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Being a graduate professional in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care: silence, submission and subversion

Basford, Jo (2019) Being a graduate professional in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care: silence, submission and subversion. Education 3-13, 47 (7). pp. 862-875. ISSN 0300-4279

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Abstract

Recent workforce reform in England has sought to increase opportunities for practitioners who work outside the maintained (school) sector to gain graduate status. Whilst these opportunities have generally been welcomed within the sector, this has created dichotomous tensions for the ECEC workforce. The traditional construction of the ECEC practitioner assumes a lack of educational and social capital [Osgood, J. 2009. “Childcare Workforce Reform in England and ‘the Early Years Professional’: A Critical Discourse Analysis.” Journal of Education Policy 24 (6): 733–751. doi:10.1080/02680930903244557]. Its associated dispositions do not necessarily fit with the alternative construct of the Early Years Professional or Teacher who, through gaining educational capital in the form of a university degree, will be sufficiently equipped to enact the normative and performative discourses which dominate educational and social policy. These tensions serve as the focus for this study, which was concerned with examining how a group of graduate practitioners were endeavouring to broker their competing professional constructs within their own workplace. The research argues for the necessity to establish professional, relational spaces within and across the field of Early Years Education and Care in order to have a greater understanding of the value that all early years professionals can contribute to pedagogical practice.

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