Head start and the intensification of teaching in early childhood education

  • Bullough R
  • Hall-Kenyon K
  • MacKay K
 et al. 
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Head Start is the largest early childhood education program in the US. Echoing patterns emerging in ECE world-wide, Head Start has dramatically changed. Greater emphasis is now placed on kindergarten readiness, child and teacher assessment, professionalization, and increased competition for program funding. Drawing on a mixed methods research design, a case study was conducted that explores the nature and effects of these changes on teachers and the work of teaching within Head Start. Strong evidence of work intensification was found, a topic little explored within the wider ECE literature. In the light of this finding the authors question the model of professionalism that now dominates ECE reform. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Early childhood education
  • Head start
  • Neo-liberal reform
  • Professionalization
  • Teacher quality
  • Teacher well-being
  • Teachers' work
  • Work intensification

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