Exploring record-keeping and the use of micros in the nursery school and class

Moore, Elizabeth Frances (1988). Exploring record-keeping and the use of micros in the nursery school and class. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000dfab


The investigations which follow are exploratory in the sense that the topic is new and not that the methodology itself is innovatory.

The new research topic relates to innovation in both in-service education and nursery practice with the starting point being that micro-based systems of database management and word-processing may contribute to nursery record-keeping in the 1990's. Such a micro-based system was introduced as part of an experimental intervention with a sample of classrooms. This could be seen as pre-feasibility work towards the development of an "expert system" to help nursery staff with future curriculum development, implementation, and record-keeping.

The research question is: how might nursery record-keeping develop in the future, and in what conditions, and with what support? Factors associated with most successful outcomes in the experimental intervention were small nurseries, attendance of a full age-range of children, good quality curriculum, clearly differentiated staff roles, and prior record-keeping. (All classrooms were able to complete many procedures and were to some extent "successful".)

A comparison was made of nursery records developed, by staff, during the micro experiment with those obtained from a national survey: there was a difference in that the micro-based records were more detailed. Analysis of individual participant responses also indicated that change in record-keeping practice took place during the intervention.

A survey of the views of the experimental participants and a comparison group of nursery staff found that both groups expressed a willingness to work outside set hours to aid the introduction of micro-based record-keeping. However, the experimental group had given more thought to uses for micros in their classrooms. When the responses of nursery assistants and teachers were analysed separately, assistants were found to be less in favour of record-keeping and using micros in nurseries.

Investigations, in the study as a whole, encompass a survey of under fives record-keeping throughout Britain and a detailed study of the keeping of official records in two contrasting LEA's. There are also critical reviews of relevant literature, the methods used for the investigations, and a final discussion of key themes.

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