JECER 6(2), 2017 – Special Issue on

Editors: Päivi Kupila & Zsuzsa Millei


1. Professionalism as Relational Practice: Guest Editorial

Kupila, P. & Millei, Z. JECER 6(2), 2017, p. 163–165.

This special issue of JECER focuses on professionalism as a relational practice in ECEC and publish original research articles and reflective pieces of ECEC researchers to further our understandings of professionalism in this relational manner. Applying a range of perspectives, the articles draw out different relations present in professionalism and raise further questions about and contradictions prevalent in evolving constructs of professionalism. This issue also reveals some interesting and unexpected ways in which professionalism unfolds for individuals, teams and institutions, between different institutions and governance levels, and how notions of professionalism are constructed in interplays between these multiple levels and players.

2. Just how important is Ethics within Early Childhood Research and Professionalism

Solvason, C. JECER 6(2), 2017, p. 166–176.

*Short papers

In our centre, which specialises in early childhood care in a UK Higher Education Institute, we have developed an approach to student research that ensures that it is purposeful, caring, sensitive and, above all, ethical. Recently, a colleague challenged this by suggesting that ‘ethical practice’ was not necessarily synonymous with ‘good practice’ as it was something that was not even considered by Ofsted, the Government body which assesses the quality of educational provision in the UK.

3. Reflections on professionalism: so many driving forces, refining and shaping professional practice

Reed, M. & Walker, R. JECER 6(2), 2017, p. 177-187.

*Short papers

Early education systems in England require those who work alongside children to follow policies intended to promote quality early education and care. Their professional role is embedded into those systems and includes promoting integrated inter-professional working, safeguarding children’s welfare, supporting children to meet national early learning goals and promoting inclusive education. Their professional responsibilities include demonstrating sound pedagogical practice and a detailed developmental assessment of children. They are also asked to forge positive relationships with families and are accountable to parents and regulators.

4. Ammatin induktiovaiheessa olevien lastentarhanopettajan tehtävissä toimivien arvioita työnkuvastaan, osaamisestaan ja työn kuormittavuudesta

Vertaisarvioitu - Peer-reviewed Onnismaa, E-L., Tahkokallio, L., Reunamo, J. & Lipponen, L. JECER 6(2), 2017, p. 188-206.

In this article, we study recently graduated employees who work as kinder-garten teachers and who have completed either university degree (kinder-garten teacher) or polytechnic degree (social pedagogue). We compare the respondents’ conception of their work profiles, perceived competencies and stress. The data consist of a survey answers (N = 54), that were analyzed by applying quantitative methods.

5. Varhaiserityisopettajien ajatuksia työhön kohdistuneista muutoksista

Vertaisarvioitu - Peer-reviewed Viljamaa, E. & Takala, M. JECER 6(2), 2017, p. 207-229.

This study focused on the thoughts about changes in the work of early childhood special education teachers in one Finnish municipality. In this district, all the special groups and integrated special groups that had been functioning as kindergartens were closed down, and the children were placed in regular groups. The teachers’ work profile changed to that of more consultative teachers shared by several kin-dergartens and groups. The early childhood special education teachers’ thoughts on change were collected with an electronic questionnaire repeated three times within a period of three years. The responses were interpreted through the theories of change and narrativity (Bruner, 1986; Fullan, 2001).

6. Relational expertise in preschool-school transition

Vertaisarvioitu - Peer-reviewed Rantavuori, L., Kupila, P. & Karila, K. JECER 6(2), 2017, p. 230-248.

The complex and constantly evolving challenges of working life require individuals, groups and work communities to cooperate interprofessionally across sectors and institutional boundaries (Edwards, 2017). In this study, preschool-school transition is a context in which culturally and historically constructed institutional boundaries form an arena for professional learning. In interprofessional work, professionals’ different interpretations of the purpose of collaboration can bring challenges. However, common understanding can be achieved through relational expertise. The aim of the study is to examine what kind of organizational and professional issues can be identified in the development towards relational expertise in the context of transition.

7. Kosketus päiväkodin kasvattajien kertomuksissa

Vertaisarvioitu - Peer-reviewed Keränen, V., Juutinen, J. & Estola, E. JECER 6(2), 2017, p. 249-268.

This article focuses on the stories that practitioners tell about the touch in the con-text of professional early childhood education. Touch is a part of educational em-bodied practice to which personal experiences and cultural aspects intertwine. Our research is inspired by philosophy Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of embodi-ment. Research data consists of two narrative group interviews. In the first group interview as a tuner of the discussion worked the video episodes’ which were filmed in practitioners’ everyday life in the day care center. These video episodes showed the moments where the practitioner and a child touched each other. In the second group interview participated the same three practitioners as in the first one. In the narrative group interviews the practitioners told and re-told their own experiences about the touch.