The path from instruction to inquiry: a narrative inquiry examining early childhood educators’ stories of change

Abel, Cynthia (2022) The path from instruction to inquiry: a narrative inquiry examining early childhood educators’ stories of change. Ed.D thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This dissertation is an interpretive research study that examines the change experiences of four early childhood educators in Ontario, Canada during the implementation of the mandated pedagogical framework How Does Learning Happen? (Ontario, 2014a). Since the beginning of the new millennium, Ontario has introduced a number of significant policy initiatives that increasingly recognises the value of the early learning for young children for success in school and later in life. This study is rooted in my belief that the experience of early childhood educators during the implementation of these initiatives hold lessons that may be useful for future policy initiatives. The theoretical underpinning of this study is based on the ancient Greek works of Heraclitus (Haxton, 2003) and Parmenides (Král, 2011) which I used as explanatory lens to consider key aspects of change. The theoretical basis was further augmented by modifying the Ölander & Thøgersen (1995) theory of behaviour change to present a model to illustrate how change concurrently happens at the individual, organisation, and systems levels.

Using the narrative inquiry model developed by Jean Clandinin and Michael Connelly (2000) as a methodological approach, I collected the experiences of these early childhood educators through a series of walking interviews and re-storied them into what Michael Agar (1990) refers to as ‘creative non-fiction’ format (p75). The stories were then analysed in three phases. First, the personal, professional and societal significance of the stories were considered collectively through a temporal lens. Following this, the change processes of the participants as revealed through the stories were compared and contrasted using Kurt Lewin’s (1947) change model. Finally, a thematic analysis was conducted. These multiple forms of analysis revealed that professional identity, access to mentoring support, and reflective practices were important considerations for the participants. These findings led me to conclude that early childhood educators could benefit from a workforce support strategy that would accompany future policy initiatives. I conclude that future research is required to fully develop the strategy.

Item Type: Thesis (Ed.D)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Wingrave, Dr. Mary and Patrick, Dr. Fiona
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-82738
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2022 14:06
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 16:46
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82738

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