Promoting early childhood teacher professionalism in the Australian context

the place of resistance

Marianne Fenech*, Jennifer Sumsion, Wendy Shepherd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


The early childhood education (ECE) sector in Australia is marked by a habitus where 'professionalism' is confined to objective, technical practices. The authos suggest that this is a diminished view of professionalism, and one that compromises high-quality ECE. This article is concerned with how teacher professionalism can be re-imagined and practised within an ECE setting in ways that uphold children's rights and interests and emancipate early childhood teachers from technical, deprofessionalising constraints. Through a case study of professionalism in a reputable high-quality long-day-care centre in Sydney, Australia, the article extends thinking about teacher activism and promotes resistance-based professionalism as one way of producing an alternative habitus about quality ECE and the integral role early childhood teachers play in such provision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-105
Number of pages17
JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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