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Learning is Like a Lava Lamp: The Student Journey to Critical Thinking

Walker, Rosie (2017) Learning is Like a Lava Lamp: The Student Journey to Critical Thinking. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 22 (4). pp. 495-512. ISSN Print: 1359-6748 Online: 1747-5112

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Abstract

This paper explores the ways in which a university Foundation Degree programme supports undergraduate early years students to develop critical thinking, mindfulness and self-actualisation through their lived personal and professional experiences. It considers the impact of this on graduates employed within the Early Years sector. Findings inform future design of a University Foundation Degree programme situated within Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). As undergraduates, students engage in higher-level learning aligned to their practice within the workplace. An interpretive Participatory Qualitative Research methodology is used to gather the views of 6 alumni who completed their studies in 2014. They participated in the research freely within ethical parameters approved by a university ethics committee. Findings revealed that the development of critical thinking is empowered by having a personal or professional impetus, which in the case of Early Years is the child as being at the heart of values based practice. This, with the inclusion of mindfulness, drives students to a sustainable deeper layer of thinking to achieve self-actualisation. Through the acquisition of critical thinking students have been subsequently able to take up positions of authority within the early years workforce.

Item Type: Article
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Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Keywords: early years, foundation degree, professional practice, critical thinking, mindfulness, self-actualisation
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rosie Walker
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2017 16:13
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2018 15:08
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/6258

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