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ERIC Number: EJ886752
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0332-3315
Professional Identity in Early Childhood Care and Education: Perspectives of Pre-School and Infant Teachers
Moloney, Mary
Irish Educational Studies, v29 n2 p167-187 Jun 2010
This paper explores perceptions of professional identity in the early childhood care and educations sector (ECCE) in the Republic of Ireland (ROI). It is concerned with the status, salary and conditions of those working with children aged four to six in pre-school and primary school settings. Using qualitative methodology, the study garnered personal perspectives and insights into professional identity. It presents new empirical evidence on the attitudes of those working in ECCE towards their professional identity and their aspirations for the future. Findings indicate that professional identity is contentious and problematic. At pre-school level, this is predominantly associated with the lack of a mandatory training requirement. There is compelling evidence that highly trained ECCE graduates are being lost to the sector. At primary school level, while teachers "per se" enjoy a relatively high social status, their professional identity as infant teachers is compromised within individual school settings. Teachers believe that this is related to a perception that the infant class is akin to "playschool". As a result, they do not get the same respect as teachers working in classes higher up the school. These issues gives rise to fundamental questions about the value of early childhood as well as the value placed on those working with four- to six-year-old children in pre-school and primary school. (Contains 1 table and 3 figures.)
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 - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland