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Professionalism in Baby Rooms: Matches and Mismatches Between Parents and Professionals

Abstract

Given the importance of mutual understanding in babies’ education and care, as well as the greater pedagogical requirements in this context, this article aims to identify matches and mismatches between parents and professionals in baby rooms, regarding concepts of professionalism and the respective aspects that are most valued. The exploratory study grounds its basis on a literature review of the perspectives of parents and professionals regarding children´s image and the role of interactions in babies' socialisation, learning and development. Focus group discussions were held with parents, educators and educational assistants. The qualitative analysis indicates that all participants had expressed a (post)modern conception of children, and day care contexts had been conceptualised as socio-educational spaces marked by close relationships that promote socialisation, learning and child development. The article ends with some recommendations.

Résumé

Compte tenu de l'importance de la compréhension mutuelle dans l'éducation et la prise en charge des bébés, ainsi que des exigences pédagogiques accrues dans ce contexte, cet article vise à identifier les concordances et les discordances entre les parents et les professionnels des salles de bébé, en ce qui concerne les concepts de professionnalisme et les aspects respectifs les plus valorisés. L'étude exploratoire se base sur une revue de la littérature sur les perspectives des parents et des professionnels concernant l'image de l'enfant et le rôle des interactions dans la socialisation, l'apprentissage et le développement des bébés. Des discussions de groupe ont été organisées avec des parents, des éducateurs et des assistants éducatifs. L'analyse qualitative indique que tous les participants ont exprimé une conception (post)moderne de l'enfant et que les contextes de garde ont été conceptualisés comme des espaces socio-pédagogiques marqués par des relations étroites qui favorisent la socialisation, l'apprentissage et le développement de l'enfant. L'article se termine par quelques recommandations.

Resumen

Dada la importancia del entendimiento mutuo en la educación y el cuidado de los bebés, así como las mayores exigencias pedagógicas en este contexto, este artículo pretende identificar las concordancias y las discordancias entre padres y profesionales de las salas de bebés, en cuanto a los conceptos de profesionalidad y los respectivos aspectos más valorados. El estudio exploratorio se basa en una revisión bibliográfica de las perspectivas de los padres y los profesionales sobre la imagen de los niños y el papel de las interacciones en la socialización, el aprendizaje y el desarrollo de los bebés. Se realizaron discusiones en grupos focales con padres, educadores y asistentes educativos. El análisis cualitativo indica que todos los participantes habían expresado una concepción (posmoderna) de los niños, y los contextos de las guarderías se habían conceptualizado como espacios socioeducativos marcados por relaciones estrechas que promueven la socialización, el aprendizaje y el desarrollo infantil. El artículo termina con algunas recomendaciones.

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Funding

This project was supported by national funds, through the Foundation for Science and Technology, IP, and by the European Social Fund (ESF), through Operational Program for Human Capital (OPHC) and Portugal 2020 (scholarship with ref. PD/BD/135471/2017, as part of the FCT's Educational Sciences PhD program at the University of Porto). It was also supported by national funds through the FCT—Foundation for Science and Technology, IP, as part of the CIIE Strategic Program (ref. UID/CED/00167/2013).

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Correspondence to Bárbara Tadeu.

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Tadeu, B., Lopes, A. Professionalism in Baby Rooms: Matches and Mismatches Between Parents and Professionals. IJEC (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13158-022-00314-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13158-022-00314-1

Keywords

  • Professionalism
  • Relationships
  • Baby rooms
  • Parents
  • Educational assistants
  • Educators