A gendered contribution to play? Perceptions of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) practitioners in England on how their gender influences their approaches to play

Josephidou, Joanne (2020). A gendered contribution to play? Perceptions of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) practitioners in England on how their gender influences their approaches to play. Early Years: An international research journal (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09575146.2019.1655713

Abstract

There is a persistent suggestion that the lack of men who choose to work with young children (0-5 years) is detrimental to children’s learning and development. This study analysed whether practitioners believed that men who work with young children adopt specific approaches within a play pedagogy. Practitioner beliefs about how their gender influences their practices were gathered through qualitative surveys and open-ended, photo-based interviews. This paper argues practitioners use conflicting scripts to discuss their gendered approaches to play; it proposes that opportunities to explore gender critically, through gender sensitivity training, are vital for ECEC practitioners to ensure that a high-quality workforce is developed that can be flexible in its practices and pedagogy.

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