Within the borderlands: Beginning early childhood teachers in primary schools

Clare Britt, Jennifer Sumsion

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    Abstract

    This article presents findings from a study undertaken by a pre-service early childhood teacher, that investigated the experiences of four beginning early childhood qualified teachers in primary school settings. The study explored the metaphors that these teachers used when describing their lived experience stories and analysed what these metaphors indicated about the discourses the teachers perceived were available to them, and where they had chosen to situate themselves within these discourses. Throughout the article, the metaphor of 'border crossings' is used to highlight the focus within much of the literature on the difference and separation between early childhood and primary education. Data were generated through in-depth, open-ended interviews, a group discussion, visual representations and written material. The thematic recurrences and discursive positionings within the metaphors and narratives of the participants were deconstructed and critically analysed using a framework of feminist post-structuralism. In particular, this article explores the discursive positionings related to the teachers' movement within the borderland of early childhood education and primary education. It argues that early childhood teachers in primary schools are operating within an exciting space - an intersection between early childhood education and primary education. Rather than focusing on the difference and separation between these points, the focus shifts to working toward creating points of overlap, of connection - a shared borderland between early childhood education and primary education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)115-136
    Number of pages22
    JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
    Volume4
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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