Re-thinking discourse of teacher professionalism in early childhood education: An Australian perspective

Megan Gibson, Tamara Cumming, Lyn Zollo

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The professionalism of early childhood teachers has been the subject of increasing attention globally for over a decade (Moss in Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 7(1), 30–41 2006; Osgood Narratives from the nursery: Negotiating professional identities in early childhood. Oxon, UK: Routledge 2012; Urban in Professionalism in early childhood education and care: International perspectives. Oxon, UK: Routledge 2010). While understandings of professionalism have often been harnessed to discourses of quality in early childhood research literature (Urban in Quality, autonomy and the profession: Questions of quality. Dublin, Ireland: Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education 2004; Penn Quality in early childhood services: An international perspective. Berkshire, UK: Open University Press 2011), there has also been increasing attention to the ways discourses (based on the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault) produce understandings of being professional, becoming professional and constructing professionalism. Foucault (The archaeology of knowledge (A. M. Sheridan Smith Trans.). London, UK: Routledge 1972/1989) conceptualised discourses as ways of speaking, thinking or understanding that come to be accepted as truths. This means that discourses regulate possibilities for what can be spoken, thought or understood.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary issues and challenges in early childhood education in the Asia-Pacific Region
EditorsMinyi Li, Jillian L. Fox, Susan Grieshaber
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789811022074
ISBN (Print)9789811022050
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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