Early Childhood Studies – a Global Perspective

Exploring the concepts on early childhood studies through the lens of people across the globe

A New Outlook on Research

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Prior to taking the course, Building Research Competencies, my lens on research is purely in the finding out aspect about things that personally interest me – to be able to understand and find the explanation for the causation and interrelation of issues, events, and contexts. Little did I know that there are ramifications involved in research that would account for its feasibility, reliability, validity, and equity. Browsing through the chapters of Doing Early Childhood Research (Naughton, et.al., 2010) provided explanations to the components of research – from topic choice, method design, ethical considerations, to analyzing and presenting of information.

The research process is not a simplistic way of choosing a topic or framing a hypothesis, but being able to break the broad topic into sub-areas (Mac Naughton and Rolfe, 2010). Upon narrowing a topic, one has to consider the financial, timepuzzle-961800_1280 and human resources required to gather information. A big part of this is the consideration of ethical issues especially in seeking consent from potential participants. The researcher must be transparent in presenting the objectives, how the participants will take part, and how they will be given access to the findings of the research. The ethical issue of being able to communicate in a language the participants will understand the whole process of research is a primary consideration. Also, part of the process is studying carefully the equity issue of power relations when participants are given opportunities to negotiate and agree to the process on how their voice will be reflected (Grieshaber, 2010).

The method of study in relation to the objectives of the research and the nature of chosen participants can be quantitative, qualitative or a mix of both. Triangulation is an effective way of validating the data collected in a qualitative approach whether it is a method, data, theoretical or investigator. Thus, replicating a research is a viable way to validate its findings. Contrary to the common perception, where quantitative results that present statistical analysis is the only way to justify a research, it occurred to me that depending on the nature of the study, quantitative, qualitative or both can be applied.

Learning a new dimension about research, each week presented challenges although it has helped in refining and fine-tuning the research planning. The biggest realization that made me turn back to review the research plan thoroughly is the equity issue in research. It enabled me to reflect on my role as a researcher. How will I approach the process of data collection without overpowering and domineering the participants? One of the initial limitations that I considered was the capability of the participants. I then realized that if a researcher is cognizant of the social, economic, cultural, gender and age orientation, then the approaches planned for must match their predicaments. The early childhood researcher must, then, be an equal partner with participants – adults or children to co-construct the knowledge that will help in understanding or explaining the issues affecting the development of young children.

Scrutinizing the elements of the chosen research topic provides a solid foundation allowing for adjustments in time, resources and ways of collecting, analyzing and interpreting data. The results of the study whether it is a confirmation of the direction-255294_1280understanding, explanation of the cause of the phenomenon or otherwise, it is a reflective tool from which a sound decision can be made.

Discovering the complexity of research is, therefore, not a drawback in conducting research. Rather, it ensures that having a deep understanding of the process including the challenges and issues all contribute to a reliable and valid study that is equitable, relevant and an effective agent for change.

Reference

Naughton, Glenda Mac. & MacNaughton, Glenda. & Rolfe, Sharne A. & Siraj-Blatchford, Iram.  (2010).  Doing early childhood research : international perspectives on theory & practice.

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Author: pamcee70

My name is Pam Castillo. I have been in the field of education for 24 years now. Although I have taught some levels in grade school, I have spent most of my years teaching children aged two to six years old. I am always amazed by the interactions I have every day with children. In an environment where children feel safe, they are confident to explore and make discoveries. These experiences prepare them for the bigger challenges in the future. I feel privileged to be a part of the learning journey of these young children especially if they still come to see me and reminisce the years we worked together.

2 thoughts on “A New Outlook on Research

  1. Hi Pam,
    Sorry if my reply duplicates here. I responded once and it never showed up. Great blog layout and information. I was previously interested in reading research about topics I was personally interested in and now I feel confident in my ability to actually possibly conduct research because of this course. Anyone who has very little knowledge on research could learn a lot from your blog post here. You’ve really detailed the process of designing research and the knowledge and insight you’ve gained is evident. Good luck in your next course-I’ve enjoyed reading your posts!

    Like

  2. Pam, you have such a unique and insightful way of looking at the world. I always enjoy reading your posts and interacting with you. I wish you the best of luck and hope we find ourselves grouped together in future courses!

    Liked by 1 person

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