Systems advocacy in the professional practice of early childhood teachers: from the antithetical to the ethical

Marianne Fenech*, Mianna Lotz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dominant constructions of professionalism in early childhood education can diminish early childhood teachers’ and educators’ undertaking of advocacy at the systems or political level. In this paper, we propose an ethically grounded construction of professionalism that provides space for professional practice to move beyond the classroom and into the political sphere. Findings from interviews with four early childhood teachers from Australia who undertake systems advocacy as part of their professional practice show that this work is driven by ethical influences that extend beyond the rule-based imperative, in ethical codes, that teachers should undertake systems advocacy. Findings highlight the value of considering systems advocacy as practice that emerges from an interplay of three theoretical foundations of ethics: deontology, utilitarianism and virtue ethics. Implications for teacher professionalism and the building of a teacher disposition that incorporates systems advocacy are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Years
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • early childhood education
  • professionalism
  • advocacy
  • ethics

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