Retaining meanings of quality in Australian early childhood education and care policy history: Perspectives from policy makers

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Abstract

This paper presents lesser known accounts from policy makers whose experiences as elite informants span 40 or so years in Australian early childhood education and care (ECEC) policy history between 1972 and 2009. Drawing on a post-structuralist theoretical frame, this paper employs a Foucauldian-influenced approach to discourse analysis. Given the complexity of policy-making contexts, an adaptation of Bradley’s categories was utilised to categorise the elite informants as policy insiders according to their roles and positions within organisations. Bacchi’s approach to policy analysis was drawn upon to critically analyse the effects of policy insider categories on meanings of quality in the formation of ECEC policy. The findings raise questions about what could be known and spoken about meanings of quality in past policy-making processes. They suggest the innermost categories of policy insiders struggle to retain complex meanings of quality in final ECEC policy decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-155
Number of pages17
JournalEarly Years
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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