Translational Research in Early Childhood Education     A Systematic Review and Framework for Researchers 

Dr Sinéad Harmey, Dr Bernardita Munoz Chereau, Prof. Gemma Moss


International Literacy Centre, Department of Learning and Leadership, UCL Institute of Education

This work undertook a systematic review of the research evidence to explore what processes have been employed to translate research into early education practice and to identify key features of academic work that have successfully translated into education settings. There is no shortage of literature which discusses the translation of research to practice. However, translational research or research that examines the processes and methods for promoting the use of research findings (Trivette & Dunst, 2013), is less abundant in the field of education compared to medicine and social care. This is important because successful translation of research to practice will have potentially positive impacts on children’s learning and education professionals’ expertise.

To identify what processes have successfully been employed to translate research findings to practice in early education settings,  the reseachers reviewed 231 articles, identified by systematic searches of the peer-reviewed literature databases. From progressively excluding nonrelevant or low-quality articles, they conducted a full review of 35 articles. They used a metanarrative review to analyse the data by mapping and qualitatively coding each study with attention to the processes identified by researchers as vital in translating research to practice.

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