Early Childhood Practice BA(Hons) alumni Tina Lambert had plenty to celebrate at this year’s summer graduation ceremony.
During her final year, Tina was invited to a prestigious launch on outdoor learning alongside some early childhood ‘greats’ and also contributed a student paper to TACTYC based on her final research.
Tina said “I was encouraged to attend the The British Educational Research association (BERA) event by my route leader Annie Richardson and Dr Mark Leather, convenor of the group, who also inspired my dissertation”.
The event; ‘Nature, Outdoor Learning and Play’ (NOLAP) was a small special interest group where academics, practitioners and students had an opportunity to come together and engage on debates around policy and further research in the field of outdoor education.
Tina said: “I felt very privileged to be part of the group, it was inspiring to be able to discuss research findings and meet with the academics who had helped my own research. The other participants were very supportive and I felt that my opinions were listened to and valued”.
“The event gave me the confidence to submit a condensed version of my dissertation as a paper to the TACTYC student Reflections award, which will announce winners in September.
“My research was questioning the recent commercialisation and commodification of Forest Schools in Early Years. I compared the Forest School practice to ‘free outside play’ where children have the opportunity to self-facilitate their play and subsequent learning”.
“Whatever the result, the process of writing a paper was a valuable experience for me especially because I would like to follow my dissertation with further research in the future”.
“The course has been the most valuable experience in my own professional development, the tutors were very supportive and they really understood the balance between working a full week, being a mum of four and studying for a degree. I have found the course manageable and have had support throughout to help with planning how and when I could fit in my studies”.
“My plan now that I have graduated is to pursue a career in the near future as a FE or even a HE lecturer and inspire others to fight for greater Early Years recognition, alongside further study.”
Annie Richardson said:
“I am very proud of Tina’s bravery (despite her nerves) in contributing a paper to TACTYC and I wish her every success. Whether accepted or not, this is an amazing feat and demonstrates her passion and commitment for Early Childhood Education and Care.”
“Part-time work-based study is extremely hard with the need to balance work, study, and family-life and I am in awe of the commitment that our part-time students demonstrate. ‘Non-traditional’ students have many barriers to cross, and confidence in voicing their tremendous knowledge from experience is often a significant one. I am so happy that Tina found her voice during her journey on the course, allowing her to stand next to some of the ‘greats’ in outdoor learning at the NOLAP SIG launch.”