What are the perceived benefits of students participating in a voluntary sewing group?

Research project: What are the perceived benefits of students participating in a voluntary sewing group?

Researcher: Kate Jaeger

Synopsis: The benefits of engaging in arts and crafts, including sewing, have been well documented in the literature. Learning a new skill, meeting new people, engaging in a relaxing activity are all things that are cited in the literature and I have personally experienced and observed others enjoying, as a sewing lecturer.

There is research exploring the benefits of arts and crafts with various minority groups, but not specifically with sewing and students. This triggered my research project. At the beginning of 2020, I approached first year students at Norland College to offer them the opportunity to attend a 6-week, voluntary sewing group.

My aim was to trial a sewing programme to refine and finalise for its implementation with other groups in the wider community and research the perceived benefits of students attending the group. The sewing programme was delivered over a period of six weeks. Fourteen students participated in the programme. Ethical approval was received before conducting the research project.

I used case study action research methodology to address the aims of the study Methods of collecting data included a weekly diary, completed by students and a reflective diary kept myself. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis and descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data.

Quality(ies) of home-based childcare

Research project: Quality(ies) of home-based childcare

This research project is a collaboration between Norland College and the Early Childhood Research Group, Anglia Ruskin University 

Researchers: Dr Theodora Papatheodorou, Norland College and Dr Paulette Luff, Angila Ruskin University

Supported by: Holly Forster & Marianna Misca, Research Interns, Anglia Ruskin University

Synopsis: Home-based childcare is an under-researched area of childcare provision. While there is extensive research about quality in institution-based childcare and education, less is known about domestic, home-based provision such childminders, and least of all about in-home childcare provided by professional nannies. However, increasingly home-based childcare has attracted the interest of researchers, who have explored it from different perspectives highlighting its distinctiveness and quality features; benefits for children and their families; ways of financing such provision; and professional development needs for professionals offering in-home childcare.

  • The aim of our study is to explore the qualities of home-based childcare, offered by qualified childminders and nannies, in England. More specifically, the study intends to explore:
  • The key qualities and characteristics of home-based childcare, offered by qualified childminders and nannies?
  • The perceived benefits for children, families, and childminders/nannies?
  • The training and continuous professional development needs, and opportunities offered to qualified childminders and nannies?
  • Home-childcare and education at the era of COVID-19
  • Possible ways and means of funding expansion of home-based childcare

To address the research questions an exploratory multiple-case study is employed. Data collection to inform the case studies is via observations of home-based childcare practices; semi-structured interviews with qualified childminders and nannies, and documentary evidence (such as drawings, photographs, video/audio-recordings, and other artefacts) produced by children in home-based childcare. Thematic and content analysis of qualitative and visual data is used to identify key emerging issues.

Project progress so far: A scoping study has been conducted on home-based childcare to be presented at the forthcoming 72 OMEP 2021 World Assembly and conference in Athens Greece. See here.

Paper full reference: Papatheodorou, T. and Luff, P. (forthcoming) Home-Based Child Care: What is it? What are the Challenges? Could it be an alternative model of childcare? Paper to be presented at OMEP International conference, July 2021, Athens Greece

The demographic of Norland students

Research project: The demographic of Norland students

Researcher: Dee Burn

Supported by: Kexin Cheng (Graduate Research Intern)

Synopsis: This 12-month project aims to develop a rich understanding of Norland students as they embark on the first steps of their Norland journey from first point of contact through to enrolment. It will look at Norland student demographics compared to the national picture of undergraduate students in the early years and related subject areas. The project will also focus in on student motivations, aspirations and their key questions and concerns prior to beginning their studies at Norland. Widening participation will also be considered in line with Norland’s commitment to finding and supporting those who will make the very best early years practitioners regardless of age, gender, disability, ethnic or socio-economic background. The project aims to produce a set of detailed student personas that will inform and guide Norland’s recruitment, teaching and learning, student support and lifelong career support activities.

Curriculum mapping

Research project: Curriculum mapping

Researcher: Dr Theodora Papatheodorou

Supported by: Alice Lucas Clements (Graduate Research Intern)

Synopsis: This project has been initiated with the aim of developing a framework for reviewing Norland’s existing curricula and informing future directions of provision. A literature review has been conducted reviewing existing higher education and early childhood studies specific policies and requirements. Relevant research about the state and status of early childhood degrees, especially after the publication of the critical 2012 Nutbrown Review of early education and childcare qualifications, was also reviewed. Preliminary findings revealed that after 2013, there is a proliferation of early childhood studies degrees offered by higher education institutions, but there is limited research of the quality of these qualifications and their contribution to the professionalisation of the sector.

A full analysis of current literature is in progress.

Read the executive summary

More connected whilst further apart? A reflection and investigation of an higher education institution's experience of supporting students through blended learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

Research project: More connected, whilst further apart? A reflection and investigation of a higher education institution’s experience of supporting students through blended learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

Researcher: Katie Crouch and Lucy Krebs

Supported by: Aimee Fletcher (Graduate Research Intern)

An examination of viva as an assessment tool for work-based assessment in early childhood undergraduate studies

Research project: An examination of viva as an assessment tool for work-based assessment in early childhood undergraduate studies

Researcher: Tom Parsons

Supported by: Juliane Buchheit (Graduate Research Intern)

How do students, Newly Qualified Nannies (NQNs) and Norlanders apply the Professional Development module and unit learning outcomes to their practice and do they use them to inform their lifelong learning?

Research project: How do students, Newly Qualified Nannies (NQNs) and Norlanders apply the Professional Development module and unit learning outcomes to their practice and do they use them to inform their lifelong learning?

Researcher: Debbie Buck

Supported by: Ying Zhang (Graduate Research Intern)

Higher Education: Experiences of students with additional learning needs

Research project: Higher education: experiences of students with additional learning needs

Researcher: Ghazala Begum

 

Graduate Research Intern Scheme

Learn more

Learn more about our first ever Graduate Research Intern Scheme, which we launched in summer 2020