Early Childhood Research

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Our Early Childhood Research Group comprises of an aspirational, active and collaborative group of academics and researchers from varying backgrounds with expertise and experience in many aspects of early childhood education and care.

We're an open and inclusive group and we welcome all those who share our interest in early childhood and our desire to create a better world for young children and their families.

What we do

The Early Childhood Research Group has been running successfully since 2002. It was founded as a special interest group by Professor Janet Moyles and achieved research group status under the leadership of Professor Theodora Papatheodorou. The current convenor is Dr Paulette Luff and you can contact her to find out more about the group.

Membership includes academic staff in early childhood education and care, doctoral researchers who are undertaking EdD or PhD studies on early childhood topics, postgraduate students taking the MA Early Childhood Education and undergraduate students on our FdA or BA courses who participate in our projects and activities, including research internships and summer research studentships. We have links with national and international early childhood organisations and with colleagues in different parts of the world.

We teach, research and write about early childhood. You can see some of our books here. We hold regular seminars and also meet informally to discuss our work. To keep up to date with our activities you can follow the group on Twitter @ecrgARU and join us on Facebook.

We work with organisations and with staff in early years settings and schools to carry out research and evaluations of practice. We can develop both small-scale studies and larger projects. Please contact us if you would like to work with us.

Our aims

  • To carry out high quality practice-based enquiry and profession-oriented research with the aim of enhancing the lives of young children and families
  • To link learning, research and professional practice in early childhood
  • To undertake research to promote optimal learning, teaching and assessment for early childhood courses in higher education
  • To encourage peer collaboration and participatory research
  • To make research accessible and meaningful to the profession and wider public

Focus of our research

Our current research is centred upon early childhood education for sustainability. This includes funded research, independent projects and work towards research degrees. It covers these key themes and topics:

  • Bilingualism, multilingualism and digital literacy practices
  • Creativity and cultural learning
  • Democracy, citizenship, rights and participation
  • Early childhood education for sustainable development
  • Inclusion and diversity
  • Leadership and professionalism in early years settings
  • Outdoor play and learning
  • Professional enquiry and action research

You can read about some of our group members’ current projects here.