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Developing ECCE practitioners' sense of professionalism through reflective practice and on-going professional development

Bleach, Josephine (2011) Developing ECCE practitioners' sense of professionalism through reflective practice and on-going professional development. In: European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) 21st Annual Conference, 14 - 17 September 2011, Geneva - Lausanne. (Submitted)

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Reflective practice and on-going professional development for staff are regarded as central to ensuring high standards of quality provision in early years care and education settings (Dahlberg et al 1999, UNESCO 2004, CECDE 2006). In Ireland, as in many other countries (UNICEF 2008) the education and care divide (Bennet 2003) still operates. Pay, status and conditions for staff in the pre-school sector are inferior to those in the education sector, with most Early Years Care and Education (ECCE) practitioners having qualifications well below the graduate-level training that is standard in primary schools. In addition, there are a substantial number who have no formal qualifications. This has an impact on the professional identity of those working in the ECCE sector, where often they are perceived by parents and others as ‘glorified babysitters’.

This paper examines the impact of a professional development programme on practitioners’ sense of themselves as early years professionals. Participants brought to the programme their professional identity, which was influenced by their 'individual dispositions and emotions, day-to-day lives and relationships, training and education' (McGillivray 2008, 246). A social, collaborative and dialogic approach (Wong 2009) enabled participants to explore their values, beliefs and practice in a safe way. Asking clarifying questions and exploring issues in-depth was encouraged. This deepened participants' understanding of both the theory and their practice.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Abstract only. Full text not available from this repository.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > Early childhood education
Divisions: Early Learning Initiative Publications
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2014 13:25
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2019 08:30

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