Early years teachers’ perspectives of integrated working and professional development: a qualitative exploration in a local authority in London

Allen, Shirley (2022) Early years teachers’ perspectives of integrated working and professional development: a qualitative exploration in a local authority in London. DProf thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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An important strand of early years policy development has been an increased focus on integrated service provision. This has been part of government policy initiatives during the past two decades that have sought to promote children’s development and enhance their life chances (Barnes et al. 2018). Collaboration between professionals from different disciplines is considered to effectively support multifaceted issues that may adversely affect young children’s development (Gordon et al. 2016; Vandekerckhove et al. 2019). However, integrated working has been identified as a complex area of practice (Canavan et al. 2009; Wong and Sumsion 2013; Nutbrown 2018) that takes place in a fluid landscape of children’s services. Developing the proficiency to collaborate effectively and responsively with others requires additional layers of expertise, as well as the specialist knowledge and skills associated with particular professional roles (Edwards, 2010a; Cumming and Wong 2012).

This project explores measures that can enhance support for early years teachers in integrated working practice. Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model (Bronfenbrenner and Morris 2006) is employed as a theoretical framework for the research. This model draws attention to the importance of the early years teacher’s reciprocal interactions with key actors in integrated working and how these might be influenced by personal characteristics, contextual and temporal factors.

The research is framed as a qualitative interview study that incorporates the use of in-depth interviews and the experimental use of a walking interview with one participant. Thematic analysis of the participants’ data reveals an array of measures to support the early years teacher to engage in integrated working. Findings from the research are supplemented by exploration of the current evidence base to identify recommendations for practice. These include a focused consideration of the role of reciprocal interactions in integrated working practice, the use of technology to support communication, practical tasks in professional development and an exploration of the wider field of support to help the early years teacher to manage the ‘complex realities of practice’ (Dalli et al. 2012: 7).

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Sustainable Development Goals:
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
B. > Theses
Item ID: 37143
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2023 12:10
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2023 12:24
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/37143

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