Using Innovative Methods in Early Years Research : Beyond the Conventional book cover
1st Edition

Using Innovative Methods in Early Years Research
Beyond the Conventional

ISBN 9781138389519
Published June 17, 2019 by Routledge
240 Pages

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Book Description

Exploring a range of unconventional research methods and considering how these can be used effectively in practice, this accessible textbook encourages the use of innovative approaches to conduct research in early years contexts.

Using Innovative Methods in Early Years Research provides key information on a range of non-traditional research methods, and details the strengths, limitations and challenges involved in diverging from more standard research methods. From researching with young children, practitioners and parents, to harnessing the arts, vignettes, identity boxes and narrative accounts, chapters draw on authors’ first-hand experiences to highlight the value of ‘thinking outside the box’ and developing innovative research methods that meet the needs and aims of the researcher, while also involving and empowering research participants. Including detailed information on ethical concerns and the importance of reflexivity, individual and group tasks encourage students to take a critical and well-thought-out approach to conducting independent research.

This will be an invaluable and inspiring resource for high-level undergraduate and postgraduate students as they embark on research projects in the field of early years education and care.

Table of Contents


List of abbreviations

List of Figures

About the Contributors

Introduction - Zeta Brown and Helen Perkins

Section one: Research in early education

1. Reflexivity in educational research - Jackie Musgrave

2. Ethical considerations in using innovative methods in early education research - Kieran Hodgkin and Gary Beauchamp

3. Going beyond participatory ideology when doing research with young children: The case for ethical permeability and relatability - Ioanna Palaiologou

Section two: Researching with children

4. Art as a research method - Elisabetta Biffi and Franca Zuccoli

5. The use of drawing methods with young children in research - Helen Lyndon

6. Listening to young children in messy, playful research - Laura Heads and Michael Jopling

7. Play-based interview techniques with young children - Sarah Holmes

8. Using the mosaic approach as an ethnographical methodology - Zenna Kingdon

9. Using video to research outdoors with young children - Gary Beauchamp, Chantelle Haughton, Cheryl Ellis, Siân Sarwar, Jacky Tyrie, Dylan Adams and Sandra Dumitrescu

10. The use of vignettes in research with young children - Ioanna Palaiologou

Section three: Researching with practitioners and parents

11. The use of identity boxes as a research method - Helen Perkins

12. Narrative inquiry: storying lived experiences with early childhood student-practitioners - Lynn Richards

13. The use of observations in early childhood research - Jackie Musgrave

14. Q-methodology: seeking communalities in perspectives of young children and practitioners - Zeta Brown and Gavin Rhoades


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Zeta Brown is Reader in Education for Social Justice at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.

Helen Perkins is Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Family Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.