Status of Qualitative Research in Early Childhood Education and Development (Eced)

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written by Nasima Shakeel

The field of human development has recently gained considerable importance globally. This results in shifting the contemporary educational discourse, one that moves ECED closer to the front of policy formation. Literature shows that developed nations are investing enormous resources into their early intervention programs, hence, during the last decade international aid agencies, and some education systems, have promoted the creation and expansion of ECED programs in developing nations too. With the innovations in ECED, there has been conducted a large number of researches to form an objective theoretical foundation (Penn, 2004) to support this advancement. Following passage presents the literature review on the status of qualitative research in the field of ECED. The reviewed articles were published in 3 international journals, Early Years, Early Education and Development and Early Childhood Education Journal during 2005-2010. The first two journals are published by Rutledge and the last one is published by Springer. The starting point for the literature review was library data base of IED, which permitted access to full text articles. Large no of qualitative studies were found in each journal however, for the present review, only 25 of them were selected on the basis of different research traditions within qualitative paradigm. 15 of them are reviewed for the present task and bibliography of the remaining articles is attached with this paper. The review of the selected research articles is presented in the perspective of trend seen in the topic addressed, methodology used and other critical findings. Present review of literature reveals that during year 2005- 2010 a variety of topics related to ECED have been addressed in the qualitative research paradigm. For the purpose of this review the topics are divided into different themes based on their focus. Stakeholders’ perceptions of early childhood setting are explored in various studies. For example, children perception of their ECED and their transition to formal schools are presented in (Linklater.2006), perceptions of parents regarding their choices of early years education for their children are discussed in (Ceglowski, Shears &Furman, 2010), similarly, Rentzou & Ziganitidou, (2009) in their study focused on experiences of ECED teachers, moreover, their own and societal perceptions regarding teaching in early years classrooms were also explored. Additionally, teaching and learning processes of early years were studied by (Ahn& Filipenko, 2007, Chana, Juana& Foon, 2008 & Smith 2010). Moreover, Lives and Professional Development of early years teachers were also addressed by various studies, like, Blank (2009) studied teachers’ lives and experiences in ECED center and Brown (2009) explored the Professional development of ECE teachers in relation to engagement of parents in ECED centers. Early Years Curriculum framework and related topics were also addressed in studies like Goldstein (2008) and Squibb (2010). Addition to the topics addressed, this literature review also analyzed the methodological trends within the qualitative research paradigm. Case study method was found to be the dominated tradition in this review of research articles. 10 out of 15 reviewed studies were conducted as case studies. (Blank, 2009; Brown, Knoche, Edwards & Sheridan, 2009; Ceglowski, Shears &Furman, 2010; Chana, Juana & Foon, 2008; Goldstein, 2008; Ranz-Smith, 2007; Saracho, 2008; Shield, 2009; Quintero, 2010 &Squibb, 2010). As compare to high number of case studies only 2 were conducted as ethnographical studies (Linklater, 2006 & Trawick-Smith, 2010), similarly, Ahn & Filipenko (2007) and Garavuso (2006) were phenomenological studies.

Moreover, some writers haven’t given their sampling procedure explicitly, however, majority of studies have used purposive sampling based on the purpose of their studies ( Ahn & Filipenko, 2007; Garavuso, 2006 &...
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