The European Key Competences for Lifelong Learning provide a tool for education providers, including Higher Education (HE), to support students towards personal fulfilment, social inclusion, active citizenship and employability in a knowledge- based society. They define competences as: “a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the context” (European Commission, 2007: 3). We are interested in the attitudinal competences needed for early childhood practitioners. Whilst there has been some discussion of the skills needed to work with young children (CoRe, 2011), less is known about how to develop these in students. We explore social practice theory to highlight the cross cultural differences in attitudinal competences in three countries. The project draws on focus group data collected from HE staff and students in Hungary, Italy and the UK, along with a student questionnaire to identify the attitudinal competences needed and how they are 'learnt'. Participants had the right to withdraw and were ensured of confidentiality in the data reporting. A range of attitudinal competences were identified: emotional competence, reflective skills, patience, child centeredness, creativity, being politically aware, enthusiasm, being determined and having a sense of humour. The interpretation and extent that the competences were needed varied between countries. Students felt their degrees played an important role in developing these attitudinal competences, with practical experiences being of particular importance. At a time when many countries are looking to develop their early childhood qualifications, considering how students become competent practitioners is of paramount consideration for policy makers at both a European and country level.

Becoming an early childhood practitioner: exploring the attitudes needed and how they are developed

SORZIO, PAOLO;
2014-01-01

Abstract

The European Key Competences for Lifelong Learning provide a tool for education providers, including Higher Education (HE), to support students towards personal fulfilment, social inclusion, active citizenship and employability in a knowledge- based society. They define competences as: “a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the context” (European Commission, 2007: 3). We are interested in the attitudinal competences needed for early childhood practitioners. Whilst there has been some discussion of the skills needed to work with young children (CoRe, 2011), less is known about how to develop these in students. We explore social practice theory to highlight the cross cultural differences in attitudinal competences in three countries. The project draws on focus group data collected from HE staff and students in Hungary, Italy and the UK, along with a student questionnaire to identify the attitudinal competences needed and how they are 'learnt'. Participants had the right to withdraw and were ensured of confidentiality in the data reporting. A range of attitudinal competences were identified: emotional competence, reflective skills, patience, child centeredness, creativity, being politically aware, enthusiasm, being determined and having a sense of humour. The interpretation and extent that the competences were needed varied between countries. Students felt their degrees played an important role in developing these attitudinal competences, with practical experiences being of particular importance. At a time when many countries are looking to develop their early childhood qualifications, considering how students become competent practitioners is of paramount consideration for policy makers at both a European and country level.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2807125
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