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Negotiating and Developing Professionalism: Early Years Practitioners’ Stories of Professional Identity

Chalke, Joy (2015) Negotiating and Developing Professionalism: Early Years Practitioners’ Stories of Professional Identity. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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The professionalisation of the early years education and care workforce became a significant policy issue in England from 1997. Notions of a graduate leading practice became part of the expectations that led to the establishment of the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) (CWDC, 2006). Academic debate at the time began to question the value of the status, with some voices arguing that it purely provided a technicist approach (Osgood, 2010) and suggested there was a need to discover how practitioners in the workforce viewed and constructed their own professionalism (Brock, 2006a). This study responds to that call for evidence by exploring the professional life histories of five graduate early years practitioners in England who were working with children from birth to age four years. Analysis and discussion of their narratives considers how they construct their professional identities. This study recognises the importance of qualifications for developing professional knowledge and identity but also makes a case for acknowledging the role of performing practice; as well as feelings, values and beliefs in professional identity construction. It develops a method of analysis in the ‘holistic silhouette’ which provides a technique that allows exploration of the interrelationships between these three key aspects of professional identity: head (knowledge, reason and thinking), heart (passion, feelings, values and beliefs) and hands (professionalism as worked out in practice). It concludes this approach provides a means to develop understandings of professional identity construction in the early years workforce through further research, as well as supporting transformation of professional identity within the sector outside of the narrow definitions currently represented by the Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) (NCTL, 2013).

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.640665
Depositing User: Dr Joy Chalke
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2015 09:13
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:09
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8216

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