Introduction to the DECD journal clubs
Journal Club questions and critically appraised articles
Journal club questions and a selection of possible articles
How to develop a clinical question for searching (PICO/PIO/PICOT/SPICE etc.)
Link to the critical appraisal tool webpage

Introduction to the DECD journal clubs

iCAHE and DECD are currently working together to test the value and relevance to Children’s Centres of the iCAHE model of  Journal Clubs. 

iCAHE Journal Clubs provide an avenue for accessing, evaluating and reflecting upon evidenced derived from the literature thereby promoting evidenced-based practice for both the individual practitioner and the organisations for whom they work. iCAHE Journal Clubs have been successfully supporting evidence-based practice in (allied) health for several years, and have also been piloted with health consumer representatives.

The idea of testing the value of Journal Clubs grew from our previous partnership work evaluating allied health services in Children’s Centres. 28 Children’s Centre Journal Club facilitators have been trained and below are a range of interesting and thought-proving questions and research articles which are assisting these Journal Clubs in improving practice and ultimately the outcomes for the children and families with whom they work.

Link to the Department of Education and Childhood Development South Australia website


Journal Club questions and critically appraised articles

The following PICO's were developed by various DECD journal clubs. This section shows the journal article the DECD clubs choose, and the critical appraisal of the article that was carried out by the iCAHE journal club team.

PICO developed by the journal club

Article found by the iCAHE journal club support team

Question: What strategies can we use to build a collaborative working culture in a Children's Centre with a Multi-disciplinary team?
Population: Children's Centres teams
Intervention: Any strategies that support all members of the team to feel empowered and valued in working together to achieve the best outcomes for the children, families and community of the centre.
Outcomes: Empowerment for team members, strategies for leaders to use with teams, shared understandings, engagement and satisfaction.

Robinson M, Anning, A, Frost N (2005). When is a teacher not a teacher?: knowledge creation and the professional identity of teachers within multi-agency teams.  Studies in Continuing Education 27(2):175-191

link to the article (pdf 152kb)

link to the critical appraisal (pdf 454kb)

Question: How does a service with a Multi- Disciplinary team use strategic planning processes to ensure the provision of effective universal and targeted services for families with young children?
Population: Children’s Centres teams
Intervention: Any strategies that support all members of the team to feel empowered and valued in working together to achieve the best outcomes for the children, families and community of the centre.
Outcomes: Strategies for planning the types of services offered / assessment of quality and effectiveness of these services / effective communication systems between team members and with families

Malin N, Morrow G (2007). Models of interprofessional working within a Sure Start "trailblazer" Programme.  Journal of interprofessional care 21(4):445-457. 

link to the article (pdf 154kb)

link to the critical appraisal (pdf 448kb)

What strategies/methods have been used to educate/engage/support understanding regarding the importance/value/benefits of play based learning/creative play/pretend play in parents of preschool age children.

Parmer P, Harkness S, Super CM (2004). Asian and Euro-American Parents' ethnotheories of play and learning: Effects on preschool children's home routines and school behaviour. International Journal of Behavioral Development 28(2):97-104.

link to the article (pdf 73kb)

link to the critical appraisal (pdf 448kb)

What strategies are recommended for children 0-3 years of age to support their arousal, emotional, sensory, activity regulation?

Bernier A, Carlson S, Whipple N (2010). From External Regulation to Self-Regulation: Early Parenting Precursors of Young Children’s Executive Functioning. Child Development. 81(1):326-339.

link to the article (pdf 121kb)

link to the critical appraisal (pdf 448kb)

What strategies and outcomes have been documented to successfully engage Aboriginal families in a meaningful and culturally sensitive way to improve engagement in early learning programs?

Malin M, Maidment D (2003). Education, Indigenous survival and well-being: Emerging ideas and programs. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education 32:85-100.

link to the article (pdf 1mb)

link to the critical appraisal (pdf 455kb)


Journal club questions and a selection of possibly relevant articles

This section shows PICO’s that were developed by various DECD journal clubs, and a selection of results that were found that may answer this question. As no choice was made by the club, there are no critical appraisals in this section. This section gives an idea of the breadth of questions asked by the DECD journal clubs.

Practice scenario/topic and PICO

Possible articles to answer the question

Topic: What are the processes for educators to evaluate the effectiveness of transition programs from preschool to school settings?                                               

Population – Transition could also be applied to children moving into the preschool from childcare and private homes but for the scope of this inquiry we will focus on preschool to school settings.
Intervention: evaluate, assess, and therefore improve the transition process from the position of the child, families and educators at the preschool and school sites
Comparison: ?
Outcomes: To improve transition programs for children, families and educators which in turn will lead to positive learning and wellbeing outcomes for all children.

