Making research relevant in preservice early childhood teacher education

Linda J. Harrison*, Myra Dunn, Kennece Coombe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Increasingly, researchers, teacher educators and governmental agencies underline the need for early childhood professionals to be able to conduct and use relevant research in their practice. In contrast, early childhood teachers tend to draw exclusively on practical advice rather than research evidence to evaluate and develop their teaching. To address these contradictions in expectations, recently developed preservice early childhood teacher education programs have included a core research subject that aims to foster an appreciation of the value of research and its contributions to professional practice. This study examines the effectiveness of teaching and learning approaches designed to make research relevant to undergraduates at an Australian regional university by tracking students' changing views about research during a one-semester teaching period. The findings of this study show that relevant learning experiences, such as designing and conducting a simple research project, modeling research, collaborative inquiry, focused reading, and organizing a research conference, significantly changed student perceptions of the relevance of research to their teaching and their future role as early childhood professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-229
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Teacher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


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