1st Edition

A Practical Guide to Action Research and Teacher Enquiry Making a Difference in the Early Years

By Amanda Ince, Eleanor Kitto Copyright 2020
    108 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    108 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This accessible guide will be an invaluable resource for early years practitioners looking to make a positive difference in their settings by using action research or teacher enquiry. Guiding readers through the practical steps, issues, and potentials of conducting research in a variety of early childhood settings, the book will increase practitioners’ confidence, enabling them to bridge the gap between recognising room for improvements and instigating necessary changes.

    Divided into easy-to-follow sections, A Practical Guide to Action Research and Teacher Enquiry: Making a Difference in the Early Years offers clear definitions and explanations of action research along with explanations of how it can be applied in early years settings to effectively and efficiently improve outcomes for children. Chapters outline a clear rationale for engaging in action research, highlight purposes and potentials of various approaches, and provide a helpful step-by-step discussion of the different stages of enquiry. Ten examples of practice are used to clearly illustrate the action research cycle in a variety of settings, and in relation to a range of topics and ages, thereby providing readers with a wealth of tried-and-tested ideas for application in their own settings and projects. These are supported by a range of downloadable resources which can be used as tools to support the planning, reflecting, and evaluation of practitioners’ research activities.

    Informative, inspiring, and highly relevant to practice, A Practical Guide to Action Research and Teacher Enquiry will support and scaffold the research activities of early years practitioners, managers, and students.


    Foreword by Dr Guy Roberts-Holmes


    Part One: Action Research – Theory and Practice


    What is Action Research?

    How did action research develop?

    The development and application of action research in education

    Why engage in action research in the early years?

    What is in it for Me?

    Professional development

    Team development

    Children’s development

    Evidence-based practice

    Making the difference: planning your project with Impact Evolution

    Input- or output-based evaluation

    Ethical Considerations


    Part Two: The Phases of Action Research


    Identifying a focus

    Ask a question

    Planning and implementing a change


    Evaluating impact

    How will you know you have been successful?

    Considering the future


    Part Three: The Projects


    Project 1: Mindful Yoga in a Nursery School

    Project 2: Developing the outdoor area to support early numeracy

    Project 3: Storytelling

    Project 4: Continuing professional development policy

    Project 5: Personal, social and emotional development at lunchtime

    Project 6: Talking Partners at Primary

    Project 7: Parental engagement

    Project 8: Early writing

    Project 9: Promoting a love of reading

    Project 10: 0–2-year-old room




    Appendix I Identifying a focus

    Appendix II Collating evidence

    Appendix III Planning for impact

    Appendix IV Planning for impact

    Appendix V Evaluating impact

    Appendix VI: Considering the future



    Amanda Ince is Programme Leader for the MA in Early Years Education and the MA in Primary Education programmes at the UCL Institute of Education, UK.

    Eleanor Kitto is Programme Leader for the Early Years Initial Teacher Training programme at the UCL Institute of Education, UK.