Disrupting communities of practice? How ‘reluctant’ practitioners view early years workforce reform in England

Payler, Jane K. and Locke, Rachel (2013). Disrupting communities of practice? How ‘reluctant’ practitioners view early years workforce reform in England. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 21(1) pp. 125–137.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293X.2012.760340

Abstract

This article reports on the views of early years practitioners in England from settings that were identified as ‘reluctant to engage’ with one of the government's key policies, the introduction of Early Years Professional Status (EYPS), to drive forwards workforce reform. Focus groups, interviews and a survey were undertaken in 2009 with 35 respondents in 15 early years settings. The article uses concepts from Wenger's situated theory of learning (1998) to locate the policy and practitioners' views of its implications in its socio-historical context with regard to early years professionalisation. The findings are considered against a conceptual framework for successful workforce reform to suggest how, by addressing areas of perceived ‘restrictive’ practice, the move to increase status and professional qualifications in early years may become more inclusive of the current workforce.

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