This entry examines the definition of a profession as distinct from other occupations and the interdisciplinary environment of early education. It reviews the development of the early childhood profession and historical shifts that affected professional identity and public perception of professional status. The current status of early childhood teachers as professionals, initiatives to raise status, and indicators of the degree to which teachers of children from birth through age 8 identify as members of the early childhood profession are reviewed.

Professions as Distinct From Other Occupations

Sociology offers two approaches to defining a profession. The sociological trait model proposes that if an occupation has specific traits then it is a profession. Examples of those traits include shared core knowledge and skills, accredited training programs affiliated with institutions ...

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