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'I think a lot of it is common sense.' early years students, professionalism and the development of a 'vocational habitus'

Vincent, C; Braun, A; (2011) 'I think a lot of it is common sense.' early years students, professionalism and the development of a 'vocational habitus'. Journal of Education Policy , 26 (6) pp. 771-785. 10.1080/02680939.2010.551143. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper reports on research from a small-scale project investigating the vocational training of students in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in England. We draw on data from interviews with 42 students and five tutors in order to explore the students' understandings of professionalism in early years. In the paper, we discuss first, the then Labour Government's drive to 'professionalise' the workforce and second, critically analyse the concept of professionalism, drawing on sociological literature. We then turn to the data, and argue that students' understandings of professionalism are limited to generic understandings of 'professional' behaviour (reliability, politeness, punctuality and so on). The idea of their occupation being a repository of a particular knowledge and skills set is undercut by the students' emphasis on work with young children being largely a matter of 'common sense'. Our fourth point is to highlight the processes by which students are inducted into a respectable and responsible carer identity, as illustrated by an emphasis on clothes and appearance. We conclude that the version of professionalism offered to students training at this level is highly constrained, and discuss the implications of this. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Type: Article
Title: 'I think a lot of it is common sense.' early years students, professionalism and the development of a 'vocational habitus'
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2010.551143
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1502580
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