Group Work and Interviews With Teachers, Parents, and Children: Relationships and Parental Involvement in Nursery Education


This PhD research project involved working with parents, teachers, and children in two nursery classes. I was interested in finding out how individuals perceived the idea of parental involvement in their children’s nursery education, with a view to improving practice in this area. In carrying out the research, I had to think carefully about selecting the most effective methods for collecting and analyzing data. The research methods needed to be methodologically robust, but at the same time I had to consider the potentially sensitive relationships between parents, children, teachers, and me as a researcher. The researcher–participant relationship is complex, and in this research, I was working with participants whom I already knew in my role as a teacher. So I had to consider not only how our existing relationships might affect the research project but also the emotional and professional impacts that the research might have on individuals and groups of individuals. Once I had planned the research methods, I piloted them and used the results of the pilot to refine my research design.

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