A Practical Guide to Action Research and Teacher Enquiry : Making a Difference in the Early Years book cover
1st Edition

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

ISBN 9781138495180
Published August 12, 2019 by Routledge
108 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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


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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.