An exploration on how the practitioner supports outdoor play in the early years sector

Harvard Referencing

For the purpose of this small-scale research the participants will be Early Years Practitioner working in an ECCE settings. I will interview eight Early Years Practitioners, two from a Sessional setting, two from a full day care setting, two from a Community based child care setting and two from a forest school outdoor setting. Participants must be currently working in the setting and have acquired a child care qualification at Fetac level 5 or above.

There will be no children used in this research.

DISSERTATION Research Topic:

An exploration on how Early Years Practitioner supports outdoor play in the Early Years Sector

Embedded Topics:
• An understanding on the importance of outdoor play in early years.
• The role of the early years environment in supporting outdoor play experiences.
• The role of the early years practitioner in supporting outdoor play.
• How outdoor play is reflected in the early year’s curriculum?
• How does the outdoor environment support children with additional needs?

For the purpose of this small-scale research interview will be conducted with Early Years Practitioner working in an ECCE settings. I will interview 8 Early Years Practitioners, two from a Sessional setting, two from a full day care setting, two from a Community based setting and two from a forest school outdoor setting. Participants must be currently working in the setting and have acquired a child care qualification at Fetac level 5 or above.

There will be no children used in this research.

For writer’s information: – Early Years Practitioners = Teacher of young children 3-5 years
Early years sector = Pre-school), and ECCE = The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme

Aim of research

Aim(s) of the research

It is evident from research the benefits of play, that it has been established play is central in the early childhood curriculum. Síolta, the national quality framework from the Dept. of Education, and Aistear, the national curriculum framework from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, have both put great emphasis on the importance of play in the early year’s settings to a child’s development and wellbeing. Therefore, the rationale of this research is to examine the provision of promoting quality of outdoor play experiences within ECCE settings from the practitioners prospective. Current research highlights the importance of this to children’s health, wellbeing, and development. Children learn through play, movement, communication, and sensory experience which the outdoors provides in a much greater scale than indoors. The outdoor environment can offer unique stimulus through contact with the natural world, its sounds sights and touch that can’t be replicated indoors. A recent survey by Early Childhood Ireland and the Institute of Technology, Sligo has also shown that Irish parents value play but that 88% of children play outside less in winter and 74% of children don’t get to play outside when it is raining (Institute of Technology Sligo, 2012). According to Louv, 2005 play outside also promotes healthier children who are less likely to get sick, suffer from anxiety or become agitated, and they are more resilient and adaptable to overcome life’s unpredictable challenges.

Unfortunately changes in our society has affected children experiencing the outdoors. Time for outdoor play is decreasing, contributing to more inactive lifestyles, and a detachment from the natural world. This further reinforces the importance of outdoor play in early years to children’s healthy growth. The aim of this research is to gain an understanding of outdoor play in the early years sector, focusing on how the practitioner supports outdoor play, exploring practitioners’ experiences and understanding attitudes and values around outdoor play in the following areas, environment, curriculum and supporting children with additional needs. This paper will explore the different dimensions related to outdoor play in the early years sector and highlight the role of Early Years practitioner in creating quality outdoor play opportunities
examine any restriction, barriers or challenges they face in doing so.

Considering the amount of time children spend in Early years settings throughout the academic year, outdoor spaces are important to children. Furthermore, research supports this as studies have shown that, compared to the learning done in indoor classrooms, having lessons outdoors increases academic achievement and acquisition of knowledge (Taylor and Kuo, 2008).

  1. Abstract: ( Word Count 175)

Brief overview of the aims/research questions, participants/institutions sampled, methods employed (paradigm, approach, data collection methods), and a brief account of findings and conclusion.

Key words: Identify the words or phrases that give a clear indication of the research focus.

My version: please follow closely to these thanks.

A growing body of research indicates the benefits of outdoor play, the outdoor environment can offer unique stimulus through contact with the natural world, its sounds, sights and touch that can’t be replicated indoors. However, changes in our society has affected children experiencing the outdoors. Time for outdoor play is decreasing, contributing to more inactive lifestyles, and a detachment from the natural world. This further reinforces the importance of outdoor play in ECCE settings to children’s health and well-being. This study sought to gain an understanding of outdoor play in the early years sector, focusing on how the practitioner supports outdoor play. Exploring practitioners’ experiences and understanding around outdoor play in the following areas, environment, curriculum and supporting children with additional needs. The research gathered qualitative data through a semi structured question. Using data from interviews with eight practitioners. Participants were early years practitioners working with children aged three to ?ve years in various early years settings.

  1. Introduction (word count: 475)

• What do you want to find out (referenced to academic literature), with whom and where?
• Why did you choose this area for research (referenced to literature)?
• How/why is your proposed academic enquiry important? Briefly identify key issues and debates (referenced to literature).
• Briefly define specific terminology in relation to your research field (referenced to literature).
• Who might be a potential user of this research?
• What are the specific research questions?
• Briefly, how will you try and ensure that your research is as objective as possible?

  1. Literature review (Word Count 2,050):

In this section you will need to:
• Present the literature reviewed as a body rather than itemised individual pieces, incorporating a thematic approach (possibly determined by your research questions).
• Interrogate literature drawn from a range of theoretical and research sources e.g. books, chapters in edited books, journal articles, policy documents, conference papers.
• Elaborate on specific terminology/definitions in relation to your research (referenced to literature).
• Engage critically with the literature by identifying and exploring, for example, (any) gaps, weaknesses, strengths, contradictions, agreements and disagreements.
• End with a paragraph that states how your research will build upon/develop/extend what is already known.
• At all times, demonstrate an awareness of how the literature identified with/engages with/responds to/influences the research questions and findings.

