An investigative case study into early childhood educators’ understanding about ‘belonging’

Valerie Tillett*, Sandie Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents findings from a small exploratory study examining eight diversely qualified early childhood (EC) educators’ understandings about belonging. Data from interviews were analysed drawing on 10 dimensions and 3 axes of belonging. Findings from this study demonstrate that educators had a strong sense of social, emotional, spatial and temporal dimensions of belonging, but limited understandings in terms of cultural, moral/ethical, political, legal, physical and spiritual dimensions. Also emerging as a dominant theme from the data was the importance of educators’ own sense of belonging. The study suggests that if the transformational potential of EC policy documents and curricula is to be realised then: i) educators’ conceptualisations of belonging need to be enhanced and expanded; and ii) attention needs to be paid to educators’ own sense of belonging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-49
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • belonging
  • early childhood
  • curricula
  • educator understandings


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