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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Education

Undergraduate Course: Childhood Practice Research Project (EDUA10156)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryCourse Description:
In this course students will assess their development as childhood practitioners by carrying out a small-scale research project through which they will attempt to improve their own practice. A systematic process of self-development activities will support the students to progressively develop the capacity to act as 'reflective practitioners' by initiating and evaluating interventions in their workplace. Course tutors will introduce the theory and practice of research, consultation and evaluation and support students in designing and carrying out their own research projects. Students will gain knowledge and experience of a range of different approaches to childhood research that have enabled parents and children and young people to influence children's services. Specific emphasis will be placed on the ethics of childhood research, the variety of tools employed in research and consultation with children and young people and the roles that practitioner-researchers can adopt. Students will be encouraged to compare and contrast different approaches to research and evaluation. By developing and carrying out their own research, students will develop their ability to integrate knowledges of childhood theory and to critically analyse work based practices.
Course description This course runs over two semesters.

In Semester 1, students will gain knowledge about the basics of doing social research, including sessions on:
- research design
- developing research questions
- searching and reviewing literature
- methodology
- ethics
- analysis
- dissemination.

At the end of Semester 1, students submit a research proposal (1,000 words) and fill in the form for ethics approval.

Semester 2 is devoted to conducting the research, and sessions are designed to guide students in doing this step-by-step. In particular, class sessions revisit topics from Semester 1 and relate it to the students' research practice by addressing the following questions:
- How do the students' chosen methods work in practice?
- What ethical issues arise when carrying out the research?
- How will students analyse their data?
- How can students be reflexive in research?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  30
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 400 )
Assessment (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Assessment Methods
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment:
Students will be assessed on an 8,000 word research report in which they will document, explain and reflect upon a small-scale research project carried out in their own workplace. The research project aims to promote and support students in developing reflective practice through research inquiry. The research project will need to include the following:
1. Review of the academic literature and policy context
2. Methodology (including design, sampling, data collection tools, and data analysis)
3. Ethics and participation
4. Findings and Discussion
5. Critical reflections on the project
This research project will account for 100% of the total marks for the course.
Feedback In addition to the final feedback on your research report, there will be the following opportunities for formative (= non-assessed) feedback:

Workshop group discussions

Class sessions for Childhood Practice Research Project have been designed as interactive group workshops to support students as they develop and carry out their research projects. You should come fully prepared and able to share ideas, questions and issues arising in your project. Through discussion, your tutor and other students will help clarify any misunderstandings and work on applying theoretical ideas to practical examples. Such discussions are very important opportunities for feedback and feed-forward. To really make the most of them, you may find it helpful to write up notes from the discussions as soon as possible after the event. You will also be able to extend these discussions with your classmates using the online discussions function on Learn.

Research proposal and ethical review

Students should produce a 1,000 word proposal outlining their research project. The proposal will explain: the aims and purpose of the project, the research question(s), procedures for data collection and analysis, including a proposed weekly timetable for carrying out the data collection, analysis, write up, and completion of the dissertation; and what students plan to do with their results.

Alongside this research proposal, students are required to complete the Moray House School of Education ethical review forms for students. The ethical review and research proposal will be the subject of classes in Semester 1, as well as discussed with each student's research supervisor. Students will receive written and oral feedback on the proposal and ethical review from both the course organiser and their individual supervisors prior to the start of Semester 2.

Individual research supervision

Students will be offered a total of up to 4 hours of individual research supervision during both semesters. Students will be matched with their supervisors in Semester 1 and start working together on developing the research proposal, to be assessed formatively. Supervision meetings can be used to support any aspect of the research project, and it is students' responsibility to ensure that they seek help from their supervisor, and the course tutor, when they need it. This 4 hour total will include all meetings, time spent reading students' written work, and providing feedback to written work throughout both semesters (for example by email). To make the most of this opportunity, students should ensure that they prepare an agenda for their meetings, be in regular touch with the supervisor via email, as well as consider which aspects of their written work they would like most feedback on. The supervisors are allowed to read and feedback on one chapter (or equivalent) of the final dissertation draft, before dissertation submission at the end of Semester 2.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Compare and contrast different research approaches within childhood studies and evaluate them in terms of ethics, roles and tools.
  2. Design and carry out a small-scale research project investigating an aspect of your own practice and situate the project within a range of relevant national and international literatures.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the principles, processes and conditions underpinning participatory and emancipatory research.
  4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationship between childhood theory, research, evaluation and change in childhood practice, and demonstrate this in research design.
  5. Demonstrate your development as a critically reflective practitioner by carrying out self-evaluation in the workplace.
Reading List
Indicative Reading:
Alderson, P. (1995) Listening to Children: Children Ethics and Social Research, London: Barnardo's
Alderson, P. (2008) Young Children's Rights: Exploring Beliefs, Principles and Practice (2nd edition), London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Christensen, P. and James, A. (2008, eds) Research with Children: Perspectives and Practices (2nd edition), London: Routledge.
Clark, A. and Moss, P. (2001) Listening to Children: the Mosaic Approach, London, National Children's Bureau
Clark, A., Kj°rholt, A.T., and Moss, P. (2005, eds) Beyond Listening: children's perspectives on early childhood services. Bristol: Policy Press.
Clark, A. (2010) Transforming Children's Services, London: Routledge
Engel, S. (1995) The Stories Children Tell. Making Sense of the Narratives of Childhood. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company
Farrell, A. (2005) Ethical Research with Children, Buckingham: Open University Press
Greene, S. and Hogan, D. (2005, eds) Researching Children┐s Experience: Approaches and methods, London: Sage.
Hammersley M. and Atkinson P. ( 2007) Ethnography: Principles in Practice (3rd Edition). London: Routledge
MacNaughton, G., Rolfe S. and Sirai-Blatchford, S. (2001, Eds) Doing Early Childhood research: international perspectives on theory and practise, Buckingham: Open University Press.
Robson, C. (2002) Real world research (2nd edition), Oxford: Blackwell
Tisdall, E.K.M., Davis, J.M. and Gallagher, M. (2008) Researching with Children and Young People: Research Design, Methods and Analysis. Sage: London
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry

- be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them
- be ready to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
- be able to critically assess existing understanding and the limitations of their
own knowledge and recognise the need to regularly challenge all knowledge
- search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and understanding
- have an informed respect for the principles, methods, standards, values and
boundaries of their discipline(s) and the capacity to question these
- understand economic, legal, social, cultural and environmental issues in the
use of information
- recognise the importance of reflecting on their learning experiences and be aware of their own learning style

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy

- be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
- be creative and imaginative thinkers
- be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and
are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
- be able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought,
taking into account ethical and professional issues
- be intellectually curious and able to sustain intellectual interest
- have a personal vision and goals and be able to work towards these in a sustainable way


- make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding
- seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
- recognise the benefits of communicating with those beyond their immediate
- use effective communication to articulate their skills as identified through self-

Personal Effectiveness

- appreciate and use talents constructively
- be responsive to their changing surroundings, being both flexible and
- have the confidence to make decisions based on their understandings and
their personal and intellectual autonomy
- be able to flexibly transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another
- understand social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities and
- work with, manage, and lead others in ways that value their diversity and
equality and that encourage their contribution to the organisation and the wider community
Additional Class Delivery Information In the first semester, weekly classes will consist of lectures and workshop tutorials.

In the second semester, lectures and workshops will be complemented by with self-study sessions, which are designed for students to work on their respective research projects.

Every student will get up to 4 hours of one-to-one research supervision with their dissertation supervisor throughout the academic year. It is up to the student and the supervisor to arrange mutually convenient times to meet.
Keywordschildhood practice,social research,research with children and young people,ethics,reflexivity,p
Course organiserMs Marlies Kustatscher
Course secretaryMs Ann Black
Tel: (0131 6)51 6382
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