Understanding Research in Early Education : The relevance for the future of lessons from the past book cover
3rd Edition

Understanding Research in Early Education
The relevance for the future of lessons from the past

ISBN 9781138634848
Published June 4, 2017 by Routledge
218 Pages

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Book Description

In this newly revised edition of Understanding Research in Early Education, Margaret Clark demonstrates the continuing relevance of research in the homes of young children and in preschool units.

Through rigorous yet understandable language, the text stresses the importance of research, acknowledging how easy it can be, amidst the change and flood of documents on early education and care, to overlook the insights to be gained from past research. The author draws on her own studies, and those of others, to illustrate how to avoid common pitfalls, ask the right questions to inform students’ research projects, and critically apply findings in the classroom or nursery. The book is one of the few texts for students to bring research alive, analysing key research to consider its limitations and the extent to which results are relevant to policy and practice.

Without requiring any prior expertise in research and research methodologies, the third edition will prove invaluable for undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses in early years’ education, and practitioners undertaking continuing professional development. New content includes: fully revised chapters, an updated reference list, and a new chapter discussing current research on baseline assessment.

Table of Contents

About the author  Acknowledgments  Preface  1. Introduction  Part I Language and the homes of young children  2. The language of young children: the continuing relevance of the issues from the 1970s  3. Research evidence on language and the homes of young children: look back and looking forward  Part II Research in preschool units: what lessons can we learn?  4. Researches in early education set in context  5. Studies of preschool education in Scotland: lessons from the past  6. Language and interaction in preschool units in England: looking back and looking forward  Part III Continuity, communication and learning in early education  7. Research studies on transition and continuity in early education: lessons from the past  8. Communication in the early education of children from different ethnic backgrounds: part I of a DES-funded study  9. Reception classrooms as contexts for learning: part II of a DES-funded study  10. Baseline and readiness assessments of young children on starting primary school: where now?  Part IV Two contrasting researches on learning to read: different aims so different designs  11. Reading and learning to read: setting the scene  12. Children wtih difficulties and young fluent readers: two contrasting research approaches  13. Better beginnings

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Margaret M. Clark OBE has an international reputation for research in early education and literacy. She is Emeritus Professor of Education, University of Birmingham and Visiting Professor at Newman University, Birmingham. Margaret holds an OBE for services to early childhood education.  She has recently published Learning to be Literate 2016 (Routledge).


'This book not only helps students to review key early years studies past and present, but also helps them to think critically about how and why particular approaches are best suited to particular research. It is invaluable in helping students at all levels to become critical consumers and reflective contributors to early education research.' - Jane Payler, Professor, Open University.

'Professor Clark continues to make a powerful contribution to our understanding of children`s learning. Her clear and rigorous exposition of research should influence policy as well as practice.' - Wendy Scott OBE, President, TACTYC.

'The third edition of Professor Clark`s book highlights the obstacles to attempts to reconcile links among policy, research and practice, and raises some uncomfortable questions about the processes of dissemination, application and implementation of research findings.' - Carol Aubrey, Emeritus Professor, Warwick University.

'This new edition will be warmly welcomed by those interested in early years research. Professor Clark`s ability to articulate clearly the lessons to be learnt from research makes this book an ideal resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students.' - Louise Wormwell, Senior Lecturer, Primary and Early Years Education, Newman University.

'Professor Clark has written an enabling and empowering book, of use to all practitioners who work with children. She highlights a range of approaches critical to our understanding of how research findings are reached and their potential strengths and limits in the development of policy and practice.' - Dr Morag M MacNeil, Previous joint lead evaluator within the Getting it Right for Every Child Development Team.

'In this informative and engaging book Professor Clark draws attention to relevant and important aspects of carrying out research in early childhood. As a student supervised by her for my own doctoral research I was fortunate to have benefitted from her rigorous and systematic approach to the challenges faced by student researchers.' - Dr Lone Hattingh, Senior Lecturer, Bath Spa University.