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Why would schools choose to have two-year-olds? An exploration of 'quality' from a complexity viewpoint.

Lancaster, Andrea (2018) Why would schools choose to have two-year-olds? An exploration of 'quality' from a complexity viewpoint. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

It is widely accepted that ‘quality’ is both a necessary attribute in the provision of early childhood education (ECE) and that it is also an extremely difficult concept to define. Multiple meanings co-exist within individual organisations and the wider education system. Building on the work of Edgar Morin, the French philosopher and sociologist, this study uses critical complexity theory as both a theoretical and methodological framework to explore how quality is being conceptualised in relation to the policy of schools offering Free Early Learning (FEL) places for two-year-olds. The thesis offers a case-study of four schools within one English local authority when they were just starting to offer two-year-old FEL places in Summer 2014. The research does not attempt to arbitrate over what is considered to be ‘quality’ provision or practice for two-year-olds. Instead it considers how current understandings of quality for two-year-olds in schools have evolved over time and how ideas about quality originating in the business sector appear to have informed practices such as early intervention strategies and the measurement of children’s academic outcomes. The argument is made that because of the impact of high-stakes accountability measures there is a danger that manufacturing or production-based understandings of quality become the norm and that other important understandings of quality are marginalised or lost. Suggestions are made about where future attention could be focused by those in leadership or advisory roles to redress the balance in how quality is perceived in schools.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.772878
Depositing User: Mrs Andrea Lancaster
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2019 08:28
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:07
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23593

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