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Living with uncertainty in a joyful place

Merrick, Christine (2015) Living with uncertainty in a joyful place. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Dissertation October 11th 2015 C Merrick.docx
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

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Abstract

In the UK, as in other countries, there is an on-going debate as to what constitutes an appropriate early years curriculum. This debate is often polarized between advocates of an early formal approach and others who espouse the need for a more traditional play-based provision. Alternatives to these polarized perspectives are not common place and this research seeks to articulate and exemplify one possibility that focuses on inquiry. The research looks at this way of working through the eyes of the educators who are implementing it in their setting and provides an insight into how they perceive inquiry. The study is a detailed example of how inquiry works in practice and how the environment can be constructed to support inquiry. It also considers how these educators manage the external demands of accountability and the mandated curriculum and their emotional responses to this and to their work in general. This research is based on a single case study in which six members of staff were interviewed and observed working with children in a nursery for children aged 3-4 years of age. Visits to the nursery took place over a period of eighteen months. Teachers’ documentation in the form of journals, planning materials and displays were considered along with the policy documents for the nursery. From the detailed information gathered, this study draws conclusions about working through inquiry in the early years which have implications for all. In particular, the research highlights the significance of uncertainty in developing inquiry and the conflicting emotions that this generates. It emphasizes the importance of high quality dialogue between professionals that underpins this way of working with young children and the need to construct an environment that supports participation and collaboration.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.675544
Depositing User: Mrs Christine Merrick
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2015 09:31
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 13:06
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10586

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