Centre for Teaching and Learning Research (CTLR)

Early Years Research Conference 2019

CTLR hosted the third annual Early Years Research Conference at the University of Sussex on 2 February 2019. Over 80 delegates attended - with a range of practitioner interests and expertise - including childminders, teachers, advisors, students, nursery staff and researchers from other universities.

The conference showcased the research of graduates of the Early Years Education MA (with Early Years Teacher Status), which combines an Early Years Teacher Status qualification alongside critical academic study, and a dissertation founded on practice-based research.

The keynote address was given by Dr Rory McDowall Clark, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood at the University of Worcester, TACTYC  executive member (Association for Professional Development in Early Years) and editor of the ‘Reflections’ section of the association. Her presentation, The Barefoot Researcher, focussed on what can be learned by observing and listening to young children as ‘researchers’, encouraging us as adults to pursue our own practitioner research with a similar curiosity, open-mindedness and joy.

Eight Early Years Education MA graduates gave presentations that were creative, thought-provoking and hugely varied:

The commitment and expertise of all presenters were widely praised, with many commenting on the ‘quality’ of the presentations, the ‘inspiring nature’ of the event and the ‘warmth and passion’ evident in the work: Example quotes included:

"Absolutely brilliant! So many informative conversations and topics related to my setting."

"All the speakers were inspirational and thought-provoking. They made me raise questions about my own setting and practice."

"It was great to meet so many like-minded people. What a buzz!"

Early Years Research Conference 2019