Brown, Zeta & Gavin Rhoades (2019). Q-methodology: Seeking communalities in perspectives of young children and practitioners. In Zeta Brown & Helen Perkins (Eds.), Using innovative methods in early years research: Beyond the conventional (Chap. 14, pp. 202-216). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK: Routledge. 222 pages. ISBN 9781138389502 cloth $140, ISBN 9781138389519 paperback $38.95, ISBN 9780429423871 eBook $19.48.

Chapter Abstract: The chapter explores how Q-methodology can be used to detail the complexities and communalities amongst participants’ positions. The chapter begins with a consideration of Q as a full methodology, and the importance of a researcher’s positionality for how they deploy Q and interpret the data produced. Some different projects where Q-methodology has been used are examined to illustrate some of its features and flexibilities. This includes a recent project on the Early Years Pupil Premium that investigated practitioners’ perspectives on its use. The chapter also details examples of how Q-methodology can be used with young participants.

Book Abstract: Exploring a range of unconventional research methods and considering how these can be used effectively in practice, this accessible textbook encourages the use of innovative approaches to conduct research in early years contexts. Using Innovative Methods in Early Years Research provides key information on a range of non-traditional research methods, and details the strengths, limitations and challenges involved in diverging from more standard research methods. From researching with young children, practitioners and parents, to harnessing the arts, vignettes, identity boxes and narrative accounts, chapters draw on authors’ first-hand experiences to highlight the value of ‘thinking outside the box’ and developing innovative research methods that meet the needs and aims of the researcher, while also involving and empowering research participants. Including detailed information on ethical concerns and the importance of reflexivity, individual and group tasks encourage students to take a critical and well-thought-out approach to conducting independent research. This will be an invaluable and inspiring resource for high-level undergraduate and postgraduate students as they embark on research projects in the field of early years education and care.

Zeta Brown <> is a Reader in Education for Social Justice in the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK.