29 January 2016

Where is the Love?

Given the emphasis that European education agendas have placed on early childhood education in providing the foundations for lifelong learning, the quality of provision--and especially the workforce--is a key concern. Qualification levels are frequently cited as important for the quality of provision, but in their paper in the newest edition of European Education: Issues and Studies, Verity Campbell-Barr and Janet Georgeson from the Plymouth University and Anikó Nagy Varga from the University of Debrecen explore questions of the attitudinal competences required to work in early childhood in England and Hungary. Their paper, "Developing professional early childhood educators in England and Hungary: Where has all the love gone?", presents a mixed-method study that considers the attitudinal competences that early childhood students perceive as necessary. They focus specifically on the role of love in early childhood education and the contrasting perceptions and experiences in England and Hungary. In Hungary love is spoken about freely, but in England a managerialist and entrepreneurial emphasis has created tensions with more emotional ideas of being caring, supportive, and empathic. In Hungary, early childhood educators are given relative autonomy in their professional roles and love is a key characteristic. The paper considers historical, philosophical, and political developments in the two countries to shed light on how English and Hungarian perspectives have diverged. It also explores opportunities that comparing perspectives offers for the further professional development of early childhood educators. If you would like to read this entire paper or any other content from our journal, you can find out more about subscriptions at this page.