With the rapid change experienced by the Early Years Workforce over recent times, this book considers what constitutes professionalization in the sector, and what this means in practice. Bringing a critical perspective to the developing knowledge and understanding of early years practitioners at various stages of their professional development, it draws attention to key themes and issues.

Chapters are written by leading authorities and researchers in the field, and provide case studies from practice, and questions and discussion points to facilitate critical thinking.

Topics covered include:

leading and managing in the early years; reflective journeys; constructions of professional identities; men in the early years; multi-disciplinary working in the early years; professionalization in the nursery; child care practitioners and professionalization; early childhood leadership and policy.

With staggered levels of Further Reading, the editors and contributors provide a rich source of material that encourages reflection and promotes progression.

Challenging Identities: A Case for Leadership

Challenging identities: A case for leadership


This chapter traces some emerging and dominant policy trends in early childhood provision to consider their impact on discourses of professionalism and implications for professional identity and leadership in the field. Using the concept of a ‘case’ as an instance of a policy intervention or outcome, the chapter documents three ‘cases’ of recent policy directions or policy outcome in Australia. Each case includes a description, some analysis and discussion of implications for professional identity. Across the cases, the potential impact of increasing market-based approaches to early childhood provision, intensification of regulation and accountability, and contradictions within the Australian early childhood reform agenda are canvassed. These discussions are informed by Australian research involving document and ...

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