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ERIC Number: ED400961
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Sep
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Three Approaches for Developing Training Materials and Curriculum Policies.
Doxey, Isabel
Agencies funding early childhood education projects, policy analysts, and research consumers have created a demand for research tools generating data with applied reliability. This paper examines the focus group as a social science research tool which meets this demand. Part 1 defines a focus group as a carefully planned discussion designed to obtain perceptions on a defined area of interest in a permissive, nonthreatening environment; describes how the approach is used; and discusses advantages and limitations of its use. Part 2 describes two situations in which focus group methodologies were used. In the first example, a Project Advisory Committee, which was representative of Canadian geography and the early childhood constituency, organized five focus groups in different regions to identify the preferred format and theoretical basis for training materials. A delphi technique variation was used to corroborate the focus groups' results. In the second example, an Ontario (Canada) effort used focus groups to design new preservice programs for early childhood teachers which combined the best of diploma and degree programs and required the collaboration of community colleges, degree granting universities, and education faculties. There were political, marketing, and public relations advantages to having parents, board of education consultants, and early childhood personnel serving on focus groups to assist in developing this program. Part 3 presents a perspective about the role of research in policy development and describes a new policy initiative for early years curriculum development, following an extensive study into exemplary kindergarten practice. Contains 10 references. (KDFB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada