Shaking the foundations for quality in early childhood Professor Jayne Osgood, Middlesex University
This paper offers a reconfiguration of ‘quality’ within ECEC. The persistence of discursive constructions of quality is charted; Prof Osgood unpicks aspects of the Nutbrown Review (2012) with its focus on professional qualifications, and career pathways which calls into question the ‘quality’ of the workforce. Whilst collective professional subjectivities of educators might be understood as contained within regulatory discourses this paper urges a move beyond deconstructing discourses and critiquing policy to think beyond quality. Central to Prof Osgood’s argument is that quality and professional subjectivities in ECEC are of the world, not just the person – quality is everywhere and part of everyday life (Haraway, 2008). The aim is to offer a generative reconfiguration of ‘quality’ which traces material-semiotic entanglements within early childhood contexts. By moving away from hegemonic framings of ‘quality’ and by inviting an engagement with curiosities, bodies (human, non-human and more than human), and desires the intention is to map new territories about ‘quality’ and introduce the qualia of ‘becoming quality’. This is done by working with, through and beyond conventional textual representations by putting art-based methods to work to reach new and more generative understandings of quality.
Jayne Osgood is Professor of Education and has recently joined the Centre for Education Research & Scholarship at Middlesex University. Her present research methodologies and research practices are framed by new material feminism and posthumanism. She is developing transdisciplinary theoretical approaches that maintain a concern with issues of social justice, and which critically engage with policy, curricular frameworks and pedagogical approaches. Through her work she seeks to reconfigure understandings of the workforce, families and ‘the child’ and ‘childhood’ in early years contexts.
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