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Browsing by Subject "Occupational groups"

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  • Rantanen, Susanne (2018)
    In Finnish day-care centres kindergarten teachers and nursery nurses work together in multi-professional teams. These occupational groups have different qualifications and educational backgrounds. However, earlier studies have shown that many day-care centres don't make use of the multi-professional expertise produced by these different professions. In these centres work assignments are often shared according to the work shifts, regardless of the educational background of the workers. As a result, different educational backgrounds of the staff are sometimes seen, instead of enriching the work, as causing uncertainty about the skills of the professional groups and appropriate work tasks for them. Uncertainty is also caused by the historical roots of the day care. In this study, I tried to clarify the present state of multi-professional teamwork in day-care centres through three research problems. The research problems are: (1) How do the work assignments of the different occupational groups differ from each other in a multi-professional team? (2) What are the challenges for multi-professional teamwork in early childhood education? And (3) Which factors are linked with the personnel's perceptions about the functionality of the multi-professional teamwork? The data was collected through an open internet survey. A total of 157 kindergarten teachers and 136 nursery nurses responded to the survey. The analysis was carried out by the methods of content analysis. Theory directed content analysis was used to clarify the meanings of the open questionnaire replies and to classify the content of the survey in the themes that summarize the research results. According to this study, kindergarten teachers' and nurses' work assignments differ from each other at least in part of the day-care centres. However, this is not the case in every day-care centre because there is a lot of day-care centres where work assignments are not shared at all according to the educational backgrounds, but only by the work shifts. The challenges of the teamwork were everyone does everything -working culture, lack of appreciation, lack of understanding, invisible expertise, and changes that come outside of the day-care centres. The personnel's perceptions about the team's functionality were influenced by the division of the work assignments, the personal characteristics of the team members, the appreciation of others and the actions of the director. In particular, the division of the work assignments created disagreements between the occupational groups. According to this study, the field of early childhood education is undergoing a form of a struggle where occupational groups fight each other with strategies of social closure over capitals and positions.