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Research Help Required For Dissertation


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Dear All,

 

I would like your help please. I am just about to start my dissertation for my BA (Hons) in Nursery Management and really don't know what to do, how to start, where to begin or even if I can do it. I am slightly panicing. Any help from other users on how to tackle this problem would be most appreciated.

 

One of the areas I am currently looking and am keen to do is Working in Partnership with Parents - Communication type theme. My thoughts would be to carry out a small survey on the ways we communicate with parents, how often etc. This information would hopefully lead me to analyse the types of communication, how often, what purpose etc. or something similiar (although I have not thought about this in too much detail at this stage as I am not sure whether this will be a starter or not.) I will also be interviewing some of my parents on their views of communication, what they would like communicated, what is a waste of time, what are the benefits etc. and try and link the two together somehow bringing in communication theories and models and evaluating them! Well, that's my plan but we all know what happens to best laid plans.

 

However I need to do this over the Summer holidays maybe a bit sooner if I can design a questionnaire that's meaningful which by all accounts from what I have read is much easier said than done. So I may want to pilot a questionnaire to make sure it achieves what I want it to achieve.

 

First of all I would like to know how many of you would be able to help ime by answering a small questionnaire, probably 2 pages and based mainly on tick list.

 

For example, Do you communicate with parents through a newsletter - yes/no,

If so what type of information do you include:

birthdays, curriculum information, latest research, websites, dates for the diary etc

How often - weekly, half termly, termly other

There will of course be a section for your comments for those of you who want to make them, which of course will help me in my analysis.

 

All information would be treated confidentially, you could answer them either be email or if you prefer by downloading and sending me a copy in the post so I cannot identify you or your setting although I would need to know what type of setting you were FDC, sessional, maintained etc. to ascertain whether there were any differences as I am hoping to get a cross section of sectors.

 

Initially I would be grateful if you could let me know if you feel you can help me and let me know of any problems or advice you can give me with regard to this.

 

This site is a brilliant resource and I am hoping that you kind people out there can help me in my endeavours.

 

Many thanks in advance - Nikki

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Glad to help. :D email me. I'm registered FDC but actually only offer extended hours, term time only. 8:45 - 15:15, age 2- 4.9 yrs.

 

Peggy

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If you haven't already read it I would recommend Doing your early Years Research Project by Guy Robert Holmes it is very easy to read unlike alot of other research books.

 

I recently finished my dissertation and posted a copy of my questionnaire on the forum, I had a brilliant response, if anything too many I had to post a thanks but please no more post. So I can recommend you doing the same and using the forum if it is appropriate.

 

Good luck and one other bit of advice, start now don't leave it, I did andregretted it, it became quite stressful as the deadline approached.

Good Luck,

Sharon

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Hi

 

Not working in a setting at the mo so can't help by filling in the questionire. However have rcently done some work on parent partnerships and found Margaret Whalley's ( and Penn Green Centre Team) Book - Working in Partnerships with Parents really useful and I think they ran some sort of research themsleves, so might find some useful hints, tips, ideas etc.

 

Elfy

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Hi Nikki,

I would be glad to help too. I worked in a private day nursery for three years up until a year ago so would be happy to fill in your questionnaire. Dissertations can be stressful - mine had me in hospital through stress!! xD But don't let me put you off! :o I wasn't organsied and you seem to be very organised! Good luck with it

Sallie :D

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Dear all,

Thank you so much - am a little deflated as I see that the Scottish Executive have already done a very detailed research on this although they haven't highlighted communication models and theories specifically. Cannot see where Penn Green have done it although I am still looking. Seems to me that Scotland is very much up on research articles, rather more so than us down here in the South. Anyway thanks for all your support, I am sure I will need it when the time comes.

Nikki

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Dear all,

Thank you so much - am a little deflated as I see that the Scottish Executive have already done a very detailed research on this although they  haven't highlighted communication models and theories specifically.  Cannot see where Penn Green have done it although I am still looking.  Seems to me that Scotland is very much up on research articles, rather more so than us down here in the South.  Anyway thanks for all your support, I am sure I will need it when the time comes.

