ED2FPR-Practitioner Research

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Hilary Harris
Email: hilary.harris@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module will extend understanding of the research process and the relevance of research for informing practice. Students completing this module will develop their knowledge of the principles and practice of research, and in particular, practitioner research within the early years and primary frameworks. Students will be expected to undertake their own independent research topic and present and evaluate their findings.


The aims of this module are to develop knowledge and understanding of the process and application of practitioner research relating to children between birth and 11 years through:

  • Identification of the principles and methodology of research within education and care-based settings

  • Analysis of key research in the relevant curriculum area

  • Understanding and analysis of the process of undertaking research, including data collection and presentation, ethical considerations and presentation of findings with regard to current research in the field

  • Observation and assessment of individual needs and typical and atypical patterns of learning and development

Assessable learning outcomes:

On successful completion of the module students should be able to:

  • identify a suitable topic for research and produce a rationale for the investigation

  • access and evaluate relevant secondary research

  • integrate primary research with current and related secondary research and explore their relevance to practice

  • report on the effect of external factors to children’s learning and development

  • for mulate an individual research plan, conduct appropriate research and present and analyse findings

  • reflect upon own practice and professional development in response to findings

  • understand and incorporate connections between module, practice and relevant areas of the appropriate curriculum/framework

  • develop and apply knowledge and skills required for practitioners which are linked to the Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the Children’s W orkforce

Additional outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should also be able to:

  • demonstrate awareness of ethical issues in relation to conducting research and be able to discuss in relation to personal beliefs and values

  • apply knowledge of technology to support methods of data collection, analysis and presentation

Outline content:

  • research methods and methodology, design

  • ethical considerations for research in education and care-based settings

  • data colletion methods and triangulation

  • writing a literature review

  • analysis and discussion of results

  • presentation of findings and recommendations

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, group work and analytical discussions. Students will be expected to develop their reflective skills throughout the module. Work - based learning will provide an essential contribution to achievement of the outcomes particularly through the observation of children’s development and learning.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15 13.5 16
Seminars 1 0.5 1
Tutorials 1.5 0.5
Project Supervision 2 2 7
External visits 5 5
Placement 80 55 36
Guided independent study: 30.5 48.5 80
Total hours by term 136 127 140
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 80
Practical skills assessment 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
5000 word practitioner research investigation and report (80%)
Mentor-student professional discussion (2 x 10%)

Formative assessment methods:
Project Plan
Work-based discussions with the mentor, plus tutorials and placement experience all contribute to formative assessment.

Evaluation of research

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
40% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission during the summer resit period if candidate would otherwise fail to graduate.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: 

The essential text books for this module are below.  These texts are available in the library or within online resources or you may be able to source them more cheaply than the publisher’s recommended price.


Roberts-Holmes, G. (2014). Doing your early years research project. (3rd ed.). London: Paul Chapman Publishing. Approx £24

Thomas, G. (2013). How to do your research project. London: SAGE. Approx £22.

2) Specialist equipment or materials: 

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 

4) Printing and binding: 

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: 

Last updated: 13 August 2021


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