Skouteris H, Watson B, Lum J (2012). Preschool children's transition to formal schooling: The importance of collaboration between teachers, parents and children. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood 37(4):78-85.

link to the article (pdf 74kb)

Quach J, Gold L, Arnup S, Sia KL, Wake M, Hiscock H (2013). Sleep well—be well study: improving school transition by improving child sleep: a translational randomised trial. BMJ open, 3(10) doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004009

link to the article (html)

McIntyre LL, Eckert TL, Arbolino LA, Reed FDD, Fiese BH (2014). The Transition to Kindergarten for Typically Developing Children: A Survey of School Psychologists’ Involvement. Early Childhood Education Journal, 42(3):203-210.

link to the article (pdf 189kb)

Topic: How has the AEDC and similar data being used in childhood settings? 

Population – preschool directors, teachers, early childhood workers and Community Development Officer, primary teachers and principals and early childhood leader (ECL) who are working in the Port Lincoln partnership. It would be great if we could also include someone from the city council (but this may be a dream).
Intervention: investigate /review different ways the data has been used in other regions (and with what results), then to consider, suggest, hypothesis ways to entice our local community to engage with the data.
Comparison: ?
Outcomes: To inform the local community and service providers including preschool and schooling educators, councillors etc of the needs of young children (and families) in terms of their cognitive, physical, general knowledge, communication, social and wellbeing development, and therefore the relevant services which are needed to be offered in the community. 

This is a website which has a range of research projects which address the PICO:

Topic: What are the educational and ethical considerations when using food in early learning activities (0-5 years)?

Dazeley P, Houston-Price C, Hill C (2012). Should healthy eating programmes incorporate interaction with foods in different sensory modalities? A review of the evidence. British Journal of Nutrition,108:769–777.

link to the article (pdf 115kb)

Nederkoorn C, Jansen A, Havermans RC (2015). Feel your food. The influence of tactile sensitivity on picky eating in children. Appetite 84:7-10.

link to the article (pdf 250kb) 

Dazeley P, Houston-Price C (2015). Exposure to foods’ non-taste sensory properties. A nursery intervention to increase children’s willingness to try fruit and vegetables. Appetite 84:1-6.

link to the article (pdf 251kb)

Topic: What evidence is there to support that the integration of the concepts of ‘fixed ‘ and ‘growth’ mindsets across multidisciplinary practice (in the context of Children’s Centres for Early Childhood Development and Parenting) would result in better outcomes for children and families?

Yeager DS, Paunesku D, Walton GM, Dweck CS (May 10, 2013).  How Can We Instill Productive Mindsets at Scale? A Review of the Evidence and an Initial R&D Agenda. A White Paper prepared for the White House meeting on Excellence in Education: The Importance of Academic Mindsets

link to the white paper (pdf 2mb)

O’Rourke E, Haimovitz K, Ballwebber C, Dweck CS, and Popovi´c Z (2014). Brain Points: A Growth Mindset Incentive Structure Boosts Persistence in an Educational Game.  Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM

link to the article (pdf 4mb)

Boaler J (2013). Ability and Mathematics: the mindset revolution that is reshaping education.  FORUM 55(1):143-152.

link to the article (pdf 120kb)

Partnership question: What strategies do the Reggio Emilia approach suggest in maximising learner potential?

Population: Early Childhood educators
Intervention: pedagogy
Outcome: building teacher capacity

Roth AV, Månsson A (2011). Individual development plans from a critical didactic perspective: Focusing on Montessori- and Reggio Emilia-profiled preschools in Sweden. Journal of Early Childhood Research. 1476718X10389148.

link to the article (pdf 233kb)

Wood J, Thall T, Parnell EC (2015). The move: Reggio Emilia‐inspired teaching. Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education 12(1):98‐108.

link to the article (pdf 423kb)

Children’s Centre question: What strategies are documented to empower/involve vulnerable families in Children’s Centres?

Population: Children’s Centre families
Intervention: engagement, sense of connection
Outcome: Vulnerable families have sense of belonging and increased engagement

Broussard CA, Joseph AL, Thompson M (2012). Stressors and Coping Strategies Used by Single Mothers Living in Poverty. Journal of Women and Social Work 27(2):190-204.

link to the article (pdf 167kb)

Fantuzzo J, Stevenson H, Kabir SA, Perry MA (2007). An Investigation of a Community-based Intervention for Socially Isolated Parents with a History of Child Maltreatment. J Fam Viol 22:81–89.

link to the article (pdf 245kb)

LaMont ED (2014). Vulnerable Children and Families: Voices from the National Landscape. Child Adolesc Soc Work J 31:251–265.

link to the article (pdf 195kb)

Freiberg K, Homel R, Lamb C (2007). The pervasive impact of poverty on children: tackling family adversity and promoting child development through the pathways to prevention project. In France A, Homel R (Eds.), Pathways and Crime Prevention: Theory, Policy and Practice. Cullumpton, Devon, UK: Willan Publishing.

link to the article (pdf 165kb)


Education, Indigenous survival and well-being: Emerging ideas and programs. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education