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ERIC Number: EJ794881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1476-718X
What Are Nurseries For?: The Concept of Primary Task and Its Application in Differentiating Roles and Tasks in Nurseries
Elfer, Peter
Journal of Early Childhood Research, v5 n2 p169-188 2007
Communities in the UK are seeing a sustained shift in the balance of care of babies and the youngest children from families to nurseries, with a particular emphasis being placed on early learning. Yet a basic question of whether nurseries should be modelled on the intimacy and spontaneity of family interactions or the more professional and planned interactions of school has remained largely unaddressed. The assumption has been that the multiple tasks now expected of nursery, including education, child care, health promotion, family support and child protection, can be integrated together, and much attention has been given to this. Much less attention has been given to the way different staff respond to these different conceptions of roles and tasks and how they interact with the personal and professional priorities and concerns of the staff themselves. Using the conceptual framework of "primary task" taken from the organization studies literature, the article explores the interplay of these different and competing tasks through an intensive nursery case study. The article concludes that recognition and understanding of both professional and personal tasks and how they align or conflict is important to our understanding of the behaviours and responses of children and adults in the nursery system. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom