IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE academics publish action research guide for Early Years practitioners

20 August 2019

The new book provides step-by-step instructions and real life examples to guide practitioners in planning, implementing and evaluating projects that benefit the children in their care.

Nursery school young boy

A Practical Guide to Action Research and Teacher Enquiry, co-written by Dr Amanda Ince and Dr Eleanor Kitto, has been published today (20 August 2019).

Often, the authors explain, a practitioner identifies specific issues in their environment, practice or processes that are affecting the children they educate or care for. However, they may lack the tools or confidence to make the changes needed.

This book aims to fill that gap by guiding the reader through the stages and processes of an action research project cycle.

A clear rationale between each stage is provided, with potential issues and opportunities for various approaches highlighted. The authors provide an impact evaluation framework as well, which coaches the reader on how to catalogue and evidence the difference their research has made, once the initial cycle has begun.

The book closes with ten case studies of projects from a variety of early childhood settings and that cover a range of topics and age groups. These real-life examples may act as inspiration for the readers’ projects in the future. 

A Practical Guide to Action Research and Teacher Enquiry is based on a knowledge exchange (KE) that the two academics have been conducting with Early Years practitioners in London and the South East of England over the last five years.

One participant said of the KE, “I have found the whole process very beneficial. It has been a real eye opener and it has not only made me think about one aspect of development but look at the whole environment.”

Dr Ince and Dr Kitto are also leading an online course Facilitated Action Research in the Early Years from 7 October 2019 to 6 July 2020, which will support participants to develop their own action research project over ten sessions. The course platform enables ongoing dialogue between participants and facilitators through forum discussions, video and live debates.

Amanda Ince is the Programme Leader for the Early Years Education MA and the Primary Education MA. Eleanor Kitto is the Programme Leader for the Early Years Initial Teacher Training employment pathway and mainstream pathway PGCEs.