Early Childhood Education and Care Professionals’ Training in Portugal: Challenges and Needs (73335)

Session Information: Professional Training, Development & Concerns in Education
Session Chair: Jessica Torro

Thursday, 21 September 2023 16:00
Session: Session 4
Room: Sant Sebastia
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 2 (Europe/Madrid)

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) has been considered an important context regarding children aged 0-3 developmental characteristics. Literature shows that ECEC professionals with specific training to work with children aged 0-3 have a more complex and multidimensional comprehension of their development and learning processes. Professionals’ training can, therefore, influence daily practices and the quality of educational environments. ECEC specific training is diverse considering legislation, educational perspectives, and the students’ preferences. Further investigation is needed, specifically in Portugal, to identify initial training key-elements (i.e., contents; practices) to potentiate ECEC quality. This research presents the ProFormação 0-3 project, aiming to characterize ECEC professionals’ initial training, and their training needs. To attain those goals, the methodology included two phases: 1) A documental analysis to identify education and vocational programs available, and focus groups with higher education lecturers to understand their perceptions on how initial training prepares ECEC teachers to work with children aged 0-3. 2) A Delphi method with national and international experts to clarify essential contents and competencies to develop in initial training to work in ECEC, and focus groups with ECEC professionals to identify their training needs. Results showed that contents related to work with children aged 0-3 are rarely included in initial training programs, raising concerns regarding professionals’ preparation to work with infants/toddlers. Participants reported a greater focus on children under 3 is needed and expressed their perceptions on the most relevant changes needed. Implications concerning practical, policy and research recommendations will be discussed.

Janete Silva Moreira, ProChild CoLAB, Portugal
Inês Gregório, ProChild CoLAB, Portugal
Ana Lúcia Aguiar, ProChild CoLAB, Portugal
Ana Teresa Brito, ProChild CoLAB, Portugal
Joana Cadima, ProChild CoLAB, Portugal
Luísa Barros, ProChild CoLAB, Portugal

About the Presenter(s)
Janete Silva Moreira: Psychology researcher in ProChild CoLAB, Portugal. Her interests: early childhood, teachers initial and continuous training, educational quality practices.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00