Why access is not equity: Federal initiatives to credential early childhood workers as teachers

Taylor, Pauline (2009) Why access is not equity: Federal initiatives to credential early childhood workers as teachers. In: Papers from Unemployment and the Global Financial Crisis: Policy, partnerships and practice, pp. 1-15. From: Unemployment and the Global Financial Crisis: Policy, partnerships and practice, 1-2 December 2009, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

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Abstract

Early Childhood Education in Australia has been identified in the current Federal government's Building the Educational Revolution educational reforms as a "critical starting point for policy action" (McKew,2008). Consequently, additional Early Childhood Education places have been created at preservice teacher education institutions since 2007 to ensure Early Childhood Education is conducted by qualified teachers with specific expertise. Early Childhood teacher education programs are not only a way of improving the quality of education for the very young but also of lifting many childcare workers out of a poverty and welfare trap, from a largely casualized workforce into a more stable and better remunerated professional career pathway. Childcare workers, along with cleaners, have been identified in national research projects (Masterman-Smith, May & Pocock, 2005) as Australia's working poor.

This paper examines the experiences of preservice teachers in an innovative wholly online Early Childhood teacher education program offered at James Cook University since 2007 which provides access to teacher education for childcare workers all over Australia. It argues that access to such programs does not necessarily provide opportunity for this traditionally marginalized group who are particularly vulnerable in times of economic constraint. More imaginative, joined-up social policy and partnerships are needed if Early Childhood Educational reforms are to have a chance of success.

Item ID: 11079
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: education; policy; access and equity
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Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2010 04:31
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160506 Education Policy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939903 Equity and Access to Education @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development @ 70%
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