A universal and transferable quality rating scale – is it possible?

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsInvited talkResearch


Research aims: This paper will discuss the research behind a new transferable quality framework that aims to identify features of early learning environments that affect young children’s speech and language development. Relationship to previous research works: Although early years quality assessment tools exist (Harms, Clifford and Cryer, 2005; Siraj, Kingston and Melhuish, 2015) they are not easily transferable between indoor and outdoor environments. It is not currently possible to draw a direct comparison between the quality of learning environments and apply to any cultural environment, particularly with regards to speech and language development. Theoretical and conceptual framework: This was an explanatory multiple case study, with the “cases” being different early years learning environments. Paradigm, methodology and methods: This research was located within the interpretive paradigm. Stakeholder’s views and opinions were gathered, by the use of semi-structured interviews, on what constitutes a quality learning environment, with focus on children’s language development in the indoors and outdoors, as well as stakeholders’ views concerning the impact of the environment on young children’s utterances, and on their speech and language development. Ethical Considerations: Stakeholders included parents, practitioners and children and BERA (2011) guidelines were followed meaning participants were protected from harm and confidentiality was maintained. Main finding or discussion: It is argued that although it appears to be extremely difficult to reach a general consensus on what constitutes quality, there is a need for a rating scale that is transferable between environments. Implications, practice or policy: The next phase of this research will involve compiling a rating scale and piloting it within a variety of learning environments in order to establish a universal tool.
Period29 Aug 2017
Event titleEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) 27th Annual Conference
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational