Who is a good early childhood educator? A critical study of differences within a universal professional identity in early childhood education preparation programs

  • Langford R
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Abstract

This article reports on a qualitative research project that examined ways in which pedagogical discourses within an early childhood education college preparation program construct a universal identity of the "good early childhood educator." Drawing upon theoretical explanations of the concept of difference in professional identification, a discursive analysis of the research participants' views indicates that the good early childhood educator is, on the whole, perceived as possessing a single, normative identity that is decontextualized from social relations. Cultural differences are simultaneously recognized, managed and denied through several discursive moves. If, however, diversity in the early childhood education (ECE) workforce is desired, then recognition of the value of difference needs to be integral and central to the construction of a professional early childhood educator identity, so that new social relations in the classroom can be structured. (Contains 1 table.)

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Authors

  • Rachel Langford

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