Dr Karen Hanson (IoE)
The aim of the research was to illustrate factors that impact on the development of Early Childhood students’ reflective dispositions. Practitioner based inquiry (Hanson 2012) focused on how Early Childhood students can be supported in developing reflective dispositions. The students involved in this research were all level 4 undergraduates. The study adopted a social constructivist approach through pedagogical action research and was informed by a reflective methodology. The research is based upon principles of social constructivist and transformational theory and draws significantly on the work of Dewey, Friere, Schon, Mezirow, Vygotsky, Wenger and Brookfield. It applied a range of qualitative research methods using thematic analysis of data from focus groups and questionnaires. The outcome was the identification of four thematic elements to be considered when nurturing reflective dispositions, the development of a definition of reflective practice and the application of this to inform related learning programmes and publications.