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foundation degree dissertation ADVICE please!


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Hi, I am new to this site, and need some help on my dissertation!

As part of the dissertation, we have complete choice on our topic, but it has to be something that we can change in the setting.

The area I am interested in is transitions and attachment. Currently we have had an influx of 2 year olds, due to the funding; and as such lots of un-settled children.

from a personal point I found that my son (now 9) had a terrible time at pre-school and as such found transitions to first and secondary school very hard.

I was told and find myself telling parents, just go they'll be fine. But are children actually settling in, after several weeks?

The change that I can propose would be to have a settling in routine (there is a policy and open door policy but we don't adhere to it).

sorry for the ramble...

I need help, is this a good topic? and what areas can i look into?

Do I talk about children's attachments and then how they settle in to new environments?

Any advice greatly welcomed :)


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I think this is an interesting area for research and one that is obviously of real interest to your setting and the children you care for - and the parents you support.

You could have a look at the Pen Green settling policy - I'm not sure if it has changed but they used to have a policy whereby the main carer (could be parent, grandma, childminder, etc) would stay with the child for the first month, attending for every session that the child is booked to attend. They found this enabled children to settle effectively.

There's a lot of evidence about attachment theory, and a lot about the needs of two year olds and how best to meet them.

I'm interested to know what research evidence you will gather to support your view that your current systems are not working - interviews/questionnaires for staff and practitioners? Observations of children (Laevers maybe)?

Will be interested to see how you get on - keep us posted! :1b

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I have done a research paper on this topic and found it very useful. The whole project "grew legs" so to speak and the findings have been disseminated across pvi and mainstream settings which (pleasingly) has led to practice changes in several settings right the way through nursery and pre-school years to secondary school transitions.

I found it useful to look really hard at the current practice within my own setting taking into account how we as a setting managed transitions not just into the setting but also transitions on to mainstream school. After examining practice in terms of the "how it is done now" scenario it was then a case of looking to see what could be changed to "make it better". This was a "live" action research project so I also had the benefit of parental and child input as well as setting practitioners. A lot of the data was qualitative rather than quantitative though so make sure that you check your research brief to see whether you can meet the data criteria.

There are transition models "out there" to research - a lot of my research used the "Five Bridges" model (Maurice Galton, John Gray and Jean Rudduck - expanded on by Michael Barber).

Attachment is very much part of the transitions process but the Five Bridges model also considers how transitions can be considered in terms of "bridges" and how we help put these bridges in place to smooth the transition process. The primary focus for my project was the social bridge (as to cover all five in depth would be too big a project) however my research led to findings in the other four bridges too.

Just to whet your appetite and to give you some ideas of what you could consider in your project the bridges are:
the bureaucratic bridge
the social bridge
the curriculum bridge
the pedagogic bridge
the management-of-learning bridge
Good luck
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Tara13 I have merged your two topics since they are both in the same Forum area and your head will start to spin if you have to keep looking at two threads for all the great advice and support you'll get. Also it will prevent duplication. :1b

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Thank you so much for replying and the great advice :)

I shall read up on the Pen green settling policy as I can use this in my conclusion as the how I can make a change in the setting.

Thank you also for the transition models, I shall have a look at this and hopefully it will be useful :)


So nervous, about knowing how to start the literature review?

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