Research and Practice
Through this unit, we aim to develop your understanding of the relevance of research to your professional practice. You’ll examine different approaches to conducting research and your limitations and possibilities for generating knowledge in your practice area.
You’ll also explore the ethical tensions and dilemma inherent in the research process. As part of the assessment of the unit, you’ll produce a research proposal that can be taken forward to final dissertation. You’ll demonstrate your understanding and capacity to carry out a coherent and credible small research project.
Mapping the Territory: Critical Concepts and Issues
In this unit, you’ll critically explore theory and practice and the ways these inter-relate and extend each other. We’ll encourage you to ask challenging questions, and make judgements about what is going on, where you sit, and how you might respond. We’ll equip you with conceptual and theoretical lenses through taking part in workshops, discussions and wider academic reading. You’ll be encouraged to use these ‘lenses’ to reflect on your practice and develop, and critically evaluate, relevant skills and approaches.
Shaping the Future
In this unit, we’ll ask you to address critical challenges, tensions or contradictions, and professional dilemmas within your own practice. We’ll encourage you to think forward and develop possible ways of re-framing, re-imagining, or innovating for future practice.
We’ll provide opportunities for you to work at the leading edge of thinking and practice to rethink services, approaches or interventions. We aim to equip you with the skills to plan and consider specific changes and innovations for the future.
We’ve designed this unit to support and facilitate your planning, conducting and evaluating of a significant, practical and coherent, practitioner research project. You’ll select the focus for your dissertation yourself. We’ll support you to finalise a research proposal for approval and for ethical clearance, and then you’ll undertake the research project. Throughout the project, we’ll offer tutorial support, which involves a blend of group tutorials as well as individual supervision. You’ll also be supported by a suite of online resources as well as on-site activities that are aimed at enriching your experience and improving the quality of your final dissertation.
You may choose to research any area of interest as long as it relates to the field of education and your practice, and award area. Your terms and content of the dissertation are negotiable with your supervisors. We’ll work closely with you to ensure that you can pursue personal, professional and academic areas of interest in ways that satisfy the unit's assessment criteria.
Specialist Supported Enquiry: Early Childhood Studies
In this unit, we’ll support you to undertake a reflective enquiry that has particular relevance to your practice and early childhood studies. You’ll identify and explore significant themes, issues or points of tension in relation to early childhood studies. And, you’ll select a relevant focus for your enquiry, including the approach, tools and methods you will use.
Your enquiries might be desk, practice, or enquiry-based, but in all cases will enable you to develop and demonstrate specialist knowledge in your award area. You’ll reflect and evaluate, as appropriate to your enquiry. To support you, we’ll provide a useful introduction to the nature of knowledge, knowledge generation for practice and enquiry appropriate to your award area, and underpinning interdisciplinary footprint.