Title

Life in the Village: Teacher Community and Autonomy in an Early Childhood Education Center

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2009

Keywords

Early childhood teacher education, Teacher community, Professional development

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-008-0287-7

Abstract

This article presents findings from a qualitative case study of a public early childhood education center whose motto, the familiar African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,” reflects the emphasis given to teacher community in the official school discourse. The meanings teachers gave to professional community were investigated. Interviews and observations were conducted at the school over a period of 12 months. Data analysis revealed an inherent tension between community ethos and personal autonomy. These findings suggest that professional teaching community is complex and contradictory, and that explicitly addressing the tension between community and autonomy would enhance teacher education and professional development.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Early Childhood Education Journal, v. 36, issue 4, p. 373-380

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