Debates frequently focus on the role of training as an indicator of quality, but far less attention is given to understanding how to work effectively with young children, and how the knowledge to do this is built. This book examines the development and sources of this ‘know-how’ - from the knowledge the early years workforce already have to the knowledge they will develop in their practical and theoretical training. This also includes the knowledge that cannot be described but is nonetheless important in guiding the daily work of the early years sector. Both theoretical and practical knowledge are brought together while encouraging critical consideration of alternative forms of knowledge such as attitudes and beliefs. Providing international examples and theoretical discussions on the challenges and rewards of working in the early years, this book seeks to identify, recognise and celebrate how those who work in early years education deliver best practice when working with young children.

What Does it Mean to be a Professional in the Early Years?

What Does it Mean to be a Professional in the Early Years?

What Does it Mean to be a Professional in the Early Years?

Early years services and those who work in them are shaped by a range of different historical, social and economic factors that have consequences for answering the question what does it mean to be a professional in the early years? In this chapter I trace the historical development of early years services, including the influence of gender norms, economics and social policy in different international contexts to contemplate their consequences for interpreting what is meant by the terms ‘early years’ and ‘professional’. I consider interpretations of early years services as care, education or educare and how this impacts on understandings of ...

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