The term ‘professional’ is increasingly linked to early childhood educators across the globe. However the use of this term is highly controversial, as understandings of ‘being’ professional and being ‘a’ professional are often misunderstood and misinterpreted. For example, how does improving the image and status or teachers link to meeting higher industrial standards? Does the professionalisation of the sector actually mean more control by policy-makers? Such ideas might be considered ‘shifting sands’. Using a metaphorical lens, this study explored the views of 149 early childhood educators who were upgrading their qualifications to degree level in Singapore. There were 78 participants in phase one and a further 71 participants in phase two. The two phases were 2 years apart. In groups of 5–8, participants created and explained visual metaphors of professionalism as a class activity. The metaphors were analysed using Gleeson’s polytextual thematic analysis and Rogoff’s sociocultural framework of personal, interpersonal and institutional planes of analysis. Findings revealed that educator’s perceptions of professionalism evolved around their different roles and responsibilities that were often hidden, unseen and unrecognised; working together and supporting one another; and their hope that professionalism and professionalisation were keys to future recognition in the eyes of the community and policy-makers. This study provides an insight into educators’ perspectives regarding both the ‘shifting sands’ and potential development of the early childhood sector in Singapore.
|Title of host publication||Policification of Early Childhood Education and Care|
|Subtitle of host publication||Early Childhood Education in the 21st Century Volume III|
|Editors||Susanne Garvis, Sivanes Phillipson|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon UK|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
Monk, H., & Phillipson, S. (2020). In-service early childhood teachers’ perceptions of professionalism and professionalisation in Singapore: Shifting sands in a political and policy landscape. In S. Garvis, & S. Phillipson (Eds.), Policification of Early Childhood Education and Care: Early Childhood Education in the 21st Century Volume III (1st ed., pp. 202-215). (Evolving Families). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203730539-16