Ruminating on love and care in early childhood teaching

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Although both love and care, as teacher quality and teaching practice, are a common relational dimension of early childhood teaching, the two terms have different denotations in the professionalism discourse. Adopting a two-phase design, data collection of this study includes thematic synthesis of systematically selected literature and expert interviews with 15 early childhood teacher education experts from five universities and three institutes of technology across New Zealand. Analyzed through the lenses of reality and rationality, the two sources of data converge and reveal: (1) Different to love, care is an integral part of teacher professionalism; (2) Compared to care, love is more linked to potentially negative effects on both children and teachers, and the professionalism status of love should be determined according to diverse contexts. The implications of the study on teacher education are discussed and future research directions outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-274
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Teacher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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