Core Books

Playing Outdoors in the Early Years By (author) Ros Garrick
Bruce, T. McNair, L. Siencyn, W S (2008) I Made a Unicorn! An open-ended play with blocks and simple materials. United Kingdom: Community Playthings

Community Playthings (2009) The Wisdom of Play: How children learn to make sense of the world. Ulster Park, NY: Community Playthings
Duffy, C. (2007) Creating and Promoting Outdoor Learning Environments. Vision into Practice, 217-223 Conference Proceedings. Dublin: CECDE

Exploring Outdoor Play in the Early Years By (author) Trisha Maynard , By (author) Jane Waters

Risk & Adventure in Early Years Outdoor Play: Learning from Forest Schools By (author) Sara Knight
Waller, T. and Ruskin, A. (2014) Voices in the park: Researching the participation of young children in outdoor play in early years settings. Management in Education. Vol.28(4) 161-166.
Waller, T. Sandser, EBS. Wyver, S. Arlemalm-Hagsér,E and
Maynard, T. (2010) The Dynamics of Early Childhood Spaces: Opportunities for Outdoor Play. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal Vol. 18, No.4, 437-443

Willoughby, M. (2014) Outdoor Play Matters: The Benefits of Outdoor Play for Young Children. Dublin: Barnardos’ Training and Resource Service
NCCA/National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (2015) Aistear Síolta Practice Guide, Dublin: National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.
Inclusive outdoor play : A Practical Guide to Meeting Additional Needs By (author) Anne Vize
Nangah, Z. and Mills, G. (2015) ‘Re-thinking children’s well-being and inclusion in practice’. In Brodie, K. and Savage, K. (Eds) Inclusion and Early Years Practice. London: Routledge.

Ploughman, N. (2008) ‘Exercise is brain food: the effects of physical activity on cognitive function’, Developmental Neurohabilitation, July – September, 11 (3).

Barnardo’s, (2005) ‘Let’s play together’ Report authors: Ludvigsen, A., Creegan, C. and Mills, H. Barnardo’s: London.

Casey, T. (2011) ‘Outdoor play for everyone’ In J. White (Ed) Outdoor Provision in the Early Years London: Sage publications.

  1. Methodology ( Word Count 1300):

This section will provide the rationale for the research design choices and discuss issues relating to validity and reliability and will be linked consistently to the research questions. The whole section must be supported with relevant literature on research design.
• Which research paradigm did you use – positivist or interpretivist, or both? Why?
• Which sampling strategy did you use? Why? (Make sure you give a clear indication of who is involved in your research and where the research will take place)
• Which research approach/strategy (e.g. case study, ethnography, survey) did you use? Why?
• Which data collection method(s) did you use? Why?
• How do the selected data collection methods engage with the stated research paradigm and approach?
• How will reliability and validity be assured? Consider issues related to statistical analysis and/or triangulation.

This is the information summitted to university as the method to be used in this research

This research will be done using a qualitative research method using semi-structured interviews that focuses on the examination of literature materials. The research materials used for the study help in giving information concerning the topic therefore giving a deeper understanding of the subject matter. “A methodology shows how research questions are articulated with questions asked in the field” (Clough and Nutbrown, 2002, p.29). This research data will be collected from the participants using questionnaires with questions that are tailored to meet the objective of this particular research. A diverse cohort of participants will be chosen, eight participants would be considered necessary for this study. Semi-structured interviewing will be used because according to Bernard (1988) it’s the best method when you only have one chance to interview participants. Semi-structured interviewing methods allow the researcher to prepare a set of same question to be answered by all the participants thus providing explicit instruction for the interview. The question can be prepared ahead of time but this method also allows for open ended questions and discussion. The researcher may ask for clarity or further expansion of certain topics to gain greater understanding of the topic at hand, therefore providing reliable and comparable qualitive data. The data will be collected during the interview a voice recorder and written notes.

The way data is gathered is also crucial to this research as it will contributed to a better understanding of the thesis. The purposive sampling technique will be used because I can deliberately choose the participant based on the qualities they possess. It is a non-random method that allows me control over identifying and selecting individuals that are proficient and well informed with the experience and knowledge to answer the question on outdoor play in the early year. While deliberately including a cross section of participants in this research in this case it will be early years practitioner from a cross section of early years’ service.

Analysing the data will involve identifying common patterns within the responses of the participants and critically analysing them in order to meet research aims and objectives.

Reference:

Bernard, HR. (1988). Research methods in cultural anthropology. Sage Publications.

Clough, P. and Nutbrown, C. (2002) A student’s guide to methodology. London: Sage.

  1. Ethical considerations ( Word Count 550)

Please consider the following areas:- Confidentiality, Sign Consent, Anonymity, Voluntary

This section needs to demonstrate your understanding of ethical procedures and how key ethical principles were applied in your research. Your discussion in this section must be supported with relevant literature on ethics.
• What are ethics and why are they important? What are the key ethical issues and how were they meaningfully applied in your research?
• What is informed consent? How was it gained from the various groups of participants in your research? This part of your ethics section should demonstrate understanding of the hierarchy of gatekeepers in your research.
• What is meant by confidentiality and anonymity? How was confidentiality and anonymity assured in your research?
• What did you perceive to be the possible benefits and risks of your research?
• Did your research require any element of deception? Why?
• How were power relations minimized in your research?
• Reflexivity – how did your researcher identity and positioning influence the data gathering process and analysis?



  1. Referencing and presentation
    References:
    • Wide-ranging and relevant.
    • Conforms to Cite them Right conventions, both within your dissertation and in the reference list.
    Presentation
    • Logical/coherent organisation of content.
    • 12-point plain font (such as Arial), 1.5 line-spacing and, for example, consistency in any use of underlining, use of alpha numerical (sub)headings.
    Appendices

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS