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Early Childhood Studies

  • 11 Pages
  • Published On: 19-12-2023
Part A: Critical Discussion and Evaluation of Research Approaches


Research approaches refer to the selected methodology of conducting the research in a systematic process where there are several methods through which the researchers would be able to conduct critical analysis and evaluate the research topic efficiently. The aim of the student is to analyse the research approaches and methodologies for conducting the study, and the topic of the research is early childhood studies, which is crucial in the recent years to improve the quality of education through continuous improvement (Mohajan, 2018). The research is hereby beneficial for the education in the recent year 2021 and in future, as due to the pandemic situation for COVID 19, the educational framework is broken down due to lock down, social distancing and online education, where early childhood education is hampered (Abutabenjeh and Jaradat, 2018). The teaching professionals and other peers are concerned about the educational background, where due to the recent pandemic situation; it becomes difficult to enhance the early childhood education through online activities, as there are no such interaction, face to face communication and cooperation that raise the issue of maintaining the quality of early childhood education.

The research is hereby beneficial to identify the data and information for enhancing the quality of early childhood education as well as improve eldership and management in educational institution for supporting SEN or special education needs and also enhance childhood education activities in the society. There are several approaches to conduct the researcher such as qualitative, secondary research and action, which are main methods to conduct the study with critical analysis and evaluation. The three research approaches are effective to conduct the study in a systematic way by choosing the right methods of collecting the authentic data and information as well as analysing it critically to fulfil the research aim and objectives. In this research, there are several questions that are helpful to progress in the study and fulfil the research aim of identifying the ways of enhancing early childhood education. Through this study, it is hereby possible to discuss the right research approaches for conducting the analysis and evaluating successfully.


Evaluating Research Approaches

The research approaches suitable for this research are qualitative case study research, secondary research and action research (Daniel and Harland, 2017). All the research methods are evaluated for identifying the best way to progress in the study to fulfil the aim of critically analysing the early childhood education and improving the educational activities for the benefits of the children.

Qualitative Case Study Research

Qualitative Case Study Research is the research method which refers to a complex phenomenon to be explored through identifying different factors interacting with each other and the case observed closely in real situation (Daniel and Harland, 2017). Case study analysis is the particular way to review the current situation in the society as well as evaluate the single case to understand the activities and circumstances for further evaluation. The case study research is hereby considered as a method of conducting in depth study of instant phenomenon of the natural context and form the perspectives of the participants involved in the phenomenon. It is also helpful to target a specific participant group and empower them in collecting the information and data related to the case study as well as develop integrated society for understanding the social activities in the recent years.

The major purpose of qualitative research is hereby to determine the factors and also identify the relationship between the factors that have crucial impacts on the current research subject. Through the qualitative study, it is possible to review the cases in the social studies as well as empower the participants in the research for gathering authentic data and information on a particular subject (Abutabenjeh and Jaradat, 2018). The major procedure to conduct the qualitative research is to determine the cases, groups, environment of the study as well as select an effective data collection strategy for gathering valid and relevant data that would be beneficial for the research. In addition to this, there is also effective data analysis method which is beneficial to analyse the gathered findings and fulfil the research aim and objectives (Daniel and Harland, 2017). The data collection method in the qualitative research is such as interview, case study review, participant’s responds and reviewing the documents, artefacts and archival records. In this regard, the research questions are developed as well as the research selects the sample size for retaining he participants so that authentic data and information can be gathered.

Secondary Research

Secondary research is the research method that involves the existing data and information for further analysis and evaluation. The existing data set is summarised and collected to increase the overall effectiveness of the study. The secondary research influences the research materials published in the study and similar documents. In this particular research method, the researcher chooses the secondary data collection method, by reviewing the existing secondary sources of information (Kumar, 2018). The researcher mainly reviews the books, existing documents, journals, newspapers, organisational reports and online articles, which provide authentic data and information related to the research topic (Kanu, 2019). The secondary research also has suitable data analysis process and most of the researchers try to utilise thematic analysis for developing suitable themes and analyse the information step by step to meet the research aim.

Action research

Action Research is the method of improving the practice which involves actions, evaluation and critical reflection based on the evidence gathered in the research and the objectives of the action research is to solve the existing problems and develop good actions in the institutions. It is the method of improving and modifying the existing system of the institution where the research is effective to identify the existing issues and develop critical success factors to achieve future success (Dodds and Hess, 2020). It is a methodological approach that is applied in the social sciences and it seeks to transform the changes through simultaneous process by taking actions and doing more critical analysis. It creates knowledge based enquiry conducted within specific and often practical context and the purpose of action research is to learn through the actions that leads to personal and professional development (Ngozwana, 2018).

