Practitioner Research in Early Childhood


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Table of Contents

Recognising, Valuing and Celebrating Practitioner Research - Christine Woodrow and Linda Newman Collaborative Capacity Building in Early Childhood Communities in Chile - Linda Newman, Christine Woodrow, Silvia Rojo and Monica Galvez Insider Islamic Spaces of Inquiry: Muslim Educators Producing New Knowledge in Sydney Australia - Oznur Aydemir, Fatima Mourad, Leonie Arthur and Jen Skattebol What is Play For in Your Culture? Investigating Remote Australian Aboriginal Perspectives Through Participatory Practitioner Research - Lyn Fasoli and Alison Wunungmurra Developing Collaboration Using Mind Maps in Practitioner Research in Sweden - Karin Roennerman Reconceptualising Services for Young Children through Dialogue in a South African Village - Norma Rudolph and Mary James Sustaining Curriculum Renewal in Western Sydney: Three Participant Views - Linda Newman, Janet Keegan and Trish Heeley (In)sights from 40 Years of Practitioner Action Research in Education: Perspectives from the US, UK and Australia - Nicole Mockler and Ashley Casey

About the Author

Linda Newman (EdD; M.Ed Hons; B.Ed (EC); Dip Teach (EC) is the Chair of Early Childhood and Primary Programs in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia and Chair of the Early Childhood Teacher Education Council (NSW). She is a team member of Futuro Infantil Hoy, an ongoing international research and development program in Chile. Linda's research aims to theorise and apply ethical approaches that facilitate equity and benefit. Influential conceptual framings include sociocultural theory, new sociologies of childhood; community and family capacity building; valuing of diversity and Funds of Knowledge; play based intentional teaching and sustained shared thinking; and literacy as social practice. Website: Christine Woodrow (PhD; M.Ed; BEd, DipT ECE) is deputy director the Centre for Educational Research at the University of Western Sydney and is project leader of Futuro Infantil Hoy, an ongoing international research and development project in early childhood education being undertaken within a unique strategic alliance involving Fundacion Minera Escondida, the University of Western Sydney and early childhood service providers in Chile. She is a member of the Globalisation research group, where her research is focussed on international policy and practice in early childhood education, educational leadership and the professional preparation of early childhood educators. Website:


This comprehensive publication rightly establishes early childhood as a critical phase in the education of young people and makes the case for developing our insights regarding early childhood education (ECE) practices through the eyes of practitioner inquiry in the context of collaborative partnerships. It achieves its goal through a series of insightful case studies that not only illuminate the text as stories from the field, but also contribute to our understanding regarding ECE learning and pedagogy.

The work brings out an array of critical questions regarding the nature of evidence and the ways it might inform practice and eschews a narrow, instrumental approach. It draws on traditions that have grown and developed in a range of contexts that provide the reader with variations within different and contrasting educational jurisdictions including Australia, South Africa, Sweden and Chile. It is an important resource for practitioners in the field, as well as their academic partners in the tertiary sector.

-- Susan Groundwater-Smith
This book acknowledges what a critical phase and stage in the education of young people early years is, and makes the case for developing our insights more deeply into early childhood education practices through practitioner inquiry in the context of collaboration relationships. -- Martine Horvath
Hence, the strength of the book lies in the open and reflexive accounts from those who wrote the chapters about a range of experiences in such different contexts. The book achieves its aims of raising the profile of practitioner research in early childhood education and makes a valuable contribution to the field -- Helen Hedges

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