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by Lucy Denahy - Thursday, 20 December 2018, 3:04 PM
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Stopping to really reflect on how well practitioners support and respect parents understanding has had a profound impact on me in relation to the practice that I manage and the sector I work within. Over the past few years more than anything and probably fuelled by the knowledge I have gained around early years I worry how as a sector we manage the importance of what we do and the impact we can have on children’s outcomes. In all honesty I don’t think collectively we are doing a great job, and this paper is just more evidence of how practitioners lack of understanding of applying theory to practice can have negative impact on children’s outcomes. The policy is there, the EYFS (2017) and Birth to Three Matters (2002) emphasises the importance of parents as partners. Noddings (1984, 1992) researches the importance of care within the professional role. The Parents in Early Years and Learning (PEAL) training for practitioners which challenges the preconceptions of the contexts around families (Brock, 2015). Yet if practitioners do not understand and value the importance of any of this how can they apply it to their work. As Brooker (2010) writes how can all this research and policy be preformed in a sector where levels of quality are extremely varied.

So many just follow policies without question and develop their pedagogy based on government guidelines without stopping to question and if needed challenge them. I think it says it all in the introduction where Bertram and Pascal (1999) write how fast the sector has needed to develop to meet the needs created by changing times and it has been thrown together through a clumsy attempt to meet these needs without any solid assimilation of services. There has been unprecedented increase of services for families which have increased the needs for more childcare through initiatives such as nursery grants all aimed to get mothers back to work (Brooker, 2010). This fast-growing industry has developed business opportunities for the private sector and early years establishments have been expanding to meet these needs with profit as a driver as opposed to quality and care of the children whose most precious years of development pass through their doors.

The governments answer to reducing poverty by early intervention has been to get more children into settings anticipating that settings will do a better job to support the most vulnerable children and families. This paper is another example of the importance of effective practice been down to practitioner’s knowledge and understanding of their roles and the impact of their work. In these changing times where children are ever more in childcare whilst parents are working full time there is an essential need for practitioners to be effective in their delivery of building relationships between parents and children. This understanding must be enhanced through the qualifications of staff working in the sector and their understanding of enhancing these relationships to have an effective impact on the children.

References

Bertram, T. and Pascal, C. (1999) OECD Thematic Review of Early Childhood Education and Care: Background Report for the United Kingdom (Oxford, Centre for Research in Early Childhood).

Brock, A. (2015) The Early Years Reflective Practice Handbook. Oxon: Routledge.

Brooker, L. (2010). Constructing the triangle of care: Power and professionalism in practitioner/parent relationships. British Journal of Educational Studies, 58(2), 181-196.

Department for Education and Skills (2002) Birth to Three Matters (London, DfES / Sure Start Unit).

Department for Education (2017) Statutory Framework for the early years foundation stage London: Pre-school Learning Alliance.

National Children's Bureau, N. (2018) Parents, Early Years & Learning. [Online] Available from: https://www.ncb.org.uk/what-we-do/our-priorities/early-years/projects-programmes/parents-early-years-learning [accessed 18/12/2018].

 

 

 
Anyone in the world

The above article provided yet another useful perspective of what makes a quality early years education. It was based upon an interview based qualitative case study in Japan, where educates demonstrated their own philosophy on education , the outcome of which, as I’m sure many early years workers would agree on, is the foundation of all learning, enjoyment, happiness, children must be engaged in a way that intrigues and excites them about a subject their being taught, it must be relatable to them, on their level, beneficial to them, they must feel as though they are learning it because they want to, not because the curriculum requires them to do so. Education, must embrace the whole child, a concept in my opinion , many have been fighting for.

This study was particularly interesting, because it provides a perspective from a different culture. The kindergarten in question is based on Soka ideals, a worldwide Buddhist organisation, which holds core values and morals of society at its core, such as, peace, culture and education. It believes that for an person to contribute to society, the individual must first be empowered, this theory makes a lot of sense, and perhaps we have something to learn for this.

The results of the study conclude four main themes identified by educators that they consider vital to early years education. The first of which was, happiness. Happiness was thought to be the very essence of childrens development. The articles goes onto explain , that true happiness comes from the inside of a child, it’s not a fake smile, happiness and feeling content can be seen through the child’s actions, composure, body language. Making reference to (Waters 2010),happiness cannot be interpreted as a photograph of a politician, sat in a colourful classroom, surrounded by beaming children.  The second theme was determination. As determination reinforces positive feeling that a child experiences about their education and success, and repeating that feeling, will help them in later life to overcome adversities, this theme places importance on nurturing  an individual from the get go. The third theme as concerned with hope, and the idea that hope contributes to happiness. It elaborates that all children should have hopes and dreams, that they should be free to strive towards their own goals , as well as giving hope to others, and that this approach, helps to create a harmonious society. Personally, this approach to education and giving such respect to children as their own persons, sounds like the ideal utopia. The forth and final theme was concerned with having a sense of appreciation and gratitude, this works hand in hand with previous themes in order to achieve happiness. It places significance on mentor-and-disciple relationship, and tht there should be a two way dialogue of appreciation.

Overall the article was like a breath of fresh air, a piece of literature that gave early years dignity, recognition, and adoration , and gave a fantastic example of how early years education should be, in order for children to thrive. It gave high regard  that a child should be seen as whole, and the education system should treat them likewise.

 

Ikegam, K, Aghenyega, S, J. (2014). ‘Exploring educators’ perspectives : How does learning through ‘happiness’ promote quality early childhood?’. Australian journal of early years,39(3), 46-55.

Waters, M (2010) Thinking allowed on schooling. An independent thinking press

 
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by Alina Rose - Thursday, 20 December 2018, 11:21 AM
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The above article, discusses the demise of the educational system and politics, and I have to say that I agree. It is not something new, that policy makers like to use education as the front to their campaign , proclaiming they’ve got the secret of how they will reform the system, make it better for our children, usually this begins with re-naming organisations and already existing strategies, all in all to give them a new fresh look , and make it seem that positive changes are happening. However, what is happening in reality. I believe  that perhaps politics mix a little too much into a sector, which in my opinion should be handled with kid gloves and professionals working within in, that are well informed and educated in the matter, and have been immersed in it for some time. The inability to be relatable to children and young people is evident in Gove’s speech to teenagers, in which he uses questionable tactics to put down his opponents, can be described as an unacceptable approach to take at the very least, and could this be classes as propaganda, and  exploitation of schools and pupils? If so, then how is this still permitted, why are schools and the professionals working in them not make good use of their authority and stand up for the children that they are a role model for, and defend their right to autonomy, and not to be influenced by one sided political smear campaign.

 

Not only is the complete reformation of education a down fall of every new party that comes into power, but, the good and beneficial strategies that were welcomed and benefited children got scrapped in favour of the new “ flavour of the month” topic , that perhaps no one even thought about of being an issue until it came out,  I agree with the some what witty tone of the article when this sort of maneuverer is described as wasteful, in both time and resources. I believe that both time and money would be better spent, building up upon strategies, rather than starting things from scratch each time.

 

Politics can also be found guilty of painting every one with he same brush. Waters discusses this, when he talks about how everything has become so London-centric, the typical issues that arise in our Capital somehow trickle their way down to the rest of the country, where possibly, the same problems do not exist, and thus do not need to be addressed.

In conclusion the overall feel of the article was an enjoyable an witty experience, of what is in my opinion is a somewhat broken system. I share Waters view, that politics shouldn’t manipulate the education systems, or plie schools with funding, or spread unbalanced messages to the young people in our society. The only question remains is what can be done to stop it, perhaps that would make an interesting dip into more research on the matter for the future.

 

Waters, M (2013). Thinking allowed on schooling. The independent thinking press.

 
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The above article was a very interesting read, it provided an insight of different perspectives on the topic. It discussed the historical background of how provision was introduced in the late 90’s, as a custodian setting , attempting to meet the diverse needs of the growing public, it was described as uncoordinated and sparsely met its goals, as well as showing little concern of learning and development of children, rather was successful at being a safety net for the most deprived. The article later discussed Nodding’s perspective on how care and early education should be delivered to children. I must say that I couldn’t agree more, when she states that care should be at the very core of provision, as she so rightly says that every one wants to be cared for , as well as wanting to care for others, it is an innate human trait, and children most of all, should not be deprived of that.

She goes on to say, that if we lay down the foundation of caring for others, this allows others to learn from example and start providing care themselves to those who need it, after all, we are role models for children that we work with, so why wouldn’t we wish to demonstrate kindness and support. Nodding’s expands to explain that by both providing, as well as being open to receiving care, a relationship develops between the care giver and the one being cared for, and that both parties gain an equal amount of benefit from the relationship. It is important to consider, as stated in the article, that these type of relationships begin at home for children, however the role of the parents/parenting is given too little credit in the educational system, same as providing care as the foundation of learning, that I believe is a very big down fall of our current system, because how can we expect a child to thrive in an environment that they are unsure about , or do not feel safe to be themselves in, where they’re unsure if they will be given support when they didn’t get things quite right, or, whether they’ll be shamed for getting it wrong.

We all need support and to be gently guided in a caring manner if we are to be successful, even as adults, so how can we expect children and young people to have such a high level of resilience , which in reality , I don’t think they should be made to have, or to develop a thick skin, they should be nurtured , and provided with a safe space to develop, feel comfortable and confident, and then, learn.

 

Reference

Brooker, M. (2010). 'Constructing the triangle of care: power and professionalism in practitioner/paren relationships. British Journal of Education, 58 (2), 181-196.

 
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by Charlotte Allen - Sunday, 9 December 2018, 12:35 PM
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This made for quite an interesting read, especially with recent debates on what constitutes ‘professionalism’. It reveals the dichotomy between how practitioners may view parents, how they view practitioners and the potential gaps between these views. The practitioners appeared to view themselves as higher status than the parents, and by disregarding how parents viewed themselves, and not giving the parents status as professional, in terms of their knowledge of the children, actually lowered the parents’ opinion of the practitioners. It bought to mind recent situations and interactions with parents at work, where parents had been upset by well-meaning practitioners, who failed at that time to take the parents’ views into consideration.

Perhaps it is partly due to the historical roots of how childcare came about for children under three, that the practitioners assume themselves to hold the power in the relationship, rather than valuing what parents can contribute. This is very much linked to the deficit model, where government nurseries were expected to bridge the gap between what the government deemed to be insufficient parenting and what children should be achieving. There have been various schemes and policies since then, implemented by the government, to try to bring some cohesiveness to provision.

With this, the nurseries in the study were putting policies in place to help welcome parents and aid communication. All of the ways that the practitioners tried to make the parents feel welcome were valid in themselves; but were not necessarily executed in a way that made the parents feel like an equal partner, more like it was something that they partook in as a passive observer. “Most appeared to have accepted the visit… rather than welcoming its benefits for themselves or their child”, (Brooker, 2010: 187). It is easy to think, when trying to do things to ease communication with parents, or to make their lives easier, that we are doing the right thing; and often we are comfortable in the nursery setting as it is almost our ‘territory’. It was a good reminder that parents may not feel comfortable to question; are we engaging in authentic relationship or paying lip service to the idea of parent partnership?

Parent partnership is key to understanding the child, as the parents should know their child better than anyone else, and unless in full-time day-care, they will see their child more than the nursery. There was a clear difference in how the parents felt their children were cared for, and linked to this, a difference between how they felt in the relationships with staff. With the first – Steel Street – “the ‘care’ that these staff offered was assumed to be functional… seemed unlikely that the parent and key worker would develop a relationship of equality”, (Brooker, 2010: 193). This contrasted strongly to how parents felt at the second – City Fields – where the relationships seemed more equal, and by celebrating their differences, respect was reciprocated. Respect meant that parents felt comfortable about leaving their children, knew they would be well-cared for, and held the staff in a higher status.

Reference

Brooker, L. (2010). Constructing the triangle of care: Power and professionalism in practitioner/parent relationships. British Journal of Educational Studies, 58(2), 181-196.

 
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The following will be my views on the information obtained in the article ‘Constructing the triangle of care: power of professionalism in practitioner/parent relationships’. I will discuss two of my key findings from this article. 

The first key finding is that of Centre-based childcare. Centre-based childcare is a relatively new development for the UK, where children are either cared for by private run settings or by social services. When reading the article, it suggested that these facilities were introduced to help reduce child poverty and support social inclusion (Brooker, 2010). A nursery grant was also introduced in 2004 that offered 15 hours per week of funded care in nurseries or Centre-based settings. The nursery grant has now been extended to 30 hours per week and is also available for 2 year old’s in some socially deprived areas (Department of Education , 2017). 

Having these grants has supported parents financially and enabled single parents to return to work without the burden of childcare costs. It has also meant that children will receive high quality education, giving them the best start in life and make a positive difference to family lives (Department of Education , 2017). It is suggested that early education will help improve opportunities for children’s success in later life regardless of their social backgrounds. Early education that is provided supports some of the prime and specific area’s of development, as well as early intervention for children displaying signs of special educational needs (Foundation Years great early years and childcare, 2018). 

The second key finding is that of the importance of a professional parent and practitioner relationship. Within the article, it suggests that it is crucial for the child’s future development and well-being (Brooker, 2010). This relationship is known as the ‘triangle of care’. Working in partnership with parents is highlighted in the Professional association for childcare and early years, they suggest the importance of communication with parents or carers from the beginning, at the transition period. This helps build the relationship and learn of any issues that there could be. Communication daily is also important, having the time to discuss how a child’s day went or to answer any questions and listen to any concerns will secure a bond of trust. Having a good professional relationship and clear lines of communication will help practitioners understand how to approach and speak to the parents or carers. Some adults may have English as a second language, have additional needs or just want a little longer to speak then other parents. Having that relationship helps practitioners read a parents or carers body language and understand the needs of the parents (Professional association for childcare and early years, 2018).  

Having regular conversations with parents or carers is the best way to share information, listen to some views or opinions and also to resolve any concerns or issues. Parental and practitioner partnerships can impact a child’s learning, by having open afternoons or mornings to share what their child is learning, offer resources and information, will enable a parent to support their child at home and also give them the tools to do so. Working in partnership with parents ensures the educational welfare of children as well as their social, emotional, physical and academic development and their happiness (Eaude, 2011).    

Brooker, L. (2010)  Constructing the triangle of care: power and professionalism in the practitioner/ parent relationships. Institute of Education. Vol. 58, No. 2: 181-196. 

Department of Education  (2017) 30 Hours free childcare launches. [Online] Available from: www.gov.uk [accessed 03 December 2018]. 

Eaude, T. (2011) Thinking through pedagogy for primary and early years. Exeter: Learning matters Ltd. 

(Eaude, 2011) 

Foundation Years great early years and childcare (2018) Children's centres and local services. [Online] Available from: www.foundationyears.org.uk [accessed 02 December 2018]. 

Professional association for childcare and early years (2018) Working in partnership with parents. [Online] Available from: www.pacey.org.uk [accessed 02 December 2018].

[ Modified: Thursday, 20 December 2018, 7:36 PM ]
 
Anyone in the world

 

 

Constructing the Triangle of Care: Power and Professionalism in Practitioner/Parent Relationships.

After reading the article it left me feeling a little sad. The study referred to the fact that none of the key workers seemed to understand or be aware of the complex feeling that can surface when parents decide to return to work and use day nurseries, at the same time there is reference  to judgements made by mothers in relation to how the staff valued professional parent’s needs  (Brooker, 2010). Clearly as pointed out, the respect and reciprocal engagement between parent and staff was not present, which as Noddings states are the basis for caring.

I feel strongly that as women we should celebrate and encourage the choices women make in terms of bringing up children and working, yes for many mothers, work is about providing for our families, but it can also be about our own self-fulfilment, a valued identity (Nicolson, 2002, cited in Osgood, 2012). Many nursery workers are mothers themselves however, due to the low pay and social construction of nursery workers, which was demonstrated rather unfortunately in 2006 when the chair of the Professional Association of Teachers remarked that nursery workers were failing to present themselves as positive roles models, there were also negative comments around dress and behaviour (Osgood, 2012).

 The concept of professional working mothers does not seem to apply to nursery staff in the same way it does for teachers or other professional job roles that can be associated with middle class working mothers (Osgood, 2012).  Vincent and Ball (2006, cited in Osgood, 2012), presented research around the relationship between middle class mothers and the child carer, found that both had negative views around each other which were characterised by silences which became apparent during their research. Women have had a long hard battle to gain certain rights, and we still are discriminated against due to our gender, however, class, culture and social positioning are creating power struggles between ourselves (Osgood, 2012).

It reminded me of a staff meeting I had been involved in (Private Day Nursery), as staff we were told to encourage parents to look at their child’s online photos. It was pointed out that several parents hadn’t looked at it for months, what followed by many was a cascade of negative judgements about what this meant in terms of their parenting. The point of the getting parents to look at the online photos was to be able to evidence parent’s partnership, so the ethics behind it was not of engaging with parents in a way that was support their child, but to tick a box to say something had been done, evidencing a  tecno-rational approach, arguably for Ofsted.

Dahlberg and Moss (2005, cited in Brookers, 2010) discuss Levinas notion ‘the ethics of an encounter’.   I believe this is key when connecting with parents, remembering the key purpose is to support the children with care and respect. So why does it seem okay to lose focus of this when engaging with parents. By focusing on our approaches and how we do value that exchange with parents, over time parents’ perceptions of nursery professionals will change. I think, like Vincent and Ball research finds its silent problem within many settings, the them and us scenario.   

 Parents deserve to be engaged with in a meaningful way that encourages respect which means valuing and listening to parents, understanding that we as professionals have knowledge but parents know their children and have a right to be treated as an active member in their children development (Moran et al, 2004, Braun, 2006, cited in Roberts, 2009).

 Elinor Goldschmied, very much believed in the key person system for under 3s, valuing equally all relationships within the triangle of care and the contributes each make to strength of the whole. If either one of the practitioner-parent-child triangle feels anxious, unhappy or under emotional threat, then everyone else will be affected (2004, cited in Lindon, 2006). The key person approach was about each child having an adult they were in tune with, reciprocal relationship. Are we not undermining the child’s agency, if we don’t acknowledge that the child will/could pick up on a lack of respect between parent and carer through negative exchanges or those without respect being demonstrated (Hope,2018).

Brooker, L. (2010) Constructing the triangle of care: Power and professionalism in practitioner/parent relationships. British Journal of Educational Studies, 58(2), 181-196.

Hope, S. (2018) Principled professionalism in the classroom. In Luke, I. and Gourd, J. (Eds.) (2018) thriving as a professional teacher. Oxon: Routledge : 25-28.

Lindon, J. (2006) Narratives from the Nursery negotiating professional identities in early childhood. (2nd ed.) London: National Children's Bureau.

Moran, P., Ghate, D., Van der Merwe, A. (2004) What Works in Parenting Support? A Review of the International Evidence. London : Department of Education and Skills.

Osgood, J. (2012) Narratives from the Nursery negotiating professional identities in early childhood. London: Routledge.

Roberts, K. (2009) Early Home Learning Matters, a good practice guide. London: The family and Parenting Institute .

 

[ Modified: Thursday, 20 December 2018, 8:16 PM ]
 
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by Rebecca Palmer - Sunday, 2 December 2018, 7:47 PM
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Within the article ‘Constructing the Triangle of Care’ (Brooker, 2010) it states the importance of having a parent partnership with practitioners within early years practice. Brooker (2010) suggests that a strong positive relationship will help further a child’s development, learning and wellbeing. I support this as I believe children continue their learning at home. Macleod-Brudenell and Kay (2008) state that parents are the child’s first educators. If children have positive parents who motivate extra learning they will flourish. However, if parents do not engage with their children outside of school, their development and learning will be limited to the classroom. By developing a parent partnership, it enables practitioners to educate the parents of the importance of engagement and encouragement on their child’s learning.

Macleod-Brudenell and Kay (2008) further state that feedback between parents is the key to an effective relationship. Within the article, Brooker suggest that a relationship is not always that easy to form. Sometimes there is a difference of opinions which can cause distress between the practitioner and parent which could ultimately cause harm to the child’s learning and development (Brooker, 2010). Robson and Smedley (1996) propose both the parent and practitioner needs to recognise the individual skills and expertise they both have to offer in order to work together effectively. This is further supported by Wall (2011) who suggest that sharing knowledge within the relationship would benefit the child as the parents know their child’s likes and dislikes and the practitioner knows the child’s development progress in relation to the standards and targets in place. This reaffirms that by both parent and practitioner working in partnership it allows the child to get the best out of their education enabling extra help to be given in a way that the child would benefit most, providing the best support for the child to succeed.

I personally agree with Brooker’s article and believe that a positive relationship between the parent and the practitioner will benefit the child’s development and learning. However, Hattie (2015, cited in Waack, 2018) would argue that trying to please all the parents and develop a positive relationship with them is a distraction- ‘Appease to parents’. If practitioners are good at their job, they would naturally please the parents with the work they do with their children. This would not need extra effort put into it, resulting in a positive relationship being naturally built.

The article goes on to analyse home visits and shows a disagreement between most parents and practitioners within the study. I have shown that practitioners think they are beneficial to build an early relationship with both parents and child, whereas, parents dislike home visits and see them as an inconvenience and only a requirement of the nursery. I believe that home visits should be an option to those who want them and not forced upon individuals who do not. This needs to be made clear to all parents so no one feels uncomfortable with the situations. If there is an uncomfortable feeling and a parent does not like the idea but practitioners go for a home visit anyway, this will cause a negative vibe between both parents and practitioners before the relationship has developed, setting off on a bad foot.

 

References

Brooker, L. (2010). Constructing the triangle of care: Power and professionalism in practitioner/parent relationships. British Journal of Educational Studies, 58(2), 181-196.

Macleod-Brudenell, I, and Kay, J. (2008). Advanced early years, 2nd edn, Surrey: Pearson Education Limited.

Robson, S., and Smedley, S. (1996). Education in early childhood: First things first. London: David Fulton Publishers.

Waack, S. (2018). Hattie’s 5 distractions in the school system [online]. Retrieved November 23, 2018, from https://visible-learning.org/2015/06/download-john-hattie-politics-distraction/.

Wall, K. (2011). Special needs and early years: A practitioners guide, 3rd edn, London: SAGE.

[ Modified: Wednesday, 19 December 2018, 1:23 PM ]
 
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Within this blog the following information has been obtained in the article ‘Exploring educators perspectives: how does learning through ‘happiness’ promote quality early childhood education?

Soka kindergarten in Sapporo Japan, believe that the most important factor in education is ‘happiness’. Within Soka kindergartens known as Saka Gakkai International (SGI), their main focus is peace, education and culture, there are approximately 12 million believers of Soka internationally, which tells me their philosophy must work. 

When reading this article I found that some of their ideologies were linked to my own philosophy of education, all I hope for as a practitioner is the happiness and well-being of the children I support.  

The SGI is developed around the practices of Nichiren Buddhist focusing on culture, peace and education, hoping to evolve a persons Buddha nature, wisdom, compassion, courage (Ikegami and Seyram Agbenyega, 2014). As practitioners we seek to educate children with all aspects of their learning (wisdom), teach them to be sympathetic and help them show empathy to their friends (compassion) and help them to try new things and not be worried if they make mistakes (courage) (Gov.UK, 2018). 

Soka kindergartens understand that sometimes when children appear to be happy they could just be doing this to please their educators. So therefore within their philosophy they believe that when happiness comes from within children can complete their learning (Ikegami and Seyram Agbenyega, 2014). This I believe is valid because often when children come into settings and are upset or sad, their work will not be completed to their full potential if at all.   

Within The Children’s Society (2012) a study found that by giving a child the right conditions to learn and develop, by focusing on what a child loves and by giving them time and space to do so and the opportunities to take part in tasks and activities that will help them thrive, will not only support a child’s brain development but also improve their well-being and promote happiness (The Children's Society, 2012) 

It is suggested that being happy is the key to having an interest and willingness to learn. (Alber, 2013) Children often feel anxious when faced with a new task or new text and when they are chosen to answer a question they may not know the answer to. This is something I myself see on a daily basis, putting a child under pressure even at the age of 5 years means they are less likely to learn if they feel this way. However children are more eager and excited to learn when they are happy with the people and things in their educational environment. This is also something I see daily, when the children are happy and by giving them the confidence to make mistakes and learn from them or try new things means the children will be engaged in activities. When children are happy they are more open to new ideas and guidance from others (Alber, 2013) 

Alber, R. (2013) How are happiness and learning connected?. [Online] Available from: www.edutopia.og [accessed 15 November 2018]. 

Gov.UK (2018) Early years foundation stage. [Online] Available from: www.gov.uk [accessed 04 December 2018]. 

Ikegami, K. and Seyram Agbenyega, J. (2014) Exploring educators' perspectives: How does learning through 'happiness' promote quality early childhood education?. Early childhood. Vol. 39, No. 3: 46-55. 

The Children's Society (2012) Key to children's happiness revealed, charity calls for 'radical new approach' to childhood.. [Online] Available from: www.childrenssociety.org.uk [accessed 04 December 2018].

[ Modified: Thursday, 6 December 2018, 5:57 PM ]
 
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Within this blog the following information has been obtained in the article ‘Reconstructing professionalism in early childhood education and care: the case for the critically reflective emotional professional’. Within this I will discuss two of my key findings, the first being how the article states that nursery provisions were established to ensure mothers returned to work to support the new labour market and how this is a socioculteral construction and secondly how the article suggests that because early childhood education and care is considered overly feminine it almost lacks professionalism.  

Within the article it discusses how the new labour government and neo-liberals invested in people specifically mothers to gain full time employment, by offering between 15-30 hours of free child care. This new government policy meant that by the time a child was 3-5 years of age mothers were expected to seek employment to help strengthen the labour market. (Osgood 2010) Before this policy was established mothers were allowed to stay at home and enjoy their time with their children, being there for every milestone. But that is not the case in today’s society it is now not acceptable to be a ‘stay at home mother’. Neo-liberals and the new labour market push for all mothers to be in employment, this is to support the economy and not have mothers (namely single parents) rely on government handouts, such as benefits.  

Sarah Vickerstaff et al. (2012) highlights this by stating that because of the welfare state and government safety net, people had become reliant on handouts so the only way to fix the problem was to withdraw some benefits and force people back to work this meant that for mothers they would no longer receive some benefits (Vickerstaff et al 2012). 

These ideologies are a socioculteral construction to help solve social issues such as poverty and unemployment and to also strengthen the labour market, by taking leadership of what people can and can not do, the paper highlights this by discussing the power and control, policy makers and government has (Osgood 2010). 

Within the paper it also suggests that because early childhood education and care practitioners are primarily women it almost makes them less professional because women are suggested to be more caring and nurturing then males and because women tend to put more emotion into their work (Osgood 2010)As early years practitioners we are sometimes with children longer then their parents or carers are, we are there to support them emotionally, educationally, physically and socially, ensuring that whilst they are in our care most of their needs are met. We comfort them, praise them and support them whilst they play, learn and develop. We also teach them ensuring their prime and specific area’s of development have been completed, as well as support their health, growth and well-being.  

Lisa Spencer-Woodly (2014) has suggested that practitioners within early years sectors have asked that they get equal recognition for the importance of early years services for children and their families as other educators do. Because why are early years practitioners taken for granted and only earn not much above the national minimal wage and how is their profession of less importance than other professions (Fulton, 2014) 

Fulton, D. (2014) Early Years Policy The impact on practice. Oxon: Routledge.

Osgood, J. (2010) Reconstructing professionalism in ECEC: The Case for the 'critically reflective emotional professional'. Early years. Vol. 30, No. 2: 119-133. 

Vickerstaff, S., Mitton, L., Manning , N. and Vickerstaff, S. (2012) Work and Welfare . In Baldock , J. (Ed.) (2012) Social Policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 100-124. 

 
[ Modified: Sunday, 2 December 2018, 6:57 PM ]