Early childhood teachers’ work in a time of change

Grant, Sandra, Danby, Susan J., Thorpe, Karen, & Theobald, Maryanne (2016) Early childhood teachers’ work in a time of change. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 41(3), pp. 38-45.

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This article investigates teacher decision-making in a time of rapid educational reforms. Institutional ethnography is used to discover how teachers’ work is co-ordinated by the texts of a new national curriculum, and a system for the assessment and ratings of kindergarten, preschool and long day-care services in individual settings and across sites.

The research draws on video recorded interview data gathered from five teachers working with three to five year old children in kindergarten classrooms throughout South East Queensland. Analysis shows the reported effects of policy regimes designed to improve the quality of learning young children experience, on classroom teachers’ work. Findings suggest that increasing levels of governance enacted through policy texts are creating an audit culture where teachers’ educational work with children is changing. The article argues that the reported workload associated with the production of evidence, and the focus on providing ‘proof’ of quality, is taking teachers away from time spent building educative relationships with children.

Note: In Queensland, kindergarten caters for children aged three and a half to five years. This year is known as Preschool in some Australian states.

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ID Code: 92564
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: teacher decision-making, institutional ethnography, work, pedagogy, assessment and ratings, early childhood education, kindergarten, teacher
ISSN: 1836-9391
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 02 Feb 2016 04:58
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 12:40

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