Lewis, Alyson

Alyson Lewis
Start date:
October 2012
Research Topic:
Understanding, facilitating and measuring personal and social development and well-being in the Foundation Phase
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Chris Taylor Dr Samuel Waldron
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

In establishing a curriculum relevant for the 21st century the Welsh Government introduced the Foundation Phase (a curriculum framework for 3-7 year olds) in 2008, and it clearly states that ‘personal and social development, well-being and cultural diversity is at the heart of the Foundation Phase and should be developed across the curriculum’ (DCELLS, 2008, p.14). For this to happen, the challenge is for all stakeholders to adopt a sociocultural view of the child. Gerver (2010) states that systems tend to assume ‘that all children should be the same, reach the same learning states at the same age, be able to do the same things at the same time in the same way, know the same ‘stuff’ and share the same interests’ (p.65). The Foundation Phase therefore is an opportunity to move away from this tradition and an opportunity for practitioners to reflect on and to some extent rethink their practice for example, take a different view of the child (namely sociocultural), act differently whilst in the best interests of the child (Aasen and Waters, 2006).

My aim is to find out how personal and social development and well-being is understood by a range of stakeholders and to evaluate provision. Also, I aim to investigate what theoretical perspectives underpin practice and whether this impacts positively or negatively on children’s well-being. I also want the study to inform practice and hope to develop different ways of documenting personal and social development where children have opportunities to become meaning makers and social agents of change.

Selected Recent Publications