ECEC Professionalization - challenges of developing professional standards

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Publication date


Series/Report no

European Early Childhood Education Research Journal;Volume 26, 2018 - Issue 5


Taylor & Francis

Document type


Within the early childhood education system, early childhood teachers are the weak element in two hierarchies, the governance hierarchy and the epistemological hierarchy. From the perspective of early childhood teacher professionalization, this is a paradox because professionalism is intrinsically linked to a relatively high degree of professional autonomy and control over one’s work. However, professional autonomy must be built on a set of professional standards – or commons – that clarify the values, priorities and knowledge that are shared among the professionals. In this project, a researcher (the author) and a group of early childhood teachers have worked out a set of professional standards for early childhood teachers, with Norway as context of analysis. The article aims to conceptualise what early childhood teachers view as the core of their professional practice. It conceptualises the attempt to develop professionalism ‘from within’ that professional practice, expressing professional standards from the perspective of professionals.




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