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Title: An examination of the development and nature of professional identity in five Early Years Professionals/Early Years Teachers in England : a phenomenological study
Author: Hryniewicz, Liz
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 558X
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2016
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This research project investigates the lived experience of professional identity of five Early Years Teachers, formerly Early Years Professionals (EYPs), working in a variety of early years settings in England. Early Years Teacher Status is a government-funded, standards-based graduate status for the birth to five sector, which replaced Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) in 2013. All EYPs are now entitled to call themselves Early Years Teachers. Both are part of a continued drive to professionalise the early years workforce, raise outcomes for children from birth to five and ensure children are ready for school. Concerns have been raised in the sector about the parity of pay, working conditions and status of Early Years Teachers when compared to those with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The research study uses an in-depth phenomenological approach and an innovative data gathering method, Learning Walks, to investigate how five EYPs, rebranded as Early Years Teachers, have made meaning of their new identity while working in a variety of early years settings: a pre-school, children's centre, home child-minding setting, Higher Education and nursery. Issues of identity, pedagogical leadership, power, agency and status are examined through the perspectives of the participants using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The findings emphasise the unique experiences of these Early Years Teachers, which are contextual to their workplace and influenced by personal experience and belief systems. Their confidence in a multi-disciplinary pedagogical approach is very visible, embedded within their previous identity as an EYP. However, the study underlines some of the tensions, issues and challenges which come from an imposed shift of professional identity from EYP to teacher, without the same pay and working conditions as QTS, and situated within a traditionally complex and marginalised workforce beset by notions of hierarchy and status. It provides new insight into the reality of such an abrupt, imposed and regulated identity change within a shifting policy field, which is reconceptualising early years education and care as preparation for school.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: L Education ; LB Theory and practice of education ; LB1139.2 Early childhood education ; LB1705 Education and training of teachers and administrators