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Research Methods in Early Childhood

Research Methods in Early Childhood
An Introductory Guide

Second Edition
Additional resources:

November 2014 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Packed full of even more examples of research methods in practice, this second edition now comes with a fantastic website giving you all you need to understand research methods in early childhood.

With new case studies and reflective tasks throughout, this bestselling textbook covers all you need to know about undertaking research in early childhood, including action research, ethics and doing your research project.

Online, you’ll find:

- Quizzes to test your methods knowledge

- Free journal articles with accompanying activities to broaden understanding and develop critical thinking

- Useful web links as well as videos of the authors answering FAQs about research

If you are undertaking research in early childhood then this book is for you.


Penny Mukherji and Deborah Albon will be discussing ideas from Research Methods in Early Childhood in the SAGE Early Years Masterclass, a free professional development experience hosted by Kathy Brodie. To sign up, or for more information, click here.

Part I: Paradigms and Principles
Chapter 1: Positivist Research
Beyond Positivism: Interpretivism, ‘Critical’ Paradigms and Post-Structuralism
Chapter 3: Ethics
Chapter 4: Listening to Children
Part II: Approaches to Research
Chapter 5: Surveys
Chapter 6: Ethnography
Chapter 7: Case Studies
Chapter 8: Action Research
Part III: Methods
Chapter 9: Observation
Chapter 10: Interviews
Chapter 11: Questionnaires
Chapter 12: Using Documents and Other Visual ‘Texts’
Chapter 13: Using Journaling as a Research Tool
Chapter 14: Creative Methods for Listening to Children in Research
Part IV: Carrying out a Research Project
Chapter 15: Research Design
Chapter 16: Reviewing the Literature
Chapter 17: Analysing and Presenting Data
Chapter 18: Writing up


This text provides a good introduction to research methods and will support final year undergraduates as they plan for their major study.

Mrs Jo McEvoy
Sch of Education & Prof Development, Huddersfield University
October 29, 2015

A very useful and easy to read text for students doing research within early childhood.

Miss Alyson Lewis
Department of Educational Studies, Bath Spa University
October 5, 2015

This book will help students who are undertaking their final major study to understand the research process.

Mrs Amanda Crow
school of Education and Professional Development, Huddersfield University
July 7, 2015

This is more than just another research methods book – with the addition of a companion website it is a fantastic interactive resource, both for students and for tutors. I will not only be recommending it to my students but also using it for ideas to add to my teaching. It is modern, informative and, most importantly, user-friendly. I like the way that it is framed around questions listed in the contents pages – these are the questions that students want to ask but are not always brave enough. This book provides the answers in a straightforward way, with enough detail to be scholarly but clear enough to be readable. And the addition of icons to highlight key objectives, reflections and website links is interesting and useful.

It does what it sets out to do – underpinning good research practice right from paradigms through approaches, methods and the final chapter on how to write. I particularly like the emphasis on learner voice which appears in Ch 14 on ‘Creative methods for listening to children’. This is important not just in early childhood but also in my area of SEN, which widens the potential readership.

Also highly useful is Ch 17 on ‘Analysing and Presenting Data’ with simple graphical representations and coding ideas. This is exactly what students need to see.

The companion website is valuable in pointing to further studies, and examples outside of early years, and it serves as a good revision aid too, with interactive self-assessment quizzes. I would like to have a few more of these. One slight problem though – I am unable to access the website from the link given in the book, ending in mukherjiandalbon2e. I can only find it if I miss out the ‘and’ i.e. mukherjialbon2e.

Dr Carol Chambers
School Of Education, Nottingham Trent University
July 1, 2015

In past academic years students have used previous text from Mukherji and Albon. Feedback from students state that they can relate to the authors work as it is written in an format that covers essential areas yet is clearly explained and understood by the broad spectrum of students.

It is likely that this book will be recommended to students through tutorials if they are struggling with the essential text as stated in the reading list

Mr George Stobbart
School Of Social Sciences And Law, University of Teesside
June 25, 2015

A really good text. This is just what students need to support them at the beginning of their research journey.

Mrs Louise Elaine Atkins
School of Education & Training, Greenwich University
June 22, 2015

A helpful introduction to research in early childhood. The clear layout and straightforward text make it particularly useful to undergraduate students who are about to embark upon their first projects.

Mrs Zoe Lewis
Education, Birmingham City University
June 19, 2015

Excellent book - highly recommended! Very clearly set out and structured, it clearly explains paradigms and principles of research, and the approaches to research.

Mrs Anna Colgan
Higher Education, Banbury and Bicester College
June 2, 2015

This is really well written and hugely accessible both for students, new to the area and for those of us needing to brush up on Research Methods! I particularly appreciated the clarity of the explanations and the links made to aspects covered in earlier sections. The Reflection Points were welcome and the Research in Focus sections were engaging and supportive in illustrating key points and raising issues.

Ms Jane hart
School of Education, Nottingham Trent University
May 27, 2015

really useful and clear. many students give positive feedback

Dr Jackie Musgrave
centre for early childhood, Worcester University
April 29, 2015

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Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch 1. Positivist Research

Penny Mukherji

Penny Mukherji has been involved in educating students in the field of early childhood for over 20 years and during this time has developed a deep understanding of how to support students on their learning journeys. Penny has recently retired from her post a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at London Metropolitan University, where an important part of her teaching involved supporting both undergraduate and postgraduate students as they complete their research projects. Penny continues to be actively involved in the university with supporting students whilst they are completing their dissertations. With a background in health... More About Author

Deborah Albon

Deborah Albon worked as a nursery nurse, teacher and manager in a range of early childhood settings for nearly 20 years before working in Higher Education. Her research interests are primarily around food and drink provisioning in early childhood settings. In particular her work explores the way 'food events' offer a lens through which to examine adult-child (and family) relationships in early childhood settings. Deborah is widely published in this area and has  co-written the textbook Research Methods in Early Childhood with Penny Mukherji (soon to be in 3rd edition) as well as co-writing the book Negotiating Adult-Child... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781446273692
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