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Transformation of early years provision using discourses for professional development for practitioners

conference contribution
posted on 2023-07-26, 12:38 authored by Christine Such, Julia A. Druce
How have changes to early years policy influenced professional development for early years practitioners in England? How do practitioners’ experiences of higher education transform and influence curriculum provision for young children? This paper brings together literature on changes to early years in England to consider how these in turn may influence what forms professional development may take for early years practitioners. The possible forms of professional development and their potential will be considered within a wider discourse of transformation centred on the practitioner as ‘agent of change’. How these are developed within the context of practitioners’ experiences of higher education will be explored in the final part of the paper. The first part of the paper considers the changing policy context and the growth of new and existing forms of early years provision in England and how this sets the workforce agenda by government. The emphasis from research has been on the importance of high quality provision led by qualified staff. Here the practitioners’ role is seen as pivotal to the development of children’s learning and well-being; and to the success of integrating care and education. The second part highlights how evidence on effective pedagogical practices is now part of the discourse for professional development. This further raises issues to do with leadership of practice and what form this may take in early years. The final part of the paper will consider continuous professional development focusing on practitioners’ experiences of higher education and how these may influence their practice. Clegg cautions how academic development in higher education has been set within a managerialist discourse of practice. She proposes the use of models of workplace learning which actively engage users in reflective practice.


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Early Childhood Curriculum, Policy and Pedagogy in the 21st Century: An International Debate


Chelmsford, UK

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ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)

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