Babysitter or professional? Perceptions of professionalism narrated by Ontario early childhood educators

Debra HARWOOD , Stephanie TUKONIC


Self-constructed perceptions of early childhood educator professionalism were explored in a small-scale mixed-method survey using convenience sampling. Fifty-four educators in Ontario, Canada participated in the study and shared their views related to professionalism. A mixed-methodology was employed using an electronic questionnaire composed of closed- and open-ended questions on ideas related to professionalism. The results of the study demonstrated that all the educators held a strong self-perception of professionalism regardless of their level of education, reporting high levels of job satisfaction, competence, recognition as a professional from others, and self-recognition as a professional. Participants’ notions of professionalism focused on the qualities of an individual considered a professional (e.g., good listener, patient, and understanding) whereas discussions of criticality, authority, or the historical, gendered, cultural, racial, and social practices of early childhood education were noticeably absent.


Early childhood educator, professionalism, mixed methods study

Paper Details

Paper Details
Topic Early Childhood Education
Pages 589 - 600
Issue IEJEE, Volume 8, Issue 4
Date of acceptance 07 June 2016
Read (times) 589
Downloaded (times) 424

Author(s) Details


Brock University, Canada

Stephanie TUKONIC

Community Services of Niagara Region, Canada


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