Early childhood research: complexities and tensions of industry-commissioned evaluations

Lucas Walsh, Jane Kirkby, Anne Keary

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Higher Education strongly encourages researchers to engage with industry-funded projects. This chapter discusses a project in which the authors negotiated a project with a Community Kindergarten Management Association to evaluate two stages of an assessment project undertaken by a kindergarten management association in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Initially, this Management Association was targeting a small group of kindergartens within a geographical area serving children deemed to be ‘at risk’, with the future aim of expanding the approach once teacher capacity had increased to administer an oral language communication screening tool for children aged 3 and 4. The researchers interviewed and conducted focus groups with management, allied health professionals and early childhood (EC) teachers, and undertook document analysis of curriculum plans. This chapter explores the challenges experienced in the context of shifting dynamics of power between the researchers and participants. Compounding issues and potential benefits associated with such industry-funded work is discussed in terms of shifting timeframes, consultative conversations, compromises and ethical issues. This chapter offers a lens through which to explore the complexities and tensions of industry-commissioned work in EC education.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDecisions and Dilemmas of Research Methods in Early Childhood Education
EditorsAnne Keary, Janet Scull, Susanne Garvis, Lucas Walsh
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003126577
ISBN (Print)9780367648510, 9780367648541
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Early Childhood Education


  • Power

Cite this