Professionalisation in Early Childhood Education in Russia
The dialogue around preschool educators has increased as concerns about the quality of early education have been raised across the world. This paper contributes to a novel historical and contemporary understanding of the professionalisation of Russian preschool educators. This history bears similarities and differences to those of other nations, making this project of interest to cross-cultural comparisons. A particular emphasis is laid on the challenges of, and opportunities for, professionalisation by discussing the issue of professional knowledge and expertise, autonomy, and authority. Data for the study comes from two sources: (1) the historical analysis of preschool educators in Russia; (2) semi-structured interviews undertaken with 25 preschool educators from the major organisations representing them. The research showed the central role played by the state in all historical phases of the professionalisation of Russian early education. It was found that Russian preschool educators are discontented with their current professional standing, and look to the state to enhance it.
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