More than a shortage of early childhood teachers

Looking beyond the recruitment of university qualified teachers to promote quality early childhood education and care

Marianne Fenech*, Manjula Waniganayake, Alma Fleet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Australia and internationally, government policies aim to increase the supply of early childhood teachers and thus improve the quality of early childhood education and care services. In this paper, we suggest that such a policy-quality trajectory in Australia is not as straightforward as policy discourses suggest. From industrial relations and broader policy contexts, we argue that the early childhood profession is a profession on the margins and that this marginalisation complicates efforts to enhance numbers of early childhood teachers. Mindful of this marginalisation, we draw upon preliminary findings from a study exploring the motivations, beliefs and expectations of mature age postgraduate students to highlight practical issues pertaining to students and early childhood teacher education programs that further complicate policy drives to increase the supply of early childhood teachers. We propose that the success of such policy drives is dependent on a comprehensive addressing of the complexities raised in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-213
Number of pages15
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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