Professionalism in Early Childhood Education and Care: International Perspectives, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Professionalism in Early Childhood Education and Care

International Perspectives, 1st Edition

Edited by Carmen Dalli, Mathias Urban


164 pages

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The professionalism of the early childhood sector has gained prominence on the policy agendas of many countries. National pedagogical frameworks or curricula and an upsurge of pathways to gaining or upgrading qualifications has led to a pervasive terminology of professionalism. Yet, despite the pervasiveness of this terminology, the question of what professionalism means in early years contexts remains open to debate.

This book draws together the work of an international group of scholars who have engaged with this question. They ask: How can professionalism be conceptualised in early childhood settings? How might one act professionally in increasingly diverse and changing social and cultural contexts? Do we have a common ground of understanding about these terms? Are there key concepts that can be agreed upon? Drawing on research and experience across a wide range of national contexts, this book seeks an understanding of early childhood professionalism in local contexts that might throw light on the global implications of this term.

This book was published as a special issue in the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Carmen Dalli and Mathias Urban 2. Dealing with uncertainty: challenges and possibilities for the early childhood profession Mathias Urban 3. Towards professionalism in early childhood practicum supervision – a personal journey Yael Dayan 4. Pedagogy, knowledge and collaboration: towards a ground-up perspective on professionalism Carmen Dalli 5. Preschool teachers’ and student preschool teachers’ thoughts about professionalism in Sweden Marja Kuisma and Anette Sandberg 6. What’s in a name? Seeking professional status through degree studies within the Scottish early years context Kate Adams 7. A Finnish viewpoint on professionalism in early childhood education Kirsti Karila 8. Professionalism – a breeding ground for struggle. The example of the Finnish day-care centre Jarmo Kinos 9. Nannies, nursery nurses and early years professionals: constructions of professional identity in the early years workforce in England Gill McGillivray 10. Developing professionalism within a regulatory framework in England: challenges and possibilities Linda Miller 11. Discourses of professional identity in early childhood: movements in Australia Christine Woodrow 12. Conclusion Carmen Dalli and Mathias Urban

About the Editors

Carmen Dalli is an associate professor in the School of Educational Policy and Implementation, and the director of the Institute for Early Childhood Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. In the mid-1990s, Carmen was involved in the development of the New Zealand early childhood Code of Ethics and retains an interest in issues of professionalism and ethical practice in the early years. Her research focuses on issues of professionalism in early years practice particularly with children aged under three years.

Mathias Urban is Reader in Education (associate professor) at the Cass School of Education, University of East London. His work in international and national contexts revolves around questions of quality, equality and professionalism in early childhood education. He has been involved in the National Quality Initiative in Germany in the 1990s and is founding member of a six-country consortium to deliver the first joint European Master programme in early childhood education (

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Elementary
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Professional Development