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Behind the Practice: Finnish Early Childhood Education and Care Professionals’ Perceptions and Beliefs Concerning Children in Need of Social and Emotional Support

Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD,volume 36)

Abstract

Children needing social-emotional (SE) support tend to face unique challenges that may have an effect on the perceptions of those who work with them. The aim of this study was to gain knowledge of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals’ perceptions and beliefs concerning children needing SE support. The study utilises interviews with 12 ECEC professionals in Finland, analysing the material using a qualitative content analysis. The findings show that professionals’ perceptions concerning individual children needing SE support were more positive than their general beliefs. Children were perceived as having several strengths and the potential for positive developmental outcomes; however, their challenges were described broadly. The findings are discussed in relation to labelling, individual-centred views of challenging behaviour and the educational background of ECEC professionals.

Keywords

  • Professionalism
  • Early childhood
  • Special education
  • Social support
  • Emotional support

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Heinonen, M. (2022). Behind the Practice: Finnish Early Childhood Education and Care Professionals’ Perceptions and Beliefs Concerning Children in Need of Social and Emotional Support. In: Harju-Luukkainen, H., Hanssen, N.B., Sundqvist, C. (eds) Special Education in the Early Years. International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development, vol 36. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91297-0_18

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91297-0_18

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