In many countries around the world, early childhood centers and schools are increasingly being given greater responsibility for determining their own future directions in professional learning (Schleicher, 2012). While this involves a political agenda (Nuttall, 2010), related to why we do things the way we do them, the challenge for practitioners in the early childhood sector is to find appropriate common objectives for collaborative activities. It seems that successful collaborative research has an element of common purpose, despite the various backgrounds and knowledge bases of the collaborative partners. When teachers bring forth what they intuitively know works and consider these situations from other alternative perspectives, they begin to reconceptualize practice in light of their new insights. Promisingly, there is a growing body of evidence that research partnerships within early years learning communities are leading to improved outcomes for children and, at the same time, are enabling the development of teachers as researchers of their own practice (Nuttall, 2010). Not only does this contribute to new knowledge about and for the sector, but it can also build the capability and capacity for teachers to contribute to their own learning and the learning of the early years education community more widely. As a result there seems to be a growing acceptance among early childhood teachers that involvement in such research projects, with support, can provide opportunities to consider practice from an informed base, rather than adopting a more intuitive approach or one that only perpetuates past practices.
|Title of host publication
|Research Partnerships in Early Childhood Education
|Subtitle of host publication
|Teachers and Researchers in Collaboration
|Place of Publication
|Number of pages
|Published - 1 Jan 2013