‘We believe in every child as an individual’: Nursery School head teachers’ understandings of ‘quality’ in early years education

Rudoe, N. 2020. ‘We believe in every child as an individual’: Nursery School head teachers’ understandings of ‘quality’ in early years education. British Educational Research Journal. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1002/berj.3610

Title‘We believe in every child as an individual’: Nursery School head teachers’ understandings of ‘quality’ in early years education
TypeJournal article
AuthorsRudoe, N.
Abstract

This article addresses the issue of ‘quality’ in early years education, with the aim of highlighting the voices of nursery school head teachers. Government early years achievement statistics display a reductive and de-contextualised focus on young children’s developmental outcomes, with measures of the percentage of five-year-olds achieving a ‘good level of development’ at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Early years practitioner understandings of ‘quality’ are more sophisticated and multi-dimensional, and yet are marginalised in debates around what constitutes ‘quality’ early years provision and around what are desired outcomes for young children and how these can be achieved. Using qualitative data from interviews with nursery school head teachers and classroom teachers from across England, the article analyses these participants’ understandings of ‘quality’ early years provision. The study finds a consensus amongst these teachers that quality provision emanates from the professional skills of staff providing education for the whole child and their wellbeing: they conceive of ‘quality’ as relating to a depth of understanding of each child as an individual, enabling the child to progress in their learning.

Keywordsquality, early years, education, nursery schools
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
ISSN0141-1926
Year2020
PublisherWiley
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/berj.3610
Publication dates
Published online02 Mar 2020

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Accepted author manuscript

Under embargo until 21 Aug 2021
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