Nikki

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Why deflated Nikki?, The Scottish research can be used too back up or dismiss your own hypotheses / theories.

 

Peggy

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Hi Nicola

 

I'll be more than happy to help. Currently work in Children's Centre and moving to Reception in overseas (fee-paying) Primary School. Please email or PM with questionnaire when you are ready.

 

I am currently doing Practitioner Research course at MMU (part of MA SEN)and will have to think about my final dissertation in next one or two years. Will soon have to write a research proposal (2,500 words) but don't know what to focus on yet!

 

 

So one good turn deserves another (perhaps you could help me when the time comes) :o

 

Lou.

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I'd be happy to help. I'm in a preschool registered for full daycare 9 - 3, term time only. You can pm me for my email address.

 

Don't be disheartened that someone else has researched this area already. With the amount of research going on these days, you'd be hard put to come up with something totally original. Look at it from another angle - if yours comes to the same conclusions it increases the validity of both research projects; if it reaches different conclusions it may lead to new research, so either way there's value in doing it, as I see it!

 

Pen Green revamped their website recently and you may find it useful as there is a publications section.

http://www.pengreen.org/

 

With best wishes for successful research, becuase I know how hard you are going to be working!

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Guest cathy m

I'm happy to help, I'm a Childminder and did some parent questionnaires last year. I also sent similar ones to 'other professionals' the reults were very interesting and helped enormously with evidence I needed for an OU course relating to my practice.

 

Cathy :o

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Hi Nikki,

 

Have only just read this thread, having been away. As Carol says, I know a bit about PEEP (Peers Early Education Partnership), having done the training. It's all about working with parents to give their children a good start at school, as well as assisting said parents to obtain qualifications to further improve the family situation. It has some very positive philosophies and great ideas.

 

I, too, would be happy to help in any way you think I can! I'm in a Day Nursery, but was a preschool leader for many years.

 

Sue

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Happy to help as a NQT just going through the experience of establishing a parent partnership for sept start. new to site but if you are interested let me know!

All the best with the dissertation,

Skylight

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks, thanks and more thanks - I am in the process of looking at how to create a meaningful questionnaire - that's my first area of research - as I don't know too much about whether Likert works best, how not to ask leading questions, length of questionnaire - how it should be presented etc etc - so I am a little way off creating this as yet. Besides I am sure you are all too busy with year end reports etc. I hope to be able to collate the questionnaire by the end of July - hopefully you will all be around and I will PM all of you who have said you could help me.

 

I am off to visit the Penn Green institute in August to spend a day in their library and am madly reseraching material in the meantime.

 

So many thanks again - I am hoping that it will neither be difficult or time consuming to complete - I think the hardest part is trying to get it right.

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I look forward to receiving it, and I am sure you will produce a good one. :D

Penn green, lucky you, i'd love to have time to visit there, it is just quite a long way from me.

Maybe one day.

 

Peggy

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Dear Peggy

Yes I am really looking forward to visiting them too. I actually asked them for their advice on my dissertation and what research they had to help me in this particular area. Had the most fantastic reply from Cath Arnold nonetheless - saying that she thought it would be worthwhile and I was tackling it from a slightly different perspective being in the private sector and looking at communication as the concept. I want to look at the impact of the actual process and range of communication used by settings not hinged on what we try and communicate although this will obviously link very strongly into it as some things clearly are suited to certain types of communication.

 

Communication takes up so much of our time but very little is written about it in early years - we talk about partnership and keeping parents involved but as you have said before it is generally top down communication and I want to improve my practice to ensure that I improve my partnership in the best and most expedient way.

 

I read an interesting piece that reserached communication skills in over 800 companies, both private and public - virtually all the people thought they had good communication skills and better than the next person but at the same time they all thought that communication within their companies was extremely poor!!! I must admit I think I am one of those people too so I wait to be enlightened.

 

Thanks everyone - I will PM everyone when the time comes. My tutor says that I should not take on too many questionnaires but as I am hopefully trying to keep it simple as a means of identifying the types of communication and what is being communicated I don't think it shojuld be too onerous to collect the data - famous last words.

Nikki

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