Early Childhood Education Teachers’ Professional Development towards Pedagogical Leadership

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Fonsén , E & Ukkonen-Mikkola , T 2019 , ' Early Childhood Education Teachers’ Professional Development towards Pedagogical Leadership ' , Educational Research , vol. 61 , no. 2 , pp. 181-196 . https://doi.org/10.1080/00131881.2019.1600377

Title: Early Childhood Education Teachers’ Professional Development towards Pedagogical Leadership
Author: Fonsén, Elina; Ukkonen-Mikkola, Tuulikki
Contributor organization: Leadership in Educational Contexts research group, LeadEd
Department of Education
Date: 2019-04-03
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Educational Research
ISSN: 0013-1881
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00131881.2019.1600377
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/320309
Abstract: Background: In recent years, early childhood education (ECE) has faced many reforms that have led to new requirements for pedagogy. Due to this evolution, there is, in turn, an increasing need to enhance the professional competence of ECE teachers through further training. Purpose: This article examines ECE teachers' interpretations of the changes in their pedagogical thinking during a further training course for ECE teachers in Finland. The aim of this qualitative research was to investigate the professional development that can be related to the further training. The context of the study was an 18-month long ECE teachers' further training course called 'Pedagogy of Early Childhood Education during Changing Practices'. Sample: The study involved 32 ECE teachers participating in the further training course. The data consisted of the written responses of the further training participants in respect of their interpretation of pedagogy. Design and methods: The research was carried out using a participatory action approach. The written data were collected from the teacher participants. Thematic analysis was firstly conducted inductively from the data. In the second phase, content analysis was applied using abductive reasoning. The theory-based content analysis was conducted using pedagogical leadership aspects of the theory of human capital. Results: The features of professional development that were identified were explored through the lens of pedagogical leadership and grouped into four dimensions: increased knowledge, awareness of the quality of previously implemented pedagogy, developmental skills, and ability to make the case for ECE pedagogy. Conclusions: The research identified connections and relationships between the further training and professional development in pedagogical leadership. The significance of and demand for a participatory action research approach to further training for ECE teachers are discussed.
Subject: 516 Educational sciences
Early childhood education
ECE teacher
further training
professional development
pedagogical leadership
action research
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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