writing a book which, in addition to offering valuable practical advice, is rigorous, supportive and encouraging to all those undertaking research with young children and their families' - Lesley Abbott, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Centre for Multi-Professional Research in the Early Years, Manchester Metropolitan University

This step-by-step guide will talk you through your Early Years research project from start to finish. Drawing on the work of practitioners within the sector to illustrate concepts and methods, it brings the entire research process to life. The heart of the book is concerned with how practitioners and students can listen to young children. Throughout the book the children's many 'voices' are seen as central to the research.

This book is packed with research summaries, key points checklists and discussion topics, making it practical and user-friendly. It features guidance on:

- selecting a topic

- organizing and structuring your project

- the range of research methods available to you (covering case studies, surveys, action research, documentary analysis and ethnography)

- ethical issues.

The text will also show you how to:

" use a whole range of methods of investigation, including observation, interviews and questionnaires

" do a literature review

" interpret your findings

" present and write up your project

" access useful sources of information for your research.

This is essential reading for students on all courses featuring a research project in the early years, such as early childhood studies, teacher education, nursing, social sciences and a wide range of CACHE awards. It is also invaluable for early years practitioners required to carry out small-scale research projects.

 

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Contents

You can do research
1
Myths about early childhood research
3
Your research project within early childhood studies
4
The professionalisation of early childhood studies
5
Principles of highquality early childhood research
6
The research process within early childhood studies
10
Everyday research skills
12
The responsibilities of your supervisor
14
Starting off your literature review
82
How to write your literature review
83
Writing bibliographies and references
88
Annotated list of early years professional and researchbased websites
89
Observation looking and listening
92
What is observation?
93
Interpretation
94
Knowing the context of your research setting
95

Your responsibilities throughout the research
16
The research tutorial
17
Your research timetabling
18
Your research story methodology and research questions
20
Methodology
21
Your reflective diary
26
High levels of motivation
27
Professional motivations
28
Focusing on your area of interest
29
The overall research questions and the field questions
32
Doing a pilot study
35
Designing your research
38
Positivist validity
39
Interpretivist validity
40
an example
42
Action research
44
Case studies
47
Surveys
48
Broad and deep research
49
The research plan
51
Ethical issues in early childhood research
53
Sociology and the participatory rights of children
55
Childrens participation and protection
56
A reflective impact assessment of research on children
57
Your emotional vulnerability
58
Informed consent
60
Informed consent confidentiality and child protection
61
Informed consent leaflet for children
63
Socially inclusive and respectful relationships with children
65
Informed consent is an ongoing process
68
Feedback and closure of the research
74
Ethical dilemmas are hard to resolve
75
Ethical checklist
76
Doing your literature review
79
Sources for your literature review
80
Potential difficulties
81
Unstructured observations
97
Structured observations
98
Observation schedules
99
Event sampling and running records
101
Video observations
104
Observational diagrams
105
Participant observation
106
Interviewing children and adults
109
The interview guide
110
The differences between an interview and a chat
111
Focus group conversations with children
112
Children as researchers
115
Using structured activities
118
A wide diversity of children
120
Taperecording
121
Creative listening to young children
124
What is creative listening?
126
The Mosaic approach
129
Cameras and ethics
130
Childrens photographs and walking tours
131
Childrens drawings
136
Childrens interpretations of their pictures
137
Writing and using questionnaires
142
Using questionnaires
143
Writing your questionnaire
148
Different types of questions
149
The analysis of your data and writing the conclusion
154
Sorting it all out
156
Use a wide range of data
158
Generating categories and themes
159
Writing your conclusion
166
Further research questions
168
Bibliography
170
Index
174
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About the author (2005)

Dr Guy Roberts-Holmes is Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education in the Faculty of Children and Health at the Institute of Education, University of London. His teaching and research focus on the development of early childhood professional identities and qualifications; early childhood pedagogy; inclusion and diversity; men and fathers in early childhood services and early childhood methodology. He is a member of BERA (British Educational Research Association); EECERA (European Early Childhood Education Research Association) and TACTYC (Training, Advancement and Co-operation in Teaching Young Children) and is an external examiner for PGCE and EYPS, at the University of Winchester.

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