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Sustaining care: cultivating mindful practice in early years professional development

Taggart, G. (2015) Sustaining care: cultivating mindful practice in early years professional development. Early Years, 35 (4). pp. 381-393. ISSN 0957-5146

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09575146.2015.1105200

Abstract/Summary

The practitioner’s own self is a resource in early childhood education and care (ECEC). It is proposed that an experiential training focusing on the ‘professional self’ helps to raise awareness of how psychological dispositions may impair or enhance quality of provision. A key concept in such training is emotional labour, explored with students through examples of ‘relational pedagogy’ and ‘attunement’ to the needs of children. The argument of this paper, underlying the training, is that the expectation of attunement encapsulates both the best and worst aspects of such labour. The research focuses on the introduction of mindfulness exercises into the training in order to sustain this attunement. It seeks the students’ responses to them and to the experience of the training overall. The paper concludes by recommending that such practices be incorporated into professional development whilst acknowledging that such interventions can only succeed where working conditions reflect a compassionate culture.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:81379
Publisher:Taylor and Francis

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