Practitioner-enquiry : a reflexive method for playful pedagogy

Wall, Kate and Arnott, Lorna and Hall, Elaine; Arnott, Lorna and Wall, Kate, eds. (2021) Practitioner-enquiry : a reflexive method for playful pedagogy. In: Research Through Play. SAGE Publications Ltd, London. ISBN 9781526493552

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In this chapter we are going to explore the productive learning associations we see between a practitioner enquiry approach to professional learning and playful pedagogy in the early years. In doing so we hope to show a complementary and facilitatory relationship that is evident in learning, tools and techniques used for research and dispositions that result for children and practitioners as researchers or participants in research projects. We will make clear the underlying assumptions of practitioner enquiry and what the implications of engaging in enquiry are in regards to an orientation towards play. Using real-life examples from early years settings to exemplify the discussion and ground this approach in practice, we will give guidance about the use of enquiry-based tools which have often been used to support professional learning. In particular, we will focus on the ways in which early childhood practices can support an approach to research that facilitates meaning and interpretation of data in playful spaces for learning. The basic premise behind this perspective is that practitioners in early childhood settings are already skilled researchers, unearthing and interpreting the intricacies in children’s play. This chapter suggests that it is important to harness those skills in order to explore children’s perspectives through play.


Wall, Kate ORCID logoORCID:, Arnott, Lorna ORCID logoORCID: and Hall, Elaine; Arnott, Lorna and Wall, Kate