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Title: The early years : lost in translation?
Author: Allingham, Susan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2681 0861
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis asks two questions: 1. What is the connection between Early Years policy development and the lived experience of those professionals implementing it? 2. To what extent do Early Years professionals consider that government policy has contributed to a better understanding of Early Years practice for those implementing it, and towards a consistent national view? Recent years have seen a growing national focus on the Early Years of education, centring on government policy. With this focus has come a wide range of opinion as to what constitutes effective Early Years practice and how successful current policies are in achieving appropriate provision for young children. This thesis first introduces the central themes of policy and lived experience and sets out the rationale for the study. This is followed by an overview of the contribution of six key historical figures in early childhood education. The thesis moves on to discuss policy developments in England since the Plowden report in 1967. The thesis outlines and justifies the life historical methods for the study which involved interviews with eight professionals in order to understand how policy had impacted on their lives and work. Analysis of the data includes the stories of all eight participants and my own story as an Early Years teacher. The experiences of the eight participants were analysed to produce five themes: Personal qualities, Teaching- an art not a process?, Respectful or subversive teachers?, - Views of childhood; Resilience. These are discussed in the light of the participants' experiences and the literature on effective proactive practice and policy. This discussion illustrates professional and personal struggles to 'fit policy to children's needs through appropriate practice. The thesis concludes with an update on policy since the completion of fieldwork and a conclusion, returning to the research questions, which shows two things: first that - so far as the participants in this study are concerned - there is a mismatch between policy development and lived experience, and second, that some Early Years professionals develop government guidance and policy to contribute to a better understanding of Early Years practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available