'CoRe findings: literature review' presented at the CoRe conference at Kind & Gezin Academie (Brussels, 7 Oct 2011) www.vbjk.be/en/core-programme

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This presentation illustrates the findings of the literature review carried out within the European study 'CoRe: Competence Requirements in ECEC'. This European research project was jointly conducted …

This presentation illustrates the findings of the literature review carried out within the European study 'CoRe: Competence Requirements in ECEC'. This European research project was jointly conducted by the University of East London (UEL) and the University of Ghent (UGent). The study explored conceptualisations of competence and professionalism in early childhood practice, and identified systemic conditions for developing, supporting and maintaining competence in all layers of the early childhood system. The European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture commissioned the research conducted between January 2010 and September 2011. The full report is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/education/more-information/doc/2011/core_en.pdf
The CoRe research documents are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/education/more-information/doc/2011/coreannex_en.pdf

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  • UNESCO (1960). Second world conference on adult education . UNESCO. (1970). Collective consultation of secretaries of national commissions. Unesco House, Paris, 22 June - 3 July 1970. EC (1993). Growth, Competitiveness, Employment: The Challenges and Ways Forward into the 21st Century - White Paper . EC (1995). White Paper on teaching and learning: towards the learning society . Council of the European Union (2000). Lisbon European Council 23 and 24 March 2000. Presidency conclusions. EC (2000). A memorandum of lifelong learning . EC (2008). New skills for new jobs. Anticipating and matching labour market and skills needs. European Commission (2010). Lisbon Strategy evaluation document. Commission staff working document .
  • No policy documents refer specifically to the competences of ECEC professionals  COMM ECEC (2011), CORE project .
  • The issue of practitioners competence cannot be seen in isolation. In all the policy documents we have analysed so far, the rationale for defining teachers competences and providing recommendations on how to enhance them through training and professional development, is to improve the quality of children’s education. But how is this correlation explored in literature? (In scienfic literature, most researches explore the issue of ECEC quality in relation to the issue of staff qualification.)

Transcript

  • 1. CoRe CoRe Competence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care A Study for the European Commission Directorate General for Education and CuCoRe Competence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 2. CORE Literature Review: Conceptualisations and Key-findings Pr. Michel Vandenbroek, Dr. Jan Peeters and Katrien Van Laere (University of Ghent, Department of Social Welfare Studies) Pr. Mathias Urban and Dr. Arianna Lazzari (University of East London) Dr. Claire Cameron (Anglia Ruskin University)CoReCompetence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 3. Literature Providing a summary of the Review current international discussion about the competence required Survey 15 by ECEC staff countries Informing the case 7 Case study analysis and studies the policy recommendations RecommendationsCoReCompetence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 4. Aim of literature review• Framing key-concepts: professionalism, competence, quality and qualification• Overview that takes into account different perspectives: - academic debate (ISI, European view on ECEC professionalism including publications written in languages other than English) - policy debate (EC, OECD, UNESCO)CoReCompetence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 5. Organisation of presentation:1- the concept of competence in context: LLL policies (EC, OECD, UNESCO) and insights from research2- the relationship between quality of ECEC services and qualification of ECEC workforce3- perspectives on professional competence development in the ECEC field: contributions from the French, Italian, Danish, German and Croatian debates4- a systemic approach toward the re-conceptualisation of competence in ECECCoReCompetence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 6. The concept of competence in context • Competence discourse takes origin contextually to the shift of focus on LLL: from emancipator education (UNESCO,1960-70) to individual responsibility of citizens for their employability (EC,1993-95; CEU,2000; EC, 2000-08- 10) • The European Qualification Framework (EC, 2005) Competence: ‘proven ability to use knowledge, skills and personal, social and/or methodological abilities, in work or study situations and in professional and personal development’ • Key-competences for LLL: a European Framework (EC, 2007) Key-competences for knowledge-based society: ‘combination of knowledge, skill, attitudes as appropriate to the context’ • Definition and selection of key-competences (OECD, 2005)CoRe Key-competences: ‘mobilisation of cognitive and practical skills, creative abilities and other psychosocial resources such as attitudes, motivationCompetence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 7. The concept of competence in context (contd.)More specifically on teacher competences:• Common European principles for teacher competences and qualifications (EC, 2005)Key-competences referring to knowledge (human development & subject knowledge), pedagogical skills (practical and theoretical) and values (social inclusion, respect for diversity, nurturing potential of every learner).• Improving the quality of teacher education (EC, 2007)‘At every point in their career, teachers need to have, or be able to acquire, the full range of subject knowledge, attitudes and pedagogic skills to be able to help young people to reach their full potential.’ Reflective practices and qualifications are dealt separately.• Council Conclusions on professional development of teachers and school leaders (EC, 2009)Teachers competences referred to in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes that need to be constantly revised in the light of social, cultural, economicalCoRe changes. Competence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 8. The concept of competence in context (contd.)• Different conceptualisations of competence are found in academic research (Barnett, 1994; McKenzie, Mitchelle & Oliver, 1995; Rychen and Salganik, 2003)• Studies specifically focused on professional competence of practitioners emphasise: > value-bound elements associated with professional practices (Kunneman, 2005) > reflective nature of professional actions (Schon, 1983) > centrality of co-constructed and democratic processes in shaping pedagogical practices (Moss, 2005; Oberhuemer, 2005) > need for contextualised approaches (Bennett, 2003)• Practitioners’ understandings of competence also differ across EU countries according to different socio-cultural traditions (Cameron, 2007)CoReCompetence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 9. ECEC quality and workforce qualification• It is generally recognised that workforce is central in increasing the quality of ECEC provision (Dalli, 2003-2005; MacNaughton, 2003; Oberhuemer, 2005; Siraj-Blatchford, Sylva, Muttock, Gilden, & Bell, 2002)• Most of the studies focus on the relationship between ECEC quality and level of qualification obtained by staff:- Qualifications matters (Sylva, Melhuish, Sammons, Siraj-Blatchford, & Taggart, 2004)- Broad consensus that places the ideal level of qualification needed for core professionals at bachelor level (OECD, 2006)- Research also shows that providing opportunities for continuing professional development on the job may be equally important as initial professional preparation provided that it is of sufficient length and intensity (Fukkink, & Lont, 2007; Jaegher, Shlay, & Weinraub, 2000; Pianta, Mashburn, Downer, Hamre, & Justice, 2008)CoReCompetence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 10. ECEC quality and workforce qualification (contd)• However research findings also show that qualifications do not suffice (Early, Maxwell, Burchinal, Bender, Ebanks, Henry et al., 2007): the relationship between ECEC quality and workforce qualification is not causal but rather depends on interaction of multiple factors• Other systemic conditions are equally important:- content and delivery of initial and in-service professional preparation- pedagogical support or guidance on the job- team workAll these aspects tend to be underdeveloped in EnglishCoRe language academic literature Competence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 11. Insights from literature in other languages• Participatory approaches to the evaluation of ECEC quality - involving practitioners, parents, researchers and local administrators - become opportunities for staff professionalisation (Bondioli & Ghedini, 2000; Musatti, Picchio & Di Giandomenico, 2010)• Professional competence development framed by a systemic approach to ECEC quality: joint action-research, self-evaluation and collective reflectivity enhance practitioners’ competence at team level improving the quality of ECEC institutions (Žogla, 2008)• Professional competence explored as a never-ending process of transformation that lead to the production of new knowledge starting from reflection on education practices (Meunier, 2004)CoReCompetence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 12. Insights from literature in other languages (contd)• Professional competence developed through the awarness of one’s capability, norms and collective values (BUPL, 2006)• Competence build upon a reciprocal interplay of theory and practices through critical reflection that takes place both in training college and workplace (Bayer, 2000; Nigris, 2004) The importance of continuous reflection on pedagogical practices as well as the need for systemic approaches to professionalisation has been acknowledged by the recent Communication on ECEC (COMM(2011))CoReCompetence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 13. Toward a systemic approach to competence• A conceptualisation of competence as a set of knowledge, skills and attitudes universally applicable is not appropriate to the ECEC field• Need to address competence within a multidimensional framework which encompasses both individual and collective components• Need to address professional competence as a process that constantly evolves in socio-cultural contexts rather than as a once-for-all acquisition > Redefining competence by adopting a systemic approach that involves all layers of ECEC systemCoReCompetence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • 14. Thank You! arianna.lazzari2@unibo.itCoReCompetence Requirements in Early Childhood Education and Care