Who am I? exploration of the professional self and identity

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Who am I?
exploration of the
professional self and identity
Dr Elaine Hallet
The Institute of Education: London
Presentation outline
An exploration of;
 The
concept of professionalism in the early
 The
development of the professional-self
and professional identity
 Where
next? Reflective discussion
Defining professionalism
Professionalism is a discourse as much as a phenomenon
something constantly under construction within the
national context.
(Dalli and Urban, 2008)
Conceptually complex, a cluster of related concepts
Being professional
Behaving professionally
Working with professional autonomy
Having a professional identity
an international perspective
(Oberheumer, 2005)
Model of democratic professionalism based upon participatory
relationships for collaborative, co-operative action between
colleagues and stakeholders
Four levels of professional activity
Interacting with children
Care management and leadership
Partnership with parents
Knowledge base
an international perspective
(Peeeters, 2008)
3 dimensions to professionalism
Belonging to an expert group
Unique body of knowledge, restrictive entry, protected identity
Evaluative connotations
Different interpretation of profession to different groups
Qualifications, better pay and conditions, recognition and
appreciation by government
Influences upon the construct of
professional identity (McGillivray, 2008)
Job role/s and
Work setting
Social, cultural
discourses, construct
of the child
The professional self
Professionalism is part of the ‘professional self’
5 interrelated elements Kelchtermans (1993)
Job motivation
Task perception
Future perspectives
The professional self and
professional identity
 Development
of self-image and self-esteem
is contextually situated within the workplace
 How
we see ourselves, how others view us
within the workplace
 Supervisors, managers, leaders, peers,
colleagues, parents influence our selfimage, self-esteem and professional
(Miller and Cable, 2011)
The learning professional
Guille and Lucas (1999)
 The
development of the ‘learning professional’
 Underpins
professionalism and professional
positive approach to continuing
professional development and learning
 Practitioner
seeks out opportunities to extend
professional understandings and skill sets.
The learning professional
 Extended
rather than restricted view of
 Transformational
 Access
to higher education, transformed workforce
 Research
case study of EY foundation degree
transformational professional learning
(Hallet, 2013)
Redefining professional identity
 FD
graduates redefined their professional identity
through higher education learning
 Increased
specialized knowledge, personal and
professional confidence
‘I feel professional inside. The FD gave me
confidence and a professional identity. It’s
made me a different person in a professional
Professional confidence
‘Once I got the FD, people saw me differently. I was
no longer a nursery nurse but a professional
‘At the beginning of my job as a children’s centre
coordinator, I was seriously blagging it. I thought
people would find me out, I’m just a nursery nurse
and I’d say to someone ‘oh I’ve just said such and
such!’ But now I can do it, I will talk to anyone and
give presentations to larger groups.’
Stories of experience
Reflective Learning Journey
 Reflecting
upon their story of experience
through FD
 Visual
image (drawn)
 Reflective
piece of writing about their
personal and professional learning and
Lisa’s reflective learning journey
‘Little me …….
Now managing a team
of 18 people.
Transformational learning
The ‘invisible’ to the ‘visible’
Transformed women practitioners with
agency and voice
‘The FD made me into a professional. My
confidence not only allows me to have a
voice but to make sure it is heard.’
Professionalism and quality
The Effective Provision in Pre-school Education (EPPE)
now EPPSE (primary and secondary education)
High quality provision and highly qualified
DfES (2005) Children’s Workforce Strategy. Create and
support a world-class workforce, increasingly confident
and competent
Early Years Professional role, raise status and quality
PVI sector
Professionalism with quality
 Early Years
Professional- a graduate leader
 Role
to lead pedagogy, provision and practice
across the EYFS by role modeling and
supporting others
 Name
= Early Years Professional
linking professionalism with quality
name with a status
 The ‘othering’ of
less qualified practitioners
EYP professional identity
Lloyd and Hallet, 2008
Influences on emerging professional identity from EYP
training and higher education
Felt more valued
Respect from others
Personal and professional confidence
Empowerment and agency
Pride and passion for working with children and families
Improved professional status EYP
Professional identity
The LLEaP project
 Research
Leadership of Learning in Early Years
Practice (the LLEaP project)
(Hallet and Roberts-Holmes, 2010)
in one local authority
key finding - EYP Network Group
 Belonging
to a professional group, developed
shared understandings and vision for EYP role
forming a collective voice for agency and
development of their identity and role within LA
Where next?
Reflections …….
More Great Childcare (Truss / DfE 2013)
 From
Early Years Professional to Early Years
 What
impact upon professionalism of Early
Years workforce?
 How
will it influence professional identity?
 How
will others view us?
 Will
the status of the early years sector alter?
Dalli, C. and Urban, M. (2008) (eds)Editorial, in Journal of the
European Early Childhood Research Association, Special Issue.
Professionalism in Early Childhood Education and Care. 16 (2):
131- 3
Department for Education and Skills (DfES) Children’s
Workforce Strategy. Norttingham: DfES publications
Guile, D. and Lucas, N. (1999) Rethinking initial teacher
education and professional development in further
education: towards the learning professional, in A. Green and
N. Lucas (eds) FE and Lifelong Learning: Realigning the Sector
for the Twenty-first Century. London: Bedford Way Papers,
Institute of Education
Hallet, E. (2013) The Reflective Early Years Practitioner. London:
Sage. Chapter 7. Reflecting upon Professionalism
Kelchtermans, G. (1993) Getting the story, understanding the
lives: from career stories to teacher’s professional development,
Teacher and Teacher Education. 9 (5/6): 443-456
Lloyd, E. and Hallet, E. (2010) Professionalzing the early
childhood workforce in England: work in progress or missed
opportunity? Contemporary Issues in the Early Years. 11(1): 75-87
Oberhuemer, P. (2005) Conceptualising the early childhood
pedagogue: policy approaches and issues of professionalism.
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 9: 57-72
Peeeters, J. (2008) The Construct of a New Profession: a European
perspective in ECEC. Amsterdam: SWP Publications
McGillvray, G. (2008) Nannies, nursery nurses and early years
profesionals: constructions of professional identity in the early
years workforce. European Early Childhood research Journal.
Special Issue: Professionalism in Early Childhood Education and
Care, 16(2): 242-254
Miller, L and Cable, C. (2011) Professionalism in the Early Years.
Abingdon: Hodder Education
Moss, P. (2008) The Democratic and Reflective Professional:
rethinking and reforming the early years workforce, in L.Miller,
and C. Cable, (2011)(eds)Professionalism in the Early Years.
Abingdon: Hodder Education. pps. 121 -130

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