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Nurturing Young Children's Spirituality in Early Years Practice in England

Hudson, Jane (2018) Nurturing Young Children's Spirituality in Early Years Practice in England. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis is focused on nurturing young children’s spirituality in early childhood education practice and policy in England. It explores what spirituality means to six practitioners and four parents of children within the context of early childhood education provision for children from birth to five years, where practice is underpinned by the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Promoting spiritual development in early years practice is not explicit in this national policy framework or its macro-level practice guidance. In contrast to the National Curriculum, where promoting pupils’ spiritual development alongside moral, cultural, mental and physical development is explicit and is enshrined in legislation. Through a genealogical lens, the historical and contemporary policy position of promoting young children’s spiritual development in the educational and care context is traced and compared. Designed in a qualitative approach, artefacts belonging to the participants linked to their understanding of spirituality, provide a bridging tool to commence the spiritual dialogue in semi-structured interviews to define spirituality and to explore how the young child’s spirit is perceived to be nurtured in early childhood. The dialogue illustrates spiritually focused practice recorded in diaries by the practitioners and parent reflections on children’s experiences in early years settings and other environments. Leading to the identification of spiritually nurturing environments and barriers with the potential to hinder spirituality. The findings of the study suggest within the national early childhood education policy promoting spiritual development in early years practice is implicit and permeates through the statutory framework. Yet, education policy for spirituality is convoluted in the early childhood context in England, where promoting spiritual development in schools is legislated, which differs from provision in the private, voluntary and independent sector.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.792040
Depositing User: Jane Hudson
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2019 09:44
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2019 11:05
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25424

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