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    Childcare Tutors: Profiles, Perspectives and Professional Development Needs

    Jeffers, Winifred (2012) Childcare Tutors: Profiles, Perspectives and Professional Development Needs. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Following decades of limited development, the early years of the 21st century have seen significant developments in Irish childcare policy and practice. Growth in the numbers benefiting from childcare has been accompanied by increasing numbers of childcare practitioners acquiring qualifications. These developments are well documented in a variety of reports and research studies. However, little attention has been paid to the people who teach on these programmes, the childcare tutors. Given the recognition of the importance of quality childcare for healthy child development it is timely to investigate the experience, qualifications and theoretical bases of the tutors who prepare childcare practitioners. This study presents an in-depth profile of a small number of such childcare tutors and maps their working contexts. Original data regarding the provision of childcare training nationally were compiled from a range of sources. Data from semi-structured interviews with childcare tutors and with providers are used to build a profile of these tutors and their continuing professional development needs. The study locates childcare tutors in two distinct domains: childcare and adult education. Recruitment of the childcare tutors in this study points to haphazard, expedient employment practices, low pay and no security of tenure. Low status of both childcare and adult education combined with a sense of isolation among childcare tutors adds to the challenges such workers face. Childcare tutors are confident of their ability to assist their learners develop the caring dimensions of their role. However, they are less certain of their theoretical foundation and subject matter knowledge. Providers express general satisfaction with their childcare courses and tutors. However, they recognise that increasing the work experience element would improve the learning experience. The study concludes with some recommendations for continuing professional development including the need for childcare tutors to organise themselves into a professional support and advocacy group.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Childcare Tutors; Profiles; Perspectives; Professional Development; Needs;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
    Item ID: 4480
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2013 13:52
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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