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Early Years Research

‘Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe what children do, and then, you have understood it well, perhaps teaching will be different from before.’ Loris Malaguzzi History, ideas and basic philosophy: An interview with Lella Gandini in Edwards, C., L. and Forman, G. (Eds.) The hundred languages of children: The Reggio Emilia approach - Advanced Reflections (Ablex: Greenwich, CT)

This learning research project explores practitioner led research with very young children in museums and galleries.

Over the last 10 years, the Fitzwilliam has been developing innovative research centred on our public engagement and learning programmes. Inspired by ‘My Primary School is at the Museum’ (DeWitt et al, 2018 ), the project team embarked on their own ‘Nursery in Residence’ in 2017. This strand of research builds upon the recommendations of the AHRC Cultural Value Review of the Value of Museums and Galleries, to, ‘make user experience a research priority’ at a time when museum visitors are being repositioned as, ‘co-interpreters, co-producers and definers of value.’

This coincides with a growing understanding of the need for universities to develop collaborative research methodologies to enable them to work in partnership work with citizens, public bodies and community organisations in order to better serve their needs. As a research-led university museum with an outstanding record in public engagement and creating impact, the Fitzwilliam is ideally placed to contribute to research and practice in this area.

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