Towards mentoring as feminist praxis in early childhood education and care in England

Hammond, S., Powell, S. and Smith, K. (2015) Towards mentoring as feminist praxis in early childhood education and care in England. Early Years: an international journal of research and development, 35 (2). pp. 139-153. ISSN 0957-5146.

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Abstract

Following our contribution to a study of mentoring in seven European countries, we explored epistemological and ontological inconsistencies within mainstream mentoring systems and their regulated practice in England. We considered how feminist mentoring praxis can unsettle conceptualisations of mentoring relationships and challenge inequity in the early education systems and the practice of teaching young children. Predominantly female, early childhood educators suffer from low status in England, and their working lives may be controlled and policed through inequitable systems. On entering the workforce, trainees encounter a reductionist policy milieu where mentoring structures and normative assessment arrangements contribute to inequity. Mentors play pivotal roles in inducting trainees into their worlds of work with young children. Mentoring relationships can determine whether trainees accept the status quo. Principles derived from feminist praxis enable mentors to practise an ‘engaged pedagogy’, co-constructing knowledge, subverting hierarchies and contesting taken-for-granted aspects of policy and practice.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Early childhood; mentoring; feminism; policy; praxis; England
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ1101 Women. Feminism
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1139.2 Early childhood education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1705 Education and training of teachers and administrators
Divisions: Faculty of Education > Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities
Depositing User: Professor Sacha Powell
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2015 15:10
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2016 15:09
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14122

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00