Towards the transformation of practice in early childhood education: the effective provision of pre‐school education (EPPE) project
The introduction of the Foundation Stage and its associated legislation has constituted a radical innovation that is transforming early childhood education. In this paper we show how the Effective Provision of Pre‐school Education (EPPE) research programme continues to contribute towards achieving these improvements in practice. In focusing upon the EPPE programme's influence upon pedagogic practice in particular, the paper draws predominantly upon the research findings and recommendations associated with our qualitative case studies. This work was first published in the Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years (REPEY) report in 2002, and in the EPPE Technical Paper 10 in 2003. Practitioners respond positively to research when it is focused on specific teaching and learning contexts and practices. The EPPE project therefore applied Environment Rating Scales to identify the quality of educational provision, and used multilevel analysis to isolate the independent variables of most significance in explaining variations in the progress and development of young children during their time in pre‐school. The multi‐level analysis identified 'good' and 'excellent' centres, based on measurable child outcomes. Twelve of these centres were selected for in‐depth qualitative case study enquiries that both extended and triangulated the quantitative analysis. This paper shows how the qualitative findings, as well as some of the data that they have been drawn from, have subsequently been applied to provide the practical guidance and exemplar resources needed in the development and improvement of early years educational practice.