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Policy Frameworks and Democratic Participation

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Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 24)

Abstract

Considerable interest has emerged in policy approaches that work to sustain and encourage democratic participation and responsive pedagogy in ECEC (early childhood education and care). Teachers and educators who are in direct interaction with children and families are crucial players, but all the main participants in ECEC – children, families and practitioners – are influenced by opportunities and impediments afforded by policy. Oberhuemer, Schreyer and Neuman’s (2010) analysis of professionals in 27 ECEC systems across Europe highlights many issues, including variable and often low pay rates, unsupportive conditions of employment, a gendered workforce, variable qualification levels and opportunities for professional development and recruitment and retention issues. Using findings from an evaluation of New Zealand’s strategic plan for early childhood education (Mitchell et al., 2011), this chapter highlights ways in which policy initiatives interacted to support child and family participation through provision of ECEC and to address workforce issues. A range of initiatives aimed to enhance children’s participation and develop collaborative relationships with families. Extensive support for improving teacher qualifications and professional capabilities helped teachers to think critically and develop teaching practice. In combination the initiatives encouraged the development of communities of learners and contributed to democratic practice. A key argument is that benefits came from policies that were universally available and coherently organised around an understanding of children, families and communities as participants.

Keywords

Early Childhood Education And Care (ECEC) Address Workforce Issues Improving Teacher Qualifications Zealanders Teaching And Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationThe University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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