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With reference to a piece of recent research, discuss the role of research in early years practice and education

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Introduction

Early Years Foundation Degree CI1106 The Reflective Practitioner Essay With reference to a piece of recent research, discuss the role of research in early years practice and education. David Fann Preston College Education is constantly being reviewed in order to ascertain that our children are receiving the best possible education. Research plays an important part in this process, as the paradigms give a platform on which to adapt existing teaching methods, or alternatively, to construct new ones. 'Education opens minds; educational research should be open to new developments' (Cohen, L, 2003, p 381) This work concentrates on the various types of research methods and aims to discuss its role within early years practice and education. If a theory is formulated too prematurely, before any empirical explorations have been carried out, this can lead to a slowing down in progression. Therefore, within education, research is of paramount significance. It can help us to understand the chaos of nature. Educational research is integrative and the data gathered may be used as a basis for inference interpretation. When conducting any form of investigative research the social benefits must be considered against the likely costs to the individual. Several parameters in planning research must also be deliberated. The target groups must be chosen carefully and the research should be controlled and systematic. Consent must be obtained in order to perform the research. Diener and Crandall believe this consent comes in various named stages. These are competence, voluntarism, full informative and comprehension. ...read more.

Middle

When researchers participate in the research it is critical research, and should they be personally involved, the research would be interpretive. The research implemented by the Department for Education and Skills is normative in type. The research is objective and the researchers have been brought in from outside to conduct the research. The research is intended to explain behaviour and to examine the effects phonics has on children's learning abilities and therefore the effect phonics has within society. However, the review states that 20 randomised controlled trials were identified and only one of these was a UK-based experiment. It also confirms that of these twenty, four of them were including children up to aged 11. The report claims that systematic review methods were used throughout. It states that all relevant randomised controlled trials were included wherever possible. It would appear, therefore, that this is neither controlled nor widespread enough to give an accurate representation of the effects of phonics on children's reading or spelling abilities. Researchers have an important role to play and are interested in benefiting the system and gaining important data to enhance society. It must be noted, however, that some researchers conduct their investigation in order to further their own careers and to enhance their status (Coady, Cited in Mac Naughton 2005). Educational researchers may encounter many ethical concerns whilst conducting their investigations. Without prior indications, investigators may find that they have stumbled upon ethical issues previously unthought-of. Consideration must be given to this issue when analysing this paper published by the DfES. ...read more.

Conclusion

This started from a total of 6114 potentially relevant studies. These 6114 tests were screened using the inclusion criteria and were finally reduced to the more manageable 20 that were included in this review. The conclusion confirms that phonics does seem to aid learning and help children progress at a greater rate than using the whole word approach. The review recommends that systematic phonics instruction should be included as part of every literacy teacher's repertoire. It then arguably suggests that there is currently no strong evidence to determine how much systematic phonics is needed, or if it would be used to teach spelling as well as reading. Upon reading this report, the writer agrees with the recommendations for research, in that further UK-based randomised, controlled and systematic research is necessary in order to gain sufficient evidence to give a clear and accurate conclusion. Research should be self correcting and therefore the results from this research should indicate clearly what the next steps should be. From this review it is not clear what further steps need to be taken. 'We live in a relative universe and ...relativity seeks adjustment; that adjustment is art; ...the art of life lies in a constant re-adjustment to one's surroundings' (Okakura, cited in Cohen, 2005) Educational research does play a vital role within our society. Providing this research is accurate, controlled and regulated, it can give educators and governing bodies the platforms and foundations on which to base their curricula's. It is with anticipation that the Jim Rose report is awaited and it will be interesting to observe how its results compare to that of the report reviewed by the writer in this works. ...read more.

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