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Help Needed With Dissertation Please !


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Hi everyone,

 

 

I need help please!!!! :o

 

I'm currently trying to decide what to do for my dissertation. I have just finished an assignment on evaluating the transition from reception to year 1 in my own setting so have already identified key issues of concern for parents, staff and children from research literature and my own research. I would like to build on this and am wondering if 'How continuity of practice can support learning and teaching during the transition from reception to year1' is a feasible research question and if so how do I go about researching it?????

 

Any ideas or thoughts would be most welcome, including ideas for other aspects of the transition to research. I need to have this completed by end of August so have a bit of time to do research.

 

Hope to hear from someone soon.....please!

 

Many thanks.

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How exciting: I like having a big piece of work to get my teeth into.

 

How many words does a dissertation need to have? I have to do an assignment on a piece of legislation which affects both my FE teaching and my curriculum area, but only have around 3000 words to play with.

 

It would be a good opportunity for you to develop work you have already done, especially since you've identified these areas of concern. It sounds as if there's a lot of scope for this piece of work: will there be an opportunity to explore the different experiences of children born during the Summer term who may have no reception term with children who have two full reception terms? Will you look at admissions policies? Will you explore the school of thought that the principles of the FS should be carried over into Year 1? Will you look at the Profile and discuss if this document gives Reception/Year 1 teachers enough information about individual children?

 

I'm not qualified to offer advice to you, and I'll be interested to hear what other more experienced people have to say! However, I do think its important to choose an area you're interested in: and since you've already invested time and effort in this subject area, I think you'd be wise to develop it further for your dissertation.

 

Now can you see why I'm worried about only having 3000 words for my assignment?

 

Good luck with the dissertation - at least you know how you'll be spending your Summer!

 

Maz

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How exciting: I like having a big piece of work to get my teeth into.

 

How many words does a dissertation need to have?  I have to do an assignment on a piece of legislation which affects both my FE teaching and my curriculum area, but only have around 3000 words to play with.

 

It would be a good opportunity for you to develop work you have already done, especially since you've identified these areas of concern.  It sounds as if there's a lot of scope for this piece of work: will there be an opportunity to explore the different experiences of children born during the Summer term who may have no reception term with children who have two full reception terms?  Will you look at admissions policies?  Will you explore the school of thought that the principles of the FS should be carried over into Year 1?  Will you look at the Profile and discuss if this document gives Reception/Year 1 teachers enough information about individual children? 

 

I'm not qualified to offer advice to you, and I'll be interested to hear what other more experienced people have to say!  However, I do think its important to choose an area you're interested in: and since you've already invested time and effort in this subject area, I think you'd be wise to develop it further for your dissertation.

 

Now can you see why I'm worried about only having 3000 words for my assignment?

 

Good luck with the dissertation - at least you know how you'll be spending your Summer!

 

Maz

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HI Maz,

 

Thanks for the reply. :D

 

My dissertation is 10,000 words so I've got a lot of writing to do!

 

I would like to research extending the foundation stage into Year1 and how this can support childrens continuity of learning experiences through:

 

continuity of teaching strategies and pedagogy

curriculum continuity

learning environment

parental partnership

factors affecting learning during transition

collaboration between staff

 

I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has experience in any of these areas for their views and ideas.

 

Thanks!

 

Sandra.

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Hi sandra, what a great choice, Id love to be doing yur disseratation!

 

In case you havent foudn the hot off the press latest research on transition, You can find it

here

 

This report explains that ther is little enough reserach in this area and then goes on to give you all the useful references done in other cocuntries.

 

I wouldnt worry too much about your title, that will evolve as will probably your reserach too ( mine did, I started out thinking I was researching one thing and ended up in a different direcetion altogether by the time I wrote up).

You have obviously already got some information about what you want to do, but you might want to think about what method you are going to use. 10000 words is surprisingly little once you get going so you will need to focus down on a specific are or two. Your tutor /superviser should help you do this.

 

Do keep us informed, I would love to hear how its all going.

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Hi Sandra

this would certainly be topical and an area that is very relevant.

Your areas of development sound about right and I will try and get beack to you with some thoughts on at least some of these but I need to think abit before formulatting any responses!

Good luck.

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Thanks Susan and Mundia for replying!

 

I have the latest research report from NFER and am finding it very useful.

 

Will use this weekend to try to narrow down areas to look at, but I am thinking of something along the lines of gathering practitioners experiences/ strategies and perceptions of transtion practices from FS to Y1 using questionnaires and interviews and also children's experiences through interviews. I'd like to use case studies if possible.

 

Would it be possible to post a questionnaire on the forum? ( when I get round to doing one! and if anyone would be kind enough to fill it in) If so it would help me collect data.

 

 

Thanks for the support. :)

 

Sandra

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Dear Sandra,

I have just reviewed a book for Nursery World by Guy Robert Holmes, a senior lecturer at Canterbury Christchurch who works alongside Tricia David called a Step by Step guide to early years research. Although it doesn't answer your question idirectly it does take you through every step on how and ways to focus your research. I found it a fantastic read - it covers everything you need from permissions to ethical issues to creative listening and observing, designing questionnaires, pulling the information together, writing a literature review, interview guides, methodology. You may be much better at doing this than I am but I found it a really useful read - it really honed in and has helped me focus on my work. The area you are covering is huge and the book gives you advice on how you start to narrow it down - he is keen to ensure that children are empowered in this process - will you be involving the children in your research - if so it gives some really good advice on how this can be done. The publisher is Paul Chapman. Not too sure how much it costs but you may well be ab le to borrow it from a Uni library.

good luck

nikki

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Hi Nikki,

 

Thanks for the info on the book, I will certainly look that one up! sounds really useful.

I am keen to get children's views on the transition so am looking forward to reading his advice.

 

Thanks :)

Sandra

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Dear Sandra

No doubt you too are trawling around the net trying to get info. I always hate recommending anything as these things are very personal but I think it would be worth a look before you buy. There are lots of case studies and activities which are really useful - normally when I see case study or activity my eyes tend to glaze over but these are really more like prompts to get you back and focussed. Its very easy to read and is logical - now there's a novelty - has a brilliant contents page too - I think you could say it might be called an idiots guide to research (although I think that it rather demeans it as there is a wealth of information in there) but for me that suits perfectly!!

Nikki

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Featherstone have produced a new book on the transition it's literally hot off the press [I]'Making it work in Year 1'[/i] you can find it here http://www.featherstone.uk.com/osb/specials.cfm

 

packed full of useful ideas and tips... you might find some of the stuff useful as well as the Sally Featherstone and Ros Bayley little book 'Smooth Transitions'

Both of which are easy to read :) Kinda dip in dip out :o

best of luck it sounds a great hot topic at the moment

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Hi Lisa,

 

thanks for the info on the book, have looked it up and it sounds useful.

 

When i've done my questionnaire I'll contact Steve or I wonder if anyone would be interested in doing a telephone interview?

 

 

Sandra

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Hi Sandra,

Just wanted to wish you luck.

Do try to narrow your topic down as your list of areas to look at within it sound a lot for 10000 words. Doing a bit more research will probably refine the question for you - remember that its good to think about the what, where, how, when and who when writing the question. I have twenty three students just starting their own dissertations and their questions, although on different subjects, are all a bit vague right now. You seem to have a really good focus for your research and I look forward to hearing how you get on.

Krissyc

 

PS other good books are...

Doing your research project by Judith Bell

Let's find Why, A guide to action research by Dr Christine Macintyre

Sorry don't have books to hand so can't tell you publishers right now. :o

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