Hence, action research is suitable for future changes through creativity and innovation, where the researcher aims at analysing the gathered findings critically and identify the problems so that it would be possible to develop the best decision for the organisations (Zangirolami-Raimundo, Echeimberg, and Leone, 2018). In action research, the researcher try to utilise many data collection methods which are artefacts, documental studies, survey and interviews, focus group, discussion, participant observation an group work for performance measurement. As per the data analysis method in the action research, the researcher mainly represents the data through charts and graphs for identifying the answers and recent trends related to the research topic. After that, there is critical analysis and in-depth evaluation through qualitative data analysis method, for designing new decision and developing further actions to improve the performance.

In this particular case, the research topic is related to analysing early childhood education, where in the recent years, the education is getting hampered due to pandemic situation and lack of management in the educational institutions. The teaching professionals are also facing issues in guiding and increasing knowledge and understanding among the children through online educational programs. Hence, the study is effective to analyse the recent satiation of the educational institution to ensure quality childhood education. In this research, the researcher develops questionnaire for the educational management team and teachers to identify the information and data about educational activities for the children. As per the research questions, the major factors are such as,

Sustainable Development in the Early Childhood contexts

Children’s Agency and Rights in Early Childhood contexts

Leadership in Education

Wellbeing in Education

Inclusion of Disabled Children in the Classroom

SEND Politics, Policy and Practice

Through these major factors in educational industry, it is possible to analyse the existing sustainable practice in education to enhance the quality and efficacy to guide the children with specific knowledge and skill set. The research also focuses on SEN educational activities and SENDS Politics, Policy and Practice for supporting the children in need. Hence, the questionnaire is formed to arrange interview with the teaching professional so that it would be possible for the researcher to empower them in the study and gather authentic data and information about maintaining educational standard and sustainability in early childhood education. Hence, qualitative and action research are effective to be chosen in the study, where the researcher would be able to gather authentic information through empowering the respondents and providing the questionnaire related to the early childhood education. The action research would be the moist suitable method for this study, where it will provide a scope to the researcher to gather valid information about the sustainable educational practice to maintain quality and standard of education as well as identify existing problems in providing education to the children. Additionally, action research is also helpful to develop further actions for the educational institutions to create good strategic planning for managing educational standard and ensuring to deliver quality education to the children.

Ethical Research

Ethical codes of conduct are mandatory to be maintained in this study, under suitable research approach (Papachristos, 2018). The researcher mainly selects the interview by developing questions which are effective to empower the participants for gathering authentic data. The researcher in this regard ensures to maintain confidentiality of the data by implementing Data Protection Act 1998, and also ensure the participants that the gathered information is utilised only for this research purpose (Worthington and Bodie, 2017). On the other hand, the research never force the participants to take active part in the study, rather the researcher convinces them to participate for sharing the information about handling sustainable and quality early childhood education. Informed consent is also shared with the respondents for taking their consent in participating in the study and at any point of time, the participants can withdraw. Data relevancy and validity are also maintained well where the researcher will try to utilise the extract information and data gathered from the participants without any manipulation in data storage.


Research approaches are hereby important to be chosen efficiently for progressing in the study and conducting it by suitable data collection and analysis. It would be beneficial for the researcher to conduct action research for analysing the existing issues in early childhood education as well as develop further strategic planning to maintain the quality standard of education and provide good education to all the children in the society. Hence, the social interactions can be possible and it is also effective for the researcher to acknowledge the sustainable practice of education in the recent years. It further helps them researcher to analyse the data and evaluate it critically for further development in creating good educational programs through SEN activities, policy framework to support the children in the society. The ethical considerations are also beneficial for the researcher to progress in the study in a systematic way and complete it ethically by maintaining data protection and validity of the information.

Part B: Design and Evaluation of a Data Collection Tool

Design a Data Collection Tool

Semi-Structured interview design and protocol

Semi structured interview is the practice of arranging the interview with the participants consent where the respondents does not strictly follow a formalise list of questions and answers. There are open ended questions that are developed in the interview which allows further discussion with the interviewee rather than straightforward question and answer format. The purpose of semi structured interview design in the research is to collect qualitative and open ended data and information, to explore the thoughts, feelings and belief of each participant and to develop in depth analysis and critical evaluation of the gathered data (Abutabenjeh and Jaradat, 2018). The researcher first review the research topic and objectives to develop open ended questionnaire, so that the participants can share the existing activities and it is possible to link the recent social actions with the research topic. It is a flexible structure and scheduled in advance where the participant’s points of views can be revealed through discussion and sharing authentic information (Snyder, 2019). It is effective for qualitative study, to find existing practice, identify the recent issues and also develop some solutions to the research topic. It is hereby beneficial to choose the primary data collection method through interview and develop semi structured interview questions to empower the teachers in this particular research for analysing the educational practice in early childhood settings (Ørngreen and Levinsen, 2017). It further helps the researcher to gather authentic data and information in the recent educational programs and develop further strategic planning where the professionals can work in partnership to support the education of children and young people with SEN.

