Teacher preparation for child protection: A strengths approach.

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Abstract: Teachers face many competing responsibilities and barriers to protect children, which consequently also presents many challenges for pre-service teacher education. This paper reports on an Australian doctoral research project that examined the use of strengths approaches with the aim of enhancing pre-service teacherâ''s child protection understandings, preparation and skills. The qualitative research project charted teacher education students responses to a strengths-based child protection module that was newly developed for pre-service teachers by the researcher. The research findings confirmed the significant practical and moral demands of child protection education for pre-service teachers, as identified in child protection education literature. Additionally, the participants expressed that the strengths approach they had studied contributed to their increased awareness and confidence in child protection education both during and after the module. The participants reported a positive 'impact' when using strengths approaches upon graduating as teachers and an increase in their preparation and confidence to protect children. This research indicated that a strengths approach to pre-service child protection training could provide a positive alternative, or addition, to the single, adjunct child protection workshop currently offered by most teacher education courses. The research findings suggest that an extended strengths approach assisted the cohort of pre-service teachers to understand, develop strategies and connect with child protection issues in their careers. Additionally, the findings suggest that a solutions-based, strengths approach helps to relieve the reported anxiety felt by teachers in dealing with child protection issues. Rather unexpectedly, using a collaborative, strengths-based research process also provided an opportunity to develop and use new techniques to work with research participants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHigher Education Close Up 7 International Conference
Subtitle of host publicationResearch making a difference
Place of PublicationLancaster, UK
PublisherLancaster University
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventResearch Making a Difference - Lancaster University, UK, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jul 201423 Jul 2014


ConferenceResearch Making a Difference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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