Knowledge, practice, and the shaping of early childhood professionalism

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23 Citations (SciVal)


This article argues for an early childhood professionalism based upon notions of professional community and professional knowledge. Professionalism is conceived here as shaped by the relation between the social and the epistemic, with certain types of professional knowledge given precedence in accordance with the involvement of different organisations, institutions and public bodies. It is argued that shared processes that recognise the validity of certain types of knowledge for practice are required in order to advance early childhood professionalism, and that this requires forms of sociality that are derived from disciplinary communities but are often adopted, and adapted, by professionalised occupations. Drawing primarily on English examples, but with reference to other European countries, the development of the types of professional community that could advance professionalism is seen as challenged by the fragmented nature of the early childhood workforce, organisational diversity and the role of government.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-520
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Issue number4
Early online date4 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2016


  • early childhood education and care (ECEC) systems
  • early childhood professionals
  • evidence-based practice
  • professional knowledge
  • professionalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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