Success of and barriers to workshop methodology: Experiences from Exploration and Pedagogical Innovation Laboratories (EX-PED-LAB)
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This chapter reports on the emerging findings during the first year of a design- and inquiry-based research project called Kindergarten Teacher as a Researcher. The project attempts to implement a design for collaboration and knowledge co-creation through a workshop methodology called Exploration and Pedagogical Innovation Laboratories (EX-PED-LAB). The project was funded by the Research Council of Norway as a starting grant for the common initiative of the Agency for Kindergartens (Bergen City, Norway) and the KINDknow Research Centre [BARNkunne – Senter for barnehageforskning], located at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). The goal of the workshop laboratory was twofold: (1) to support early childhood educational leaders and staff in enhancing the quality of kindergartens in close collaboration with researchers and (2) to research three areas of common interest: the play, exploration, and learning environment; collaboration with families; and leadership and governance. This chapter highlights a set of features for success, as well as takeaway points for the further development of the workshop methodology, tailored to future early childhood partnership research programmes. Drawing on the case of the EX-PED-LAB project, the chapter seeks to describe the features of the success of and barriers to collaborative explorative processes and knowledge-creating practices in practices-developing research. These insights will be beneficial for further investigations, consolidations, and refinements of the workshop methodology.