International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development

Early Childhood Grows Up

Towards a Critical Ecology of the Profession

Editors: Miller, Linda, Dalli, Carmen, Urban, Mathias (Eds.)

  • Six early years practitioners talk about their professional experience
  • Crosses national and continental boundaries to present case studies of early years practice that reflect diverse socio-political contexts
  • Argues for a new critical ecology of the early childhood profession in which practitioners act as 'transformative agents' informed by the political and social realities of their time  
  • Shows that for early years practitioners what they did was central to how they defined their professionalism: as open-ended, relational, uncertain, intimate and discursive 
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  • Shows that professionalism in early childhood means linking ways of knowing with ways of being practical; doing, knowing and being are inseparable
  • Makes a case for practice-based evidence: research that embraces complexity in order to understand the field and inform policy
  •  
  • Helps readers to bring a critical perspective to their thinking and practice
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Hardcover $159.00
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  • ISBN 978-94-007-2717-5
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Softcover $159.00
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  • ISBN 978-94-007-9908-0
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About this book

Once the Cinderella of the education system, early years education has evolved into a much more substantially funded sector with staff experiencing greater opportunities for higher-level training and education as well as increasing demands. This book reflects practitioner debates about fundamental questions such as whether or not their field of work is a profession at all. Two key arguments are presented. The first is that early years education has matured to the point that pedagogical and regulatory frameworks have been introduced and linked to a terminology of professionalism. This has opened up a space for early years practitioners – as insiders of this historically undervalued sector – to question the nature of their practice.  The questioning leads to the second argument: the need for a new future for early years education marked by a ‘critical ecology’ of the profession. This is a future in which educators maintain an attitude of critical enquiry in all aspects of their role, assessing the genuine needs of the sector, factoring in the different political and cultural milieux that influence it, and acting to transform it.

In exploring the issues, this book begins by recording in detail the daily work of early years educators from six countries: Australia, England, Finland, Germany, New Zealand and Sweden. These case studies explore what it means to act professionally in a particular context; perceptions of what being a ‘professional’ in early childhood education means (including practitioners’ self perceptions and external perspectives); and common features of practice in each context. It moves on to analyse the wider socio-political forces that affect this day-to-day practice and recommends that practitioners act as transformative agents informed by the political and social realities of their time.

Reviews

From the reviews:

“Early Childhood Grows up: Towards a Critical Ecology of the Profession is a useful resource for practitioners, policy makers and other stake-holders in the early childhood sector. The insights that the authors provide, offer readers a deeper understanding of professionalism in early childhood education across the world. The different perspectives covered within this book are inspiring ‘stories’ that enable readers to reflect on what professionalism means to them and how they become agents for change.” (Pearl D’Silva, hekupu.ac.nz, Vol. 3 (2), March, 2013)

Table of contents (11 chapters)

  • Early Childhood Grows Up: Towards a Critical Ecology of the Profession

    Dalli, Carmen (et al.)

    Pages 3-19

  • Relationships, Reflexivity and Renewal: Professional Practice in Action in an Australian Children’s Centre

    Woodrow, Christine

    Pages 21-35

  • Leading and Managing in an Early Years Setting in England

    Miller, Linda (et al.)

    Pages 37-53

  • Acting as a Professional in a Finnish Early Childhood Education Context

    Karila, Kirsti (et al.)

    Pages 55-69

  • The Uncertain Expert: A Case Study from Germany

    Urban, Mathias

    Pages 71-85

Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-007-2718-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-2717-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-9908-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Early Childhood Grows Up
Book Subtitle
Towards a Critical Ecology of the Profession
Editors
  • Linda Miller
  • Carmen Dalli
  • Mathias Urban
Series Title
International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
Series Volume
6
Copyright
2012
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-94-007-2718-2
DOI
10.1007/978-94-007-2718-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-007-2717-5
Softcover ISBN
978-94-007-9908-0
Series ISSN
2468-8746
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 182
Topics