Professionalisation through academicisation: valuing and developing the early years sector in Scotland

Wingrave, M. and McMahon, M. (2016) Professionalisation through academicisation: valuing and developing the early years sector in Scotland. Professional Development in Education, 42(5), pp. 710-731. (doi: 10.1080/19415257.2015.1082075)

102304.pdf - Accepted Version



The aim of the Early Years Framework, launched in Scotland in 2008, was to improve outcomes for young children, reflecting global trends in the repositioning of early childhood education and care and in the professionalisation of those working in these settings. One part of this framework is a mandatory requirement for leaders of early years establishments to attain the Standard for Childhood Practice through a Childhood Practice Award, equivalent to an undergraduate degree. This repositioning and restructuring of the workforce has had a number of implications, explored in this article. The challenges have been to design programmes that address mandatory requirements, meet the needs of experienced professionals in full-time employment and support the transition into adult learning. Through this learning journey, professional identities are reconstructed and the sector professionalised through academicisation, which has resulted in a number of challenges for the wider education workforce. This article draws on empirical research with Childhood Practice students, who discuss their response to this initiative. The shift in professional identity and change in professional status has resulted in issues of perception and parity, particularly in relation to teachers, and raises further structural and pedagogical questions about the remodelling of the early years workforce.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McMahon, Professor Margery and Wingrave, Dr Mary
Authors: Wingrave, M., and McMahon, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Professional Learning and Leadership
Journal Name:Professional Development in Education
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1941-5265
Published Online:13 October 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Professional Development in Education 42(5): 710-731
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record