Existing ethical issues

The major ethical issues related to the interview are,




Honesty and integrity


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Instruction to the participants about interview

It is important to share all the instruction related to the interview with the participants to maintain transparency and accountability. The researcher respects each respondent in the teaching institutions, where there is cooperative working practice between the researcher and the teachers. The researcher provides consent form to each participant, so that they can review the firm and accept the proposal of participating in the interview. The interview is arranged through online Skype interview session in the recent pandemic situation, so that the teachers can attend this and share the authentic information, the researcher also provides a scope to choose the interview time as per the convenience of the respondents. The instruction about withdrawing the interview at any point is acceptable as per the consent form and the teachers are encouraged with fairness and simple questions related to the research topic. The researcher maintains confidentiality and ensure that the collected information from the teachers are utilised only for this study and the personal information of the teachers are not revealed in the study, where the data will be secured under Data Protection Act 1998. The data and information gathered through interview will be stored through audio recording and note keeping for further utilising in the data analysis process of the study.

Semi structured interview Questionnaire

1. How do practitioners perceive the importance of education for sustainable development?

2. How are resources used in the early years setting to support sustainable development?

3. What are the perceived challenges of building sustainable development into early years practice?

4. What are practitioners’ perceptions of Children’s Rights and Children’s Agency in the early years setting?

5. What practical techniques can teachers use to advance children’s understanding and experience of their rights?

6. What is positive wellbeing and how is it achieved within a learning environment?

7. What are teachers’ perceptions in relation to effective leadership practices?

8. What are practitioners’ perceptions of the factors that enable and hinder the learning experience for disabled children/children with SEN in the classroom and ensure inclusive learning?

9. How do Mainstream Schools ensure equality of educational provision for children with SEN and what are seen as some of the challenges?

10. How do settings and professionals work in partnership to support the education of children and young people with SEN?

Evaluation of Data Collection Tool

The semi structured data collection tool is chosen here to gather authentic and valid information relate to the research topic. For maintaining the reliability of the research, the researcher tries to share ethical issues as well as provide ethical considerations so that it would be possible to collect and analyse the data ethically. The researcher shares the aim of the research as well as also ensures that the questions are related to the research topic and its objectives so that it would be possible to analyse the topic critically. On the other hand, the data collection process is maintained in a systematic way to meet the study aim and questions. The participants are also convinced to take active part and there is content form shared with the respondents before the data collection process.


Reflection on working in cooperatively in a research community

Working with the research group is important for collecting authentic data and information for the study. In this particular research, the researcher would like to empower the research ground where the participants are the teaching professionals who are engaged in early childhood education and SEN education. Working with this research group provides a scope to the researcher to gather authentic information and valid data about the recent practice education in early childhood settings. Through the semi structured interview questions, the researcher is able to empower the teachers and collect authentic information related to the research topic. Hence, cooperating working practice between the researcher and the research group are helpful for the study to gather valid information and conduct further critical analysis and evaluation. This further helps the researcher to analyse the sustainable educational practice, SEN educational activities and SEND policy to analyse the existing educational system for the children. It is also helpful to identify the existing issues and develop further strategic recommendations, so that the teaching professionals can develop good and high quality educational curriculum for the children. Hence, cooperating working practice is beneficial for the research to share authentic information related to the research topic and conduct critical analysis and evaluation to meet the research aim.

Reference List

Abutabenjeh, S. and Jaradat, R., 2018. Clarification of research design, research methods, and research methodology: A guide for public administration researchers and practitioners. Teaching Public Administration, 36(3), pp.237-258.

Daniel, B.K. and Harland, T., 2017. Higher education research methodology: A step-by-step guide to the research process. London: Routledge.

Dodds, S. and Hess, A.C., 2020. Adapting research methodology during COVID-19: lessons for transformative service research. Journal of Service Management.

Kanu, I.A., 2019. Igwebuike research methodology: A new trend for scientific and wholistic investigation. IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities, pp.95-105.

Kumar, R., 2018. Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners. London: Sage.

Mohajan, H.K., 2018. Qualitative research methodology in social sciences and related subjects. Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, 7(1), pp.23-48.

Ngozwana, N., 2018. Ethical Dilemmas in Qualitative Research Methodology: Researcher's Reflections. International Journal of Educational Methodology, 4(1), pp.19-28.

Ørngreen, R. and Levinsen, K., 2017. Workshops as a Research Methodology. Electronic Journal of E-learning, 15(1), pp.70-81.

Papachristos, G., 2018. A mechanism based transition research methodology: Bridging analytical approaches. Futures, 98, pp.57-71.

Snyder, H., 2019. Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of Business Research, 104, pp.333-339.

Worthington, D.L. and Bodie, G.D., 2017. The sourcebook of listening research: Methodology and measures. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Zangirolami-Raimundo, J., Echeimberg, J.D.O. and Leone, C., 2018. Research methodology topics: Cross-sectional studies. Journal of Human Growth and Development, 28(3), pp.356-360.

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