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Title: Higher education provision and access for early years educators: localised challenges arising from national policy in England
Authors: Hoskins, K
Smedley, S
Keywords: Froebel;early years practitioners;qualifications;localism;policy enactment
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 2018
Abstract: Much has been written about the sustained attempts by successive governments to professional-ise the early years sector over the past 20 years in England (DfE, 2005, 2013, 2017a, 2017b; Lloyd and Hallet, 2010; Osgood, 2006a, 2009; Urban, 2010). A feature of these policy interventions has been to focus on creating a graduate workforce (Calder, 2008; Lloyd and Hallet, 2010: Nutbrown, 2012) to improve academic outcomes for young children. In this paper we draw on data from our recent Froebel Trust funded project, which involved interviews with 33 early years practitioners, to first explore the challenges facing state maintained early years settings in contrasting geographical contexts in England, including rural, suburban and urban, as they work towards achieving compli-ance with the recent policy aim of one graduate in each of their settings. Second, we use policy enactment theory to inform our analysis of senior staff members’ perceptions of tensions and op-portunities created by having a graduate workforce in state maintained early years settings. Third, we tentatively explore how to reconceptualise staff education and training with existing, experi-enced early years staff, that would reemphasize Froebelian informed approaches to enable practi-tioners to theorise their practice in a move towards what we have termed in this paper as ‘devel-opmental professionalism’. Our data show there is uneven access to higher education in con-trasting geographical contexts for those professionals seeking to gain graduate status and we ex-amine the implications of this for early years practitioners and managers attempting to access graduate qualifications.
ISSN: 1463-9491
Appears in Collections:Dept of Education Research Papers

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