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Title: Creating dialogues : an exploration into professionalism within early childhood education in Chile
Author: Viviani , Maria Jesus
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 4475
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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The aim of this study was to explore the different ways in which a number of Chilean stakeholders conceptualise professionalism within Early Childhood Education (ECE). In a context where neo-liberal narratives are increasingly dominating the field and the recent standardisation of the educators' professional role is being implemented and monitored, this research constitutes a critical and alternative viewpoint, analysing the situation as a whole, and creating dialogues between key actors. Semi-structured interviews and document analysis were undertaken to gather insights from SLC relevant national ECE institutions, forty-nine training institutions and eleven early childhood educators working in centres serving children from socioeconomically deprived areas. Adopting a postmodern approach to grounded theory (situational analysis), participants' discourses of professionalism were located, mapped and compared, together with a diversity of identified elements, human, and non-human actors. Professionalism was conceptualised as relational and highly situated by the majority of stakeholders, in contrast to the rather individual and decontextualised definition identified in the National Standards, which essentially expected from professional educators the master of a pre-specified pedagogical and disciplinary knowledge-base. Ethical values and attitudes such as reflective thinking, initiative and positive disposition towards learning were expected by training institutions, whereas educators themselves generally understood their role as a compensatory effort to provide children with the affection and emotional support perceived absent in their homes and communities. An educative role with children's families is also recognised as one of their responsibilities. Narrow positions, stereotypes and prejudices emerged between the stakeholders as conflicting issues. These were illustrated through the creation of dialogues using representative text bites, evidencing the urgent need for an ongoing real dialogue amongst educators, teacher educators, policy-makers and other relevant actors, which could contribute to the breaking down of fixed images, challenge relationships of power, and open up spaces for constructing new, as yet, unimagined meanings of being an early childhood professional in Chile.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available