In early childhood education and care (ECEC), research indicates that quality experiences for young children are a result of the partnership between committed professionals who facilitate collaborative high quality programs. Furthermore, it is clear that practice within the ECEC sector has become more complex. Indeed, practitioners in this field are now required to heavily focus upon the care and welfare components of their practice because context issues are impacting on their work with young children. As such, practitioners are often required to deal with issues that could be considered to be outside of the realm of traditional educational training. Such issues are impacting on teachers and practitioners in relation to how they see themselves as professionals in the workplace. This situation can be troubling and problematic, as practitioners seek to negotiate the complexities of engaging in practice across social and disciplinary boundaries.
This paper explores an innovative approach to preparing students for such complex work, by way of the development of a community of practice, in which students, supervisors and university academic staff engage in a collaborative process of critical reflection to interrogate practice and to make connections to relevant theoretical frameworks that draw on a multidisciplinary approach.
|Keywords:||Critical Reflection, Practicum, Beginning Teachers and Practitioners, Community of Practice|
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