Barriers and solutions to HE progression for Early Years’ practitioners
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AbstractShifts in UK social and economic policy have focused on education and care in the Early Years as key to improving social inclusion, skills acquisition and longer term social and economic prosperity. The implications for practitioners in the sector have been significant as roles, functions and foci have been renegotiated through the processes of professionalising the workforce. Drawing on the outcomes of a qualitative study of the career trajectories and aspirations of Early Years educators working in the private, voluntary and independent sector, this paper explores the processes of professionalisation as they collide with the lived experiences of practitioners at the chalk face. The project, funded by the Lifelong Learning Network, aimed to achieve understanding of the influence on career development decision making, particularly in relation to progression to higher education. Our findings suggest that many practitioners fall into the category of ‘non-traditional learners’ and that socio-cultural issues may be key factors in determining decision-making about career development. By bearing witness to the lived experience of practitioners we argue that the processes of workforce development must place greater emphasis on the contestable nature of professionalism and the plurality of professional identity and that Universities are key to achieving this.
CitationKendall, A., Carey, D., Cramp, A., and Perkins, H.(2012) 'Barriers and solutions to HE progression for Early Years’ practitioners', Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 64 (4) pp. 543-560
JournalJournal of Vocational Education & Training
SponsorsLife Long learning Network