Reviews

Handbook of Research-Based Practice in Early Education

THE CHALLENGES and opportunities of research translation and knowledge transfer are not confined to the health sciences and this book has much to offer those who work in education, policy, research and practice across many disciplines. Presented in an accessible format, this book enables the reader to reflect and draw on experience, underpinned by a solid, academic research base.

Structured in four parts, the book first explores the role of policy, leadership and stakeholder influence in the early education field. The issues at stake are familiar to those of us in the related disciplines of health and social sciences. Safeguarding the vulnerable, defining and promoting professional development, standards for initial professional education, political influence and engagement.

Part two goes on to explore the importance and basis of research-based design, the particulars of practitioner methods, the use of technology and social media, motivation and engagement with people and communities. This is not unfamiliar language, but reading through an educationalist perspective offers the opportunity to reflect with fresh eyes and gain new insights to old problems.

So much of the language and discussion was familiar to me: the challenges of funding preventive programmes in times of fiscal constraint; defining and limiting eligibility for financial support; politicians and policy-makers grappling with the

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Structured in four parts, the book first explores the role of policy, leadership and stakeholder influence in the early education field. The issues at stake are familiar to those of us in the related disciplines of health and social sciences. Safeguarding the vulnerable, defining and promoting professional development, standards for initial professional education, political influence and engagement.

Part two goes on to explore the importance and basis of research-based design, the particulars of practitioner methods, the use of technology and social media, motivation and engagement with people and communities. This is not unfamiliar language, but reading through an educationalist perspective offers the opportunity to reflect with fresh eyes and gain new insights to old problems.

So much of the language and discussion was familiar to me: the challenges of funding preventive programmes in times of fiscal constraint; defining and limiting eligibility for financial support; politicians and policy-makers grappling with the confusing and conflicting evidence presented to them in a fierce contest for scarce public resources; the need for accountability and robust evaluation in an increasingly marketplace public sector.

The chapters have a structure that introduces ‘what the research says about’ the issue under discussion. The authors then take us through the translation and implementation of evidence into practice, using vignettes to illustrate the issues. This is an accessible way to present the large breadth of practice-based research. The authors draw on theory and research from psychology, sociology, social anthropology and, yes, even healthcare practice, making this a relevant and engaging read.

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