III. EXPLORING POSITIONS
Description: The Researcher is involved in the evaluation and study of children and programs. Research in the field of early education can take many directions: child development, impact of societal forces such as media and trauma, curriculum, development and/or evaluation, teacher evaluation and preparation, and program evaluation.
Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions: Advanced education in research topic area (e.g. child development) and research methods, strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and ability to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing.
Employment Settings: A researcher may be employed by a university, private agency or a public organization. The position may be on a consultant basis as an impartial observer and evaluator. The settings may be completely isolated from children and families, focusing on data and statistics or it may be in the form of human research using observation and surveys to gather data which that is then analyzed leading to some change in policy or practice.
Qualifications: The researcher has a deep knowledge of a specific content area, the ability to organize and report data, statistical analysis, and to communicate findings.
Preparation: Research positions typically require an advanced degree usually a Ph.D. or Ed.D. Typical courses include child development, research methodology, and statistics.
Alternate Pathways: Someone who is exceptionally perceptive and has excellent logic and mathematical skills can do the work of a researcher in early childhood. The design of the research may or may not require early childhood as a knowledge base.
Opportunity for Advancement: The researcher may advance to lead research teams, determining the focus of the research. By sharing findings through writing and public speaking, a research can gain recognition and increase earnings.
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