Our expertise in research methodologies
As researchers we explore various strategies and methodologies. This includes how to survey, observe, discover, record and analyse data from different theoretical frameworks. We do our research to make an impact on social, cultural and educational practices in communities at both national and international levels. We have strengths in researching child development as a complex socio-cultural process.
Early intervention and Family-Centred Methodology
Early childhood intervention focuses on children’s learning, family & community settings, parent supports, parent-child interactions, parenting opportunities, family-community relationships and parent-professional relationship. The goals of Family-Centred Intervention include:
Cultural-Historical Research and Genetic Research methodology
We understand development as cultural and historically based, rather than purely a matter of biological maturation or linear change. For us child development is a complex process, or activity, which takes place in specified socio-cultural environments. Development is a form of qualitative change, which involves the reorganisation of a child’s mental processes.
Our research methods originate within an experimental practice introduced by Lev Vygotsky in Russia during the 1920s and 1930s, which has since been modified and developed by other researchers from a range of disciplines in many international contexts. The essence of Vygotskian methods includes treating the researcher as an active, rather than an independent observer: the researcher actually participates in a research experiment so as to provide the conditions for child development.
We believe that genetic research methodology makes the very process of child development visible and observable.
Visual research methodologies
We use various visual technologies as tools for researching child development as a process.
Longitudinal research methodologies
We also gather longitudinal data both through psychometric tests and surveys, and interviews and observations as a means of demonstrating change over time and space.
Critical Theory – this encompasses a range of methodological approaches including, but not confined to: feminist poststructuralism, postcolonial theory, philosophical perspectives from Foucault and Deleuze, and reconceptualisations of sociological theories. As critical theorists we are interested in ideas that present a critique of hidden philosophical assumptions as well as clarifying, devising and exploring unorthodox and creative approaches to rewarding social scientific inquiry of child development and childhood.
Our research team draws upon other theoretical frameworks and provide expertise in analytical approaches that are not confined to empirical methods. We seek to contribute to early years discourse by providing different ways of analysing and thinking about the images and symbols of early years education. We are working to generate new conceptual, methodological and pedagogical frameworks for mainstream early childhood and early years education. Through this research agenda, we seek to actively enact change in practice in early childhood education and to build scholarly knowledge in under-theorised areas.
Some of the research studies on which members of the tem are currently engaged include: