Challenges, Opportunities, and Capacity Building in Early Childhood Teacher Education Research in Australia and New Zealand

By Nuttall, Joce | New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, January 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Challenges, Opportunities, and Capacity Building in Early Childhood Teacher Education Research in Australia and New Zealand


Nuttall, Joce, New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies


Abstract

This paper draws on two recent reviews of early childhood teacher education (ECTE) research to reflect on challenges and opportunities facing ECTE researchers in Australia and New Zealand. The paper discusses what these analyses reveal about the social relations of early childhood education policy that frame the work of ECTE researchers, in the context of wider issues of research capacity building in teacher education, and proposes a number of opportunities for ECTE researchers arising from the rapid credentialisation of the early childhood field. The paper concludes by arguing for enhanced collaboration, including cross-institutional and cross-national projects, as a key strategy for capacity building in ECTE research in Australia and New Zealand.

Keywords: teacher education; early childhood education; research capacity.

Introduction

A call for greater research into early childhood teacher education in Australia and New Zealand - both pre-service and in-service- is timely. Within the last decade, governments in both countries have laid out ambitious plans for the growth, credentialisation, re-credentialisation, and professional development of their early childhood education workforces, driven in part by a desire to minimise risks to human capital (Ministry of Education, 2002; Productivity Commission, 2011). Teacher education research is a recognised sub-field of education research, and research into the initial and continuing education of early childhood educators forms a small but distinctive part of teacher education research. In this paper I draw on two recent studies (Murray, Nuttall, & Mitchell, 2008, and Nuttall, 2010) to reflect on the challenges and opportunities facing early childhood teacher education (ECTE) research in Australia and New Zealand in the context of general issues of capacity building in education research. In outlining challenges and opportunities, I am attempting to respond to Rees, Baron, Boyask, and Taylor's (2007) claim that...

...the starting point for developing new and perhaps more imaginative strategies for research capacity building is a much better understanding of the conditions under which educational researchers do their jobs and of the wider social relations within which these are situated, (p. 776)

I begin by outlining what I understand to be the wider social relations of early childhood education (ECE) policy in which early childhood teacher educators are situated. I then discuss the conditions under which ECTE researchers "do their jobs", arguing that, while these share many of the challenges facing education researchers in general, ECTE researchers face particular challenges and opportunities as a consequence of recent policy in higher education and early childhood education. I conclude by returning to the question of what we mean by capacity building, and making a case for enhanced collaboration as a key strategy in ECTE research in Australia and New Zealand.

The Australian context for early childhood teacher education research

One of the challenges facing early childhood education internationally is the need for a large, renewing, and suitably qualified workforce. Policy initiatives in both Australia and New Zealand have responded to this challenge, resulting in credentialisation pressures on both the early childhood field and on teacher education in both countries. In New Zealand, Pathways to the Future: Nga Huarahi Aratala (Ministry of Education, 2002) set the goal of a universally qualified workforce in teacher-led early childhood services (principally kindergartens and childcare centres), with 80% of teachers also attaining registered teacher status by 2010. Although the present government has rolled back the universally qualified goal to a requirement for just half of the workforce to be qualified, the Ministry of Education has still projected a shortfall of 1,100 registered teachers across teacher-led services in 2012 (Ministry of Education, 2011). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Challenges, Opportunities, and Capacity Building in Early Childhood Teacher Education Research in Australia and New Zealand
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.