The practice architectures that enable and constrain educators’ risk-taking practices in high quality early childhood education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purposeful and considered risk-taking can be an important aspect of early childhood education professional practice. Educator risk-taking can contribute towards the quality of education programs. Recent research shows that educators in high quality early childhood education services take a range of risks in their professional practice; yet we do not fully understand the conditions that make early childhood educator’s risk-taking possible. This lack of knowledge potentially inhibits early childhood educators from taking the kinds of risks that support high quality early childhood education. This article examines a qualitative case study that investigated the conditions within three high quality early childhood education settings that enabled and constrained educators’ risk-taking. By using the theory of practice architectures, we identify a range of cultural-discursive, material-economic and social-political arrangements that worked together to create the conditions for educators in the study to take risks in their professional practice. Through analysis of observations, interviews and documents, arrangements found within, and brought to, the participating services included a service philosophy that recognises the value of risk-taking, particular types of professional development, and trusting relationships between educators, educators and leaders, and educators and families. Findings from this study have implications for the early childhood sector and individual services in reviewing the arrangements that enable and constrain educators in taking the kinds of risks that contribute towards high quality early childhood education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06 Oct 2020

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