Constructions of babyhood among baby room leaders in the UK

Article


Halls, K. and Sakr, M. 2024. Constructions of babyhood among baby room leaders in the UK. Journal of Early Childhood Research.
TypeArticle
TitleConstructions of babyhood among baby room leaders in the UK
AuthorsHalls, K. and Sakr, M.
Abstract

The research presented in this article scrutinises how baby room leaders construct babyhood and how this impacts their practice. Our research feeds into a growing body of research that challenges the dominant developmentalist paradigm in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and instead highlights possibilities for self-determination, agency and reciprocity in the baby room. Through an inductive thematic analysis applied to 15 interviews with baby room leaders across the UK, we consider how baby room leaders construct babies as receptacles of care, find joy in being needed and make sense of babies’ learning through developmental checklists and milestones. We pay particular attention to the questions that emerge when we consider baby room educators’ joy in being needed: how this can reinforce a perception of babies as completely dependent while simultaneously highlighting their agency and the extent to which their actions shift the emotional landscape of those around them. Our research calls for more provocation, reflection and problematisation that specifically focuses on baby pedagogies and the constructions of babyhood on which these pedagogies are founded.

Sustainable Development Goals4 Quality education
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
Research GroupCentre for Education Research and Scholarship (CERS)
PublisherSAGE Publications
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Research
ISSN1476-718X
Electronic1741-2927
Publication process dates
Accepted16 Feb 2024
Deposited16 May 2024
Output statusAccepted
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

This is an accepted manuscript, accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Early Childhood Research, published by SAGE Publications.

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