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ERIC Number: EJ1064571
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1090-1027
"Heroic Victims": Discursive Constructions of Preservice Early Childhood Teacher Professional Identities
Gibson, Megan
Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, v36 n2 p142-155 2015
Government policies in Australia and in many other parts of the world, are calling for degree-qualified teachers to work in prior to formal school settings (center-based care, preschool). Yet, many preservice early childhood teachers assume they will end up teaching in primary schools. This paper examines the professional identities preservice early childhood teachers take up and speak into action while participating in classes focused on teaching in child care. Employing poststructural social theory, data drawn from focus groups with preservice early childhood teachers was examined through a Foucauldian-informed discourse analysis. Particular ways in which the preservice teachers talked about images of children and quality in early childhood are scrutinized for how discourses work to constitute the professional identities of preservice early childhood teachers. It was found that the participants drew on a range of competing discourses available to them, through their degree, and from elsewhere to describe the work of teaching young children and teaching in child care. These competing and colliding discourses, it is argued produce an identity of preservice teachers as "heroic victims." The paper raises questions about the discourses in circulation in preservice early childhood teacher education, and considers the implications this has for professional identities and career pathways--particularly work in child care.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia