September’s Book review. This month it’s all about Research in the Early Years. Some of you would know that I am a great believer in action/field research and what a fabulous place for this to happen, in the Early Years. I speak to many Early Years professionals and to be honest they find research a little boring or think that it is not necessary in their role. Let me tell you that you are all researchers. You are continuing to research every aspect of the child, development and what it means. Every time you pick up a book, attend a training session, engage on Twitter, it is gaining new knowledge to support your practice. Well my thinking is about embodying both action research and that of immersing yourself into a piece of research.
Ok so, the Book is Edited by Jane Flood and Chris Brown. It is called The Research Informed Teaching Revolution, Early Years. Yes, I have written a chapter, the first chapter of the book to be precise. Don’t look too much into this, I am sure it is in alphabetical order. But the chapters in this book speak to you. Everyone is or has been in an Early Years professional, so it has validity, after all its nice to hear from people who can relate to what is currently happening in practice. So, I have picked 3 chapters to explain why I think this book is a must read for any Early Years Professional and Teacher.
- Chapter by Aaron Bradbury – Biased, I know, it’s my chapter and I want to show it off.
From being to becoming – Early Years education and research within practice
So, a small explanation of the chapter that I have written in the book. My chapter tracks back to my journey of engaging in research. Where did it start for me and where could it start for you? I have given you some examples of how research informs your everyday practices and how you could get involved with research, including looking at communities of practice. The main takeaway from the chapter is to work with your local research partners, Universities and Teaching Hubs.
- Chapter by David Wright (AKA Mr Paintpots)
The curious research of David in the Early Years
David has completely embodied his approach to research. His inquisitiveness and thirst are discussed and explored. Curiosity and a quest for knowledge are examined in a way that allows you to relate to your own journey. I agree whole heartedly with David that having access to the works of people with important and life changing things to say and then being able to develop and apply what they mean, should be at the heart of Early Years Practice. The main takeaway from this chapter is to allow for curiosity. Research should start with curiosity.
3rd Chapter is by Sue Rogers
Developing Early Years pedagogy through critically reflective practice
Well Sue has been able to demonstrate the importance of reflective practice and why this is important to develop your Early Years Pedagogy. Exploring why we do what we do is an important question that Sue asks. Giving examples as to why we are using research in practice, by enhancing the progress of both the professional and the child.
The main takeaway from Sue’s chapter is to focus on your own personal call, asking you to reflect on your own practice and that of your practice within the environment.
I could sit here and write about every single chapter. There is a chapter for everyone. Here are a few, but to see and read them all you need get hold of the book. The link is at the bottom of the page:
‘Do you think your methods work’
Dr Sue Allingham
Improving pre school education with action research
Research informed teacher, leaders and learner
Potentiality, mutual engagement, and transformation
Alistair Bryce Clegg
England’s summer born children: An equitable education
Jane Flood & Matt Perrett
If you are a student on an undergraduate programme (Early Childhood Studies, Early Years, Initial Teacher Training) and you want some inspiration on what you might want to research about, then this book will help you out. The book is contemporary and to the point. It allows you as a novice or someone with research experience to know what works and what might not work for you on your research journey.
Research is about variety; curiosity and you can gain new knowledge by supporting and doing your own research. Some research won’t speak to you. You won’t like what is written and that is ok. Just like the book, it has many chapters that demonstrate the vibrancy of research and that of the sector.
Have a go, join in with research or do some of your own. Speak to your local Higher Education establishment and try to get involved. We all must start somewhere, and this book allows you to think, reflect and embody research, and remind ourselves as to why we are doing what we are doing and the impact we can have too. The impact is about the children and that is why we do our research in the first place.
There is no better place than the Early Years
Happy Researching everyone and I know you will enjoy reading the book
Book Reviewed By Aaron Bradbury
Get hold of the book here