Enhancing the communication learning environment of an early years unit through action research
Educational Action Research, 11, (3), . (doi:10.1080/09650790300200226).
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This article reports on an action research project in which an external consultant, special educational needs coordinator and staff of the early years unit of a mainstream school worked together to understand and enhance the communication learning environment provided for 3?5 year-old pupils. A transactional rather than deficit model was adopted, such that bi-directional influences in communication difficulties and communication learning were fully recognised. The focus for deliberation and action was the role, style, talk and interaction behaviour of the adults. Concepts of optimal interactive styles from studies of caregiver–infant interaction were applied. Activity included a mixture of observation, discussion and reflection on current and changing practice and related research. Developments evolved that were judged to have enhanced the communication learning environment, including increased use of small group time and greater use of child-led ‘show and tell’ and sharing time. The article is written from the perspective of the external consultant and includes discussion of the action research process.
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