Policy Analysis and Document Research

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This chapter discusses policy analysis and the related field of document analysis for the interest of early childhood education researchers. Early childhood research is relatively young, by comparison to other tiers of the educational community.In addition, policy writing about early childhood (by government) and the study of such policy discourse (by researchers) will express potentially disjointed historical relationships, especially given the intersection of policy discourse with other disciplines such as economics and sociology. The chapter offers a background for those researchers in early childhood seeking to begin examining policy material.The chapter additionally addresses document analysis because so much policy work is a matter of reading the text and interpreting the content. Of concern here is the risk of treating documents without sufficient heed for the historical or discursive conditions by which they were shaped. The chapter makes brief reference to significant document analysis practices so as to provide researchers with a repertoire of analytical approaches from which to select. Recognizing one’s own ideological preconceptions and the perspective that a researcher herself might bring to the work of document analysis are all chief considerations in this chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Early Childhood Education
EditorsMarilyn Fleer, Bert van Oers
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9789402409277
ISBN (Print)9789402409253
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Policy
  • Document
  • Textuality

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