Developing Early Years leadership: Examining the practice of facilitation in and through action research

Anderson, Babs and Cook, Tina (2020) Developing Early Years leadership: Examining the practice of facilitation in and through action research. Educational Action Research. ISSN 0965-0792 Online ISSN: 1747-5074

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This article examines the use of first-person action research to improve the facilitation of a continuing professional development (CPD) project in Early Years leadership. The intention of this project was to support Early Years Leaders (EYLs) from a diverse range of Early Years settings in NW England, including those in children’s centres and the private, voluntary and independent sector, to improve their practice and hence strengthen the quality of Early Years provision.

The project was carried out in five separate phases. These gave rise to a nested action research inquiry carried out by both EYLs and the facilitator of the CPD. As the EYLs used the approaches offered by the facilitator to articulate and evaluate their own experiences of leading Early Years provision, their sayings, the articulation of their expertise and their burgeoning confidence in using that expertise, challenged the facilitator to find her own locus of knowledge. The article focuses on the process of building respectful partnerships for reflexive learning and how the facilitator, using her own overarching inquiry, developed insights into the process of facilitation itself. Practice architectures (Kemmis et al 2014) was used as a framework to analyse the findings, which include the importance of recognising where expertise lay and letting go of control of the process so that it could become a shared enquiry.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Educational Action Research on 27th February 2020, available online at:
Keywords: First-person action research; Early Years leadership; facilitation; continuing professional development
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Teacher Education
Depositing User: Tina Cook
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2020 13:37
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2020 13:37

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