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Title: The Role of Early Childhood Centre Directors in Facilitating and Promoting University Teaching and Research in On-Campus Early Childhood Centres
Contributor(s): Urquhart, Galia (author); Elliott, Susan  (supervisor); Wolodko, Brenda  (supervisor)orcid ; Nishida, Yukiyo  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2021-03-02
Open Access: Yes
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Related DOI: 10.25952/yxeh-x018
Related Research Outputs:

On-campus early childhood centres (ECCs) can play a significant role in supporting their universities' teaching and research activities. It is important to have an ECC on a university campus to provide a high quality education and care service to staff, students and the wider community, to support and promote early childhood teaching and research and provide a resource for research and teaching collaborations across the university and further afield.

In this study, I specifically investigated the role of the centre director in facilitating and promoting university teaching and research. As the long-standing director of an on-campus ECC, I have some insights and a particular professional interest in this study. Most of the research literature has focused on North American laboratory schools on university campuses, there are limited recent studies in English and no Australian studies to my knowledge. The limited literature available highlights the essential role of an on-campus director for the success and integration of on-campus ECC's.

The purpose of this study was to investigate two Australian on-campus ECCs with a particular focus on the role of the centre directors in supporting their universities' teaching and research. I explored the ways in which this support occurs and what barriers and/or tensions directors may face to reach the centre's full potential for university teaching and research. A social constructivist theoretical framework within an interpretivist paradigm informed and guided this research study. A case study methodology was employed with two purposefully selected centre directors being the case studies. The data collection tools encompassed document analysis, paper-based and face-to-face interviews, plus a researcher's journal. Data was analysed initially using narrative analysis for each director's story then a comparative analysis for both together.

The findings of this study offered a rich understanding of the role that on-campus ECC directors play in supporting university students, academics and researchers. It revealed that the impact the director had on supporting university teaching and research was greatly influenced by not only their own perceptions about the importance of university teaching and research but also university organisational structures, policies and practices that positioned the centre. The findings highlight the importance of acknowledging, promoting and supporting on-campus ECCs as an integral resource and part of the university organisational structure. As such, the ECC would not only provide quality early childhood education and care for the children of university staff and students but also be an essential part of the university in facilitating and supporting university teaching and research opportunities. This is possible when university management ensures organisational structures as well as policies and practices integrate the ECC within the academic areas to facilitate the achievement of university strategic goals.

This study has provided a current and uniquely Australian perspective to contribute to the identified gap in the research around the role of on-campus centre directors in supporting university teaching and research. Further Australian research in this area could provide direction and data to guide and inform future policies and practices at Australian on-campus ECCs.

Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)
130103 Higher Education
130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390302 Early childhood education
390303 Higher education
390499 Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930399 Curriculum not elsewhere classified
930403 School/Institution Policies and Development
930499 School/Institution not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160205 Policies and development
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
Appears in Collections:School of Education
Thesis Masters Research

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