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EDUC 6005 Week 4 Discussion: Week 4 Discussion

Early Childhood Contributors

For the Week 4 Discussion, choose two people who have made significant contributions to the early childhood field and find at least one scholarly article about each. This guide covers:

Biographical info in context

Search encyclopedias

Search Thoreau for people

Search the web for people

Search ebrary books for biographies


Biographical information in context

Information about the life, accomplishments, motivation, and so forth of an influential person is typically considered biographical information. Such content is usually found in encyclopedias, books, and websites.

It can be difficult to find scholarly articles about people. Scholarly content tends to focus on research and issues in a field—not on the authors or practitioners themselves. Additionally, no matter how influential, contemporary researchers may not have books or encyclopedia entries written about them.

As you explore your two contributors, keep in mind:

  1. Scholarly is not the same as peer reviewed. Peer review is a rigorous process for evaluating original research. Scholarly content is merely content aimed at the scholarly community. You will be more likely to find the biographical information you seek if you do not limit to peer review when searching the library databases.
  2. That said, be sure to evaluate the article to ensure it's aimed at scholars and professionals in the field, and not the general public. Learn more about evaluating resources.

  3. You may want to supplement your understanding with encyclopedias or websites. These sources are more likely to contain general information.

Search encyclopedias

For very basic information about a person you can consult an encyclopedia. The Walden Library has a few options for accessing encyclopedias.

SAGE Encyclopedias

SAGE Encyclopedias contains several education encyclopedias. If you search by a person's name, you may find results by and about the person. Please note you will be more likely to find information about historical figures than contemporary ones. You might also search by a topic for general overviews, for example:

  • early childhood education
  • child care

Early Childhood Education Encyclopedia

Search Thoreau for people

Thoreau searches multiple library databases at once.  It will search for articles, videos and books.

1. Enter the person's name in the Thoreau search box below to find items by and about a person:

(This search will open in a new window. Click back to this original window or tab for reference.)

2. If desired, use the options on the left to refine your results:

  • Change the date range.
  • Limit to Academic Journals (these are considered scholarly).
  • Avoid the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals option. Peer-reviewed content is less likely to contain biographical information.

3. Browse the titles for items of interest, and click them to see abstracts. Full text is linked nearby.

Thoreau Tip: For more results, uncheck Full Text on the left and click Search again. When full text is checked, Thoreau searches only about about half of our databases. With full text unchecked, you search significantly more.

Articles that are guaranteed to have full text will have a PDF Full Text or HTML Full Text link. If not, click the Find@Walden button:

It will check for full text in another database. We often have it!

Search the web for people

If your contributor is contemporary, he or she likely has a personal website, which may have a short bio and a list of publications and other accomplishments.

Search Google for the person's name in quote marks (this searches for the name as a phrase). If the results don't match what you need, add more terms, such as the institution where he or she works or a focus of study, for examples:

  • "Jane Doe"
  • "Jane Doe" Walden University
  • "Jane Doe" Head Start
Google Web Search