Research and Development

Carousel has a strong capacity and expertise for Research and Development and our proven commitment to researching and developing practice helps sustain our culture of continual improvement and allows us to be responsive.  Within this, we have multiple collaborative relationships with local and national EY providers and strategy organisations (eg Children’s Centres and Early Arts)

Collaborative relationships

Since our launch in 2011, we have also developed a positive collaborative relationship with University of Exeter’s (UoE) Graduate School of Education (via Dr Kerry Chappell & the Centre for Creativity, Sustainability and Educational Futures colleagues and students).

The CenCSE Research Group is involved in a range of national and international collaborations investigating creativity in education in all its forms, and aims to bring knowledge and understanding from this to its work with Carousel. Dr Chappell and CenCSE colleagues are continually involved with other academics, practitioners and policy makers with co-participative methods a key feature of their research-driven academic group.

Recently this relationship has led to Kerry co-authoring a peer-reviewed academic article from the Round and Round You Turn Me project (full details below) with Carousel team members, Lizzie, Tamsin and Kath:

Chappell, K., Ford, K., Pender, T. & Swinford, L. (2016) Making and being made: wise humanising creativity in interdisciplinary early years arts education. International Journal of Early Years Education. DOI:10.1080/09669760.2016.1162704

The link will take you to the journal website where you can buy a copy of the article OR we have available a limited number of free downloads – if you would like to request use of one please contact Kath Ford or Kerry Chappell.


Kerry comments “I first became involved with Carousel in 2011 as a mum attending sessions with my children. I then gradually became involved professionally and now facilitate Carousel’s collaborative action research strand which is increasingly embedded within Carousel sessions.

Working together, we’ve been able to make connections between Carousel practice and a number of standout themes in the early years arts literature. In the peer-reviewed article, we’ve been able to use these to help articulate what Carousel does in a way that is actively informed by current theoretical and empirical research.

We also hope to be able to gradually inform current theoretical thinking through our findings.”