Dealing with uncertainty: challenges and possibilities for the early childhood profession

Article


Urban, M. 2008. Dealing with uncertainty: challenges and possibilities for the early childhood profession. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal. 16 (2), pp. 135-152.
AuthorsUrban, M.
Abstract

In many countries, strategies to further develop services and institutions for the education and care of young children are linked to a discourse on professionalism. Ambitious policy goals, it is argued, can only be achieved by a skilled and qualified workforce whose practice is guided by a professional body of knowledge. This article argues that the prevailing conceptualisation of the early childhood professional is constructed out of a particular, hierarchical mode of producing and applying expert knowledge that is not necessarily appropriate to professional practice in the field of early childhood education. However, it is highly effective and contributes to forming a professional habitus that contradicts the relational core of early childhood practice. Drawing on the conceptual framework of hermeneutics, the article explores an alternative paradigm of a relational, systemic professionalism that embraces openness and uncertainty, and encourages co‐construction of professional knowledges and practices. Research, in this frame of thinking, is understood as a dialogic activity of asking critical questions and creating understandings across differences, rather than producing evidence to direct practice.

Keywordsprofessionalism; evidence-based practice; critical thinking
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Journal citation16 (2), pp. 135-152
ISSN1752-1807
1350-293X
Year2008
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13502930802141584
Publication dates
Print18 Jul 2008
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Nov 2012
Copyright informationThis is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in European Early Childhood Education Research Journal (2008) [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13502930802141584
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