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The education and care divide: the role of the early childhood workforce in 15 European countries

Katrien Van Laere (UGent) , Jan Peeters (UGent) and Michel Vandenbroeck (UGent)
(2012) EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION. 47(4). p.527-541
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Abstract
International reports on early childhood education tend to attach increased importance to workforce profiles. Yet, a study in 15 European countries reveals that large groups of (assistant) staff remain invisible in most international reports. The CoRe research commissioned by the European Commission conducted a cross-national survey among experts in Belgium (Flemish- and French-speaking communities), Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom (England and Wales). The survey explored professional and training profiles not only in the formal “teaching” staff, but also within the entire workforce, making visible the assistants that are often omitted from international reports. The proportion of assistant staff varies from a very small percentage in some European countries to half of the entire workforce in many others. Assistants typically have a caring profile, while their higher qualified colleagues have an educational profile. Consequently, a divide between care and education can be observed, both in split systems and in integrated systems. In these cases, the concept of “education” may be narrowed down to learning and “care” may be regarded as subordinate to education. In several cases, assistants also have fewer entitlements for on-going professionalization than the educational staff. Consequences for practice as well as policy of this part of the CoRe study commissioned by the European Commission are discussed.
Keywords
TEACHERS, WORK, CLASSROOM, TEACHING ASSISTANTS, ACADEMIC-ACHIEVEMENT, SCHOOLS, Early childhood education, care, learning, early years assistant, workforce, professionalism

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Chicago
Van Laere, Katrien, Jan Peeters, and Michel Vandenbroeck. 2012. “The Education and Care Divide: The Role of the Early Childhood Workforce in 15 European Countries.” European Journal of Education 47 (4): 527–541.
APA
Van Laere, Katrien, Peeters, J., & Vandenbroeck, M. (2012). The education and care divide: the role of the early childhood workforce in 15 European countries. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, 47(4), 527–541.
Vancouver
1.
Van Laere K, Peeters J, Vandenbroeck M. The education and care divide: the role of the early childhood workforce in 15 European countries. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION. 2012;47(4):527–41.
MLA
Van Laere, Katrien, Jan Peeters, and Michel Vandenbroeck. “The Education and Care Divide: The Role of the Early Childhood Workforce in 15 European Countries.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION 47.4 (2012): 527–541. Print.
@article{3079810,
  abstract     = {International reports on early childhood education tend to attach increased importance to workforce profiles. Yet, a study in 15 European countries reveals that large groups of (assistant) staff remain invisible in most international reports. The CoRe research commissioned by the European Commission  conducted a cross-national survey among experts in Belgium (Flemish- and French-speaking communities), Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom (England and Wales). The survey explored professional and training profiles not only in the formal {\textquotedblleft}teaching{\textquotedblright} staff, but also within the entire workforce, making visible the assistants that are often omitted from international reports. The proportion of assistant staff varies from a very small percentage in some European countries to half of the entire workforce in many others. Assistants typically have a caring profile, while their higher qualified colleagues have an educational profile. Consequently, a divide between care and education can be observed, both in split systems and in integrated systems. In these cases, the concept of {\textquotedblleft}education{\textquotedblright} may be narrowed down to learning and {\textquotedblleft}care{\textquotedblright} may be regarded as subordinate to education. In several cases, assistants also have fewer entitlements for on-going professionalization than the educational staff. Consequences for practice as well as policy of this part of the  CoRe study commissioned by the European Commission  are discussed.},
  author       = {Van Laere, Katrien and Peeters, Jan and Vandenbroeck, Michel},
  issn         = {0141-8211},
  journal      = {EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {527--541},
  title        = {The education and care divide: the role of the early childhood workforce in 15 European countries},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejed.12006},
  volume       = {47},
  year         = {2012},
}

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