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Research Methods in Early Childhood

Research Methods in Early Childhood
An Introductory Guide

288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This highly engaging and easy-to-read introductory text is tailored to meet the needs of early childhood studies students. It includes practical examples of research with and about young children, and encourages an interactive approach from the reader. By offering clear guidance on research methods, as well as advice on how to develop skills as a researcher, the book takes students step-by-step through the process of doing a research project.

The book covers:

  • An introduction to research methodology
  • Essential knowledge and skills in research methods
  • How to design a questionnaire
  • How to undertake a piece of independent research from start to finish
  • Understanding and critiquing the research of others
  • The ethics of research
  • Real life examples of how to tackle different aspects of research

The authors break down the content into four main sections: Paradigms and Principles; Approaches to Research; Methods; Carrying out a Research Project. Each chapter contains learning objectives, case studies, research in focus sections, reflection points, a summary, and suggestions for further reading. The language used throughout is accessible, and a full glossary is included.

This book is indispensable for all students undertaking research in early childhood.


Janet Moyles


Positivist Research
Interpretivism and Post-Structuralism
Listening to Young Children
Case Studies
Action Research
Using Documents and Other Visual 'Texts'
Journaling as a Research Tool
Creative Methods for Listening to Children in Research
Research Design
Reviewing the Literature
Analyzing and Presenting Data
Writing up

Good use of reflection points to activate a student's thinking. It is particularly useful to our students as it considers the direct involvement of children in their research and the needs and rights of children. Students are advised to be creative in their research methods and ensure they are suitable to use with the participating children.

Mrs Ruth Davies
Inst of Health, Medical Science & Society, Glyndwr University
January 22, 2012

Students find this text extremely supportive when they are undertaking small scale research projects for their final piece of work.

Ms Micky LeVoguer
Early Childhood Studies Scheme, London Metropolitan Uni (City Campus)
December 29, 2011

Only a small part of the book is about research methods especially for children (chapter 14).

Dr Gitte Kloek
Academy of Sport Studies, The Hague University
November 16, 2011

An excellent introduction to research methods in early years, pitched at the appropriate level for undergraduates undertaking a significant piece of research.

Graham Grace-Gardener
Development and Society, Sheffield Hallam University
October 18, 2011

This has been invaluable for students doing their research projects in the second year of the Foundation degrees in Early Years and Learning Support

Mrs Pamela Egan-Wyer
Teacher Training, Bromley College of FE & HE
September 21, 2011

Very accessible and well organised. Supported the course module very well.

Mary Butler
Human & Physical Sciences, South Thames College
June 24, 2011

A key text that our students find extremely helpful to support extended project work.

Ms Mary Haynes
Education, Sheffield Hallam University
June 24, 2011

Very good as introductory reading when contemplating an extended study in Early Childhood.

Mrs Emma Griffiths
EYPS, E M Direct Ltd
March 30, 2011

An excellent text and fits well with the Yr 2 research modules. I found it easy to read (I think I even understood what 'paradigm' means by the end of chapter 1!!) and follow and it is not too difficult to adapt the examples for students working with older children - indeed it is likely to be part of a session that students use, then modify for older children, you examples.

The students have to work to a quite generic task outline and the potential for significant variation of research foci within the cohort is high - however the content should cover most options and the research design, reviewing literature, analyzing and writing-up chapters will be great for the 'project' module.

As the reading list is 'fixed' when the module is validated it is not on the module list at the moment but I hope to have it attached during our module development sessions in the summer.


Mr Philip Marshall
HE- Child Care, Bishop Auckland College
March 22, 2011

This text gives a sound foundation for early researchers. Scenarios help students to think realistically about their research and ways to justify the choices they make.

Mrs Jenny Carey
Dept of Childhood & Primary Studies, Strathclyde University
January 26, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One


Penny Mukherji

Deborah Albon