[This post is part of my Noteworthy Early Childhood Development (ECD) Resources series, which rounds up and highlights key resources on particular topics.]
Research and data are important matters in the field of early childhood – enabling us to better understand contexts and perspectives, develop better-informed approaches and programmes, and assess impact and outcomes. In today’s edition, I’d like to share with you four helpful resources around research and data in early childhood care and education: an open-access, peer-reviewed journal; an inventory of early childhood datasets around the world; a comprehensive web resource on social research methods; and an organization conducting and publishing research on state-funded early childhood programmes in the US.
Early Childhood Research & Practice: This is an open-access, peer-reviewed multilingual journal on the development, care, and education of young children. I have found the articles in this journal to be interesting, relevant, and of good quality. A recent issue includes a paper by Mohr, Zygmunt, & Clark (2012) entitled, “Becoming Good Human Beings: Low-Income Mothers’ Dreams for Children and Their Insight into Children’s Needs”. I was interested to see similarities in the themes which emerged from their data and the themes that have been emerging from my thesis data – despite the cultural, socio-political, and geographic differences between an urban city in midwestern USA and a rural village in southern Pakistan. In particular, the theme of wanting one’s children to become good human beings seems to be strong in both settings – and probably in many contexts around the world. Of course, there are many differences as well.
The Early Childhood Population Databases (2009, PDF): This report by the Canadian Council on Learning’s Early Childhood Learning Knowledge Centre provides a comprehensive inventory of databases on the population of children from birth to age six throughout the world – including international datasets such as those from UNESCO, UNICEF, and the OECD, as well as regional datasets such as Latin American, Canadian, American, and various European data sets. For each database, the report provides a detailed description and an overview of the data available for various demographic and vital statistics, education and child care, health, and child welfare indicators. (Note: The CCL seems to have been recently dissolved but the web resources are still available.)
Web Center for Social Research Methods: While this resource is not specific to early childhood research, it will be extremely helpful to researchers in and beyond the field of early childhood. The website is an extremely comprehensive resource for information and guidance on all aspects of social research methods, including defining research questions, research design, sampling, measurement, and data analysis. The resource also includes a handy online statistical advisor, and a resource guide for concept mapping.
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER): This US organization conducts and communicates research to support high-quality, effective early childhood education in the USA. Among other things, NIEER produces an annual report profiling state-funded prekindergarten programs in the US – “The State of Preschool“. Their website also provides research reports on a range of topics in early childhood in the USA: access, assessment, economics and finance, English language learners, outcomes, quality and curriculum, teachers, and more.
Please share thoughts, ideas, and additional resources in the comments section or via email! Thanks.
For more resources, check out other Noteworthy Early Childhood Development Resources editions.
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