Constructing positions of support: acknowledging workplace discourses in the midst of early childhood reform

Corine Rivalland, Lauren C. Armstrong, Hilary Monk

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    Early childhood education has undergone immense change over the years. In Australia, this has included the introduction of curriculum and quality frameworks [ACECQA. 2012. National Quality Framework.; DEEWR. 2009. Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Barton: ACT: Commonwealth of Australia. ISBN:9780642778727; DET. 2016. Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework: For All Children From Birth to Eight Years. East Melbourne, VIC: Department of Education and Training. ISBN:978-0-7594-0800-5], and changes to early childhood pre-service and in-service teacher education [ASQA. 2015. Training for early childhood education and care: Report.]. This article is based on a broader qualitative study, which was conducted in 2015-2016. It investigated how workplace discourses supported or hindered the ability for early childhood professionals in Victorian long day care settings to engage in education reform. Using a poststructuralist lens and Foucauldian Discourse Analysis [FDA] [Arribas-Ayllon, M., and V. Walkerdine. 2017. “Foucauldian Discourse Analysis.” In The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology, 2nd ed., edited by C. Willig, and W. Stainton-Rogers, 110–123. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. ISBN:9781526405555; Willig, C. 2008. “Discourse Analysis.” In Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods, 2nd ed., edited by J. A. Smith, 160–185. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications. ISBN:9781412930833], specific workplace discourses were identified. These discourses framed the available subject positions which were afforded by directors, centre-coordinators and educators relating to reform engagement. Some of these positions were supportive of reform engagement, while others hindered this process. The findings presented throughout this paper offer some insight into how workplace discourses impact reform engagement in early childhood education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)100-119
    Number of pages20
    JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


    • early childhood
    • Foucauldian discourse analysis
    • long day care
    • policy reform
    • positions and practices
    • workplace discourses

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