Contesting early childhood professional identities

A cross-national discussion

Sonja Arndt, Mathias Urban, Colette Murray, Kylie Smith, Beth Schwadener, Tomas Ellegaard

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In this collective article, the authors explore constructions of early childhood practitioners and how they disconnect and reconnect in a global neo-liberal education policy context. The contributions to the conversation provide windows into shifting professional identities across five national contexts: New Zealand, the USA, Ireland, Australia and Denmark. The authors ask who benefits from the notion of distinct professional identities, linked to early childhood education as locally and culturally embedded practice. They conceptualize teachers’ shifting subjectivities, drawing on Kristeva’s philosophical conception of identity as constantly in construction, open and evolving. Arguments for the urgency to counter the global uniformity machine, streamlined curricula, standardized assessment and deprofessionalization are not new. However, the authors wonder whether these arguments are missing something. Does our localized and highly contextualized identity construction enable ‘divide and rule’ politics by global agents such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Bank and international corporations? The authors’ (preliminary) answer is to build individual and collective professional identities that are grounded in diverse local contexts and in a broader transnational professional (political) consciousness and collective voice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Volume19
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)97-116
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Collectivism
  • professionalism
  • neo-liberalism
  • identity

Cite this

Arndt, Sonja ; Urban, Mathias ; Murray, Colette ; Smith, Kylie ; Schwadener, Beth ; Ellegaard, Tomas. / Contesting early childhood professional identities : A cross-national discussion. In: Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. 2018 ; Vol. 19, No. 2. pp. 97-116.
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Contesting early childhood professional identities : A cross-national discussion. / Arndt, Sonja ; Urban, Mathias ; Murray, Colette ; Smith, Kylie; Schwadener, Beth ; Ellegaard, Tomas.

In: Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Vol. 19, No. 2, 12.06.2018, p. 97-116.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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