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Working with toddlers in child care : practitioners’ beliefs about their role

Berthelsen, Donna C. & Brownlee, Joanne M. (2007) Working with toddlers in child care : practitioners’ beliefs about their role. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 22(3), pp. 347-362.

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Abstract

This exploratory research analyzes child care workers’ beliefs about the nature of their practice in center-based child care programs. Twenty-one female child care workers who worked with toddlers (aged 1 to 3 years) participated in the research. The participants were videoed in their practice and later interviewed about how good practice in child care could be described. In the interview, the video of participants’ practice was also reviewed to discuss salient videoed events to elicit further evidence about the nature and structure of beliefs that informed practice. The focus of the data analysis was to ascertain how affective, cognitive and executive functions of teaching in child care were represented in the practitioners’ beliefs and how well those beliefs were integrated into a relational structure. All child care workers identified the affective (care) function as a feature of their practice in working with toddlers. Fewer participants (71%) identified the cognitive (education) function or the executive function (38%) as features of their role. Only 2 child care workers were judged to have a highly sophisticated and relational belief structure integrating affective, cognitive, and executive functions in how they discussed their practice with toddlers. Greater emphasis in professional training for work in child care settings should be placed on exploring the expectations and beliefs that child care workers hold about their role in teaching young children and how that role is instrumental in supporting early learning.

Impact and interest:

14 citations in Scopus
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4 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 10571
Item Type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2006.12.002
ISSN: 0885-2006
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 02 Nov 2007
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2013 11:04

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