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Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive Whiteboards

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Published by pwmarinello

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Published by: pwmarinello on Jun 06, 2012
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07/07/2014

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IntroductionThe research process began with the outline of a very general research topic. Initially, thecentral research objective was to focus on the „use of IWBs
and „collaborative working
.The research topic was gradually defined and narrowed down to the use of IWBs inFoundation Stage (FS) (ages three to five) school settings, incorporating the relatedcollaborative working of a range of practitioners using IWBs in these settings.As the research questions were developed it appeared logical to focus on one age range withineducational provision, in England, and the „Foundation Stage
of education (children agedthree to five years) was selected. A range of settings provide education for children of this agerange, however, the decision was made to work only with „school settings
to focus theresearch topic further. Other settings were ruled out on the basis that IWB use may beinfluenced by a number of additional factors in these settings, for example, the range of  practitioners working in other settings varies and the attendance of children is not alwayscompulsory.„Collaborative working
in schools had been the focus of a body of existing literature . Thedecision was made to focus on the experiences of practitioners working in school settings(possibly collaboratively), judged likely to use IWBs. The research topic focuses on practitioners working in statutory organisations and is influenced by the political agenda as aresult. The political context of the research is introduced later in the chapter and demonstratesthat inter-professional working has been a focus in recent policy developments for thesegroups of practitioners. It was, therefore, logical and important to incorporate an investigationof the ways in which practitioners worked together into this research. The definition of theresearch topic was guided by the literature search and review of existing research literature.The research topic was narrowed down as it became clear which aspects of IWB use weremost suitable for investigation.The Early Years Foundation StageThe Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (DfES, 2000a) is a framework designed to befollowed by practitioners working with children from birth to five years. This framework for  practitioners was implemented fully in September 2008 and replaced the existing Birth toThree Matters (DfES, 2002) and Foundation Stage frameworks (QCA/DfES, 2000). Theframework is based on the principle of a developmental continuum that children follow andhas several key themes, including; a unique child, positive relationships, enablingenvironments, and, learning and development. The framework provides practitioners with an
 
outline of developmental stages that children progress through and suggests how to providelearning opportunities that are „developmentally appropriate
. These stages are not rigidlylinked to age and are designed to acknowledge the unique strengths and needs of each child.Research MethodsDuring the interviews the researcher attempted to discover the „meanings
inherent in the participants
experiences of the phenomenon. When the researcher was satisfied that participant and researcher had a degree of shared understanding of these meanings, they become known as „shared meanings
. In the analysis of data the researcher attempted toidentify and further interpret these as „units of meaning
in individual transcripts, as well asthose occurring across the data set as a whole (Hycner, 1985, in Cohen et al. 2000).During the early stages of the analysis the researcher was seeking to identify passages of datathat provided insight and indicated possible „repeating ideas
or patterns in relation to thesespecific topics in using IWBs. These „repeating ideas
reflected the researcher 
sinterpretation of „units of meaning
(Hycner, 1985, in, Cohen et al., 2000).At later stages of the analysis the researcher was searching for „shared
meanings, as well ascontradictions in the data set as a whole. These similarities and differences contributed to anunderstanding of the uniqueness of participants
experiences of using IWBs, as well asrecognising more common or frequently mentioned aspects of their experiences that appearedas „repeating ideas
or „units of meaning
(Hycner, 1985, in Cohen et al., 2000). Theresearcher was seeking to develop themes and identify hierarchical relationships betweenthematic ideas in order to determine ways in which they might be interpreted as inter-related.There were several stages in the recursive process of analysing the interview data. Severalstages of the process were conducted more than once and revisited as new interpretationswere tested and refined. During these stages the researcher was moving backwards andforwards between dual perspectives on the data, working closely with individual transcripts,moving away and looking at the data set as a whole (Cohen, 2000).The researcher identified „units
of meaning (Denscombe, 1998). „Units
of meaning rangedfrom very unique and specific; containing just one passage of 177 data, to more abstract andgeneral; encompassing groups of passages of data with common or related meaning(s)identified by the researcher. The researcher attempted to recognise ideas in the data that could
 
 be interpreted as recurring „units of meaning
(Cohen et al., 2000). It was the researcher 
sown interpretive activity that determined what constituted a „unit of meaning
and at whattheoretical level it should occur As understanding of the data developed, the researcher was able to delete nodes that wereunsubstantiated, or unrelated to research questions, producing a node system whichrepresented the most significant repeating ideas in the data organised into groups (Grbich,2000). This process entailed the reduction of nodes and coded data represent repeating ideasand patterns that were prevalent across the data set (Cohen et al., 2000).The objective for condensing and refining the node system in this way was to reduce thenumber of nodes and increase the level of abstraction of the nodes that remained (Cohen etal., 2000). When the researcher was satisfied that the remaining nodes were suitably prevalentacross the data set, abstract and relevant to the research questions, the condensing of the listwas complete although the refinement of the node system continued at a far slower paceduring the rest of the analysisDeveloping research questionsResearch questions were developed from an understanding and evaluation of existingliterature in the research topics surrounding IWB use in schools.The main research question may be expressed as follows:1. What are the experiences and attitudes of practitioners working in Foundation Stage schoolsettings around the use of IWBs?
 
Secondary research questions addressed in this research include:2. How consistent is IWBD use across the Foundation Stage, what are practitioners
thoughtsabout this?3. What is guiding/governing current IWB use?4. What are practitioners
experiences of educational practitioners and speech and languagetherapists working together when using IWBs in Foundation Stage